Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

This time, Florida Gators play the respect card

Florida’s Brandon James calls Oklahoma “a real good team’’ and says the Gators have plenty of respect for the Sooners.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Florida’s Brandon James calls Oklahoma “a real good team’’ and says the Gators have plenty of respect for the Sooners.

BOCA RATON — Two years ago, coach Urban Meyer provided his Gators with a psychological edge by convincing them that nobody believed they had a chance in their national championship game against then-No. 1 Ohio State.

Now it's Oklahoma taking on the underdog role. The Sooners have complained all week that though they are No. 1 in the BCS poll and have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, they aren't getting due respect. It seems coach Bob Stoops has taken a page from Meyer's book.

"I get that feeling and I don't like that," Meyer said. "I don't believe that (they are disrespected). We played the loss of respect, no respect card two years ago and it worked. I'm not sure which direction we're going to head here."

The UF players said it's a misconception they aren't concerned about OU.

"We feel like they are a good team and we respect them, so I don't know where that's coming from," junior return specialist Brandon James said. "They have put up 60-some points a game and shutting other teams down. So they are a real good team."

The Gators completed their final full practice Tuesday.

"I can't ask our players for anything more than they've done," Meyer said.

LOEFFLER OFFICiAL: Former Michigan and Detroit Lions quarterback coach Scot Loeffler has been named Gators QB coach, Meyer announced. Loeffler will begin on Friday.

A Michigan quarterback from 1993-96, Loeffler was instrumental in working with former Michigan QB Chad Henne, the school's all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns, completions and attempts. He also worked with Tom Brady and Brian Griese.

Loeffler spent six seasons as Wolverines quarterback coach, before spending last season in the same position with the Lions. He has a relationship with QB Tim Tebow, recruiting him out of high school.

RETURNING THE FAVOR: Basketball coach Billy Donovan is flying to Miami on Thursday to attend the national championship game. Meyer was at both games when Donovan's teams won back-to-back national titles, and Donovan said he feels it's important to support Meyer. This will be Donovan's first football title game. He missed the win over Ohio State two years ago because the Gators had a basketball game the next day.

Donovan developed a friendly relationship with Stoops when Stoops was an assistant at Florida, but says he's "not torn at all'' in rooting for UF.

"I love Bob,'' Donovan said. "When he was here he was great to me. I get a chance to see him every once in a while in the summer and we keep in contact. But, I'm a Gator. I'm happy for Bob. … He's done a special job. … I'm not rooting against Bob Stoops. I'm rooting for Florida."

TICKETS: The Orlando Sentinel said that a survey of online brokers shows that tickets in the farthest corner of the upper deck at Dolphin Stadium, going for as low as $450 a week ago, are now $550.

This time, Florida Gators play the respect card 01/06/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 11:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety

    Bucs

    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  2. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  3. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  4. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  5. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.