Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Welcome news for arriving Florida Gators: Playmaker Harvin will play

FORT LAUDERDALE — The Gators arrived on Friday afternoon armed with the good news that junior WR/RB Percy Harvin is expected to play in Thursday's BCS title game.

Harvin, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the Florida State game and missed the SEC championship win over Alabama, was upgraded to probable earlier in the week.

"He's playing," coach Urban Meyer said. "He's playing, unless there's a setback."

Florida is playing in its second national title game in three years, and Meyer and QB Tim Tebow said the experience of having been in this situation is beneficial. Tebow was a freshman backup when the Gators won in 2006.

"I think it's different, but I think you do get a little bit of wisdom and knowledge about how to approach the situation and approach the big game," Tebow said. "We know how to handle the week and the preparation and the events. We're being cordial and courteous, but at the same time we know it's a business trip."

Meyer said with the exception of a few plays that involve Harvin, the Gators have implemented their entire game plan. Because Harvin hasn't practiced, those plays will be put in during the remaining practices.

TEBOW FILES NFL PAPERS: Tebow, a junior, said he has officially filed his paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee to get information about his potential draft status. Harvin and junior LB Brandon Spikes had previously submitted theirs.

"It's filed," Tebow said. "I'm not even worried about it. I'm excited to be here in Miami, and I'm ready to go play the Sooners."

MASSIVE UNDERTAKING: Orange Bowl and Miami Dolphins officials have a big job to do over the next week as Dolphin Stadium will host three games in a span of seven days. Virginia Tech and Cincinnati played Thursday night in the Orange Bowl, the Dolphins host an NFL playoff game Sunday and the BCS title game is Thursday.

Virginia Tech checked out of its hotel early Friday, giving staff time to prepare rooms for the Gators.

"Having the three games, frankly that's mostly a Dolphins issue because they run the stadium and they are professional management," said Daniel Ponce, Orange Bowl president. "But they've already done it before. They changed from a World Series game to a football game in 24 hours. Earlier this year, they went from a Florida State-Miami game that ended about 12 o'clock at night on a Saturday night, and by Sunday morning they had it ready for the Dolphins against the Chargers."

SOONERS GET BUSY: Oklahoma arrived in Miami on Friday afternoon and went to practice immediately. The Sooners have lost their last four BCS games, but whether their mind-set has changed this time around remains to be seen, coach Bob Stoops said.

"It's too early to tell," he said. We'll see how they handle the week, how they go through practice and how we prepare for the game. … Now being here it will increase our focus. Not that it hasn't been there, but each day the game's getting closer, and we've got to get more prepared to play."

Welcome news for arriving Florida Gators: Playmaker Harvin will play 01/02/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 2, 2009 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now


    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  2. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  3. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal


    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Vinny Lecavalier's jersey retirement will be another classic Vinny moment

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — He was the face of the franchise. He was taken first overall in the 1998 NHL Draft by a franchise at the bottom. Art Williams, the nutty Tampa Bay Lightning owner at the time, proclaimed the 18-year-old from Ile Bizard, a Montreal borough, "the Michael Jordan of hockey."

    Vincent Lecavalier makes a break for the net while playing an exhibition game on Sunday (9/24/17) with the 2017 U.S. Women???‚??„?s National Team at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Lecavalier was the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2000???‚??€œ2001 season and between the 2008???‚??€œ2013 and spent his first 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before signing with the Philadelphia Flyers.