Antonya English, Times Staff Writer

Antonya English

Antonya English has covered University of Florida sports for the Times since 2001, a tenure that has included three head football coaches and three national champions. A former news reporter, she moved to the sports department at the Gainesville Sun in 1993 for what she thought would be a short stint, and never looked back. She came to the Times from the Dallas Morning News in 1997.

Phone: (813) 226-3389

E-mail: english@tampabay.com

Blog: Gator Report

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  1. College football preview: Florida at No. 3 Alabama, 3:30 Saturday, Ch. 10, 1250-AM

    College

    Florida at No. 3 Alabama, 3:30, Ch. 10, 1250-AM

    The Gators' first road game of the season is a visit to the Crimson Tide, so many questions about how improved Florida is will likely be answered. Florida (2-0) has lost three in a row to Alabama (3-0), and its last win in Tusca­loosa was 1998, though there have only been two other meetings at Bryant-Denny Stadium during that span....

  2. Jeff Driskel aims to make happier Gators memories at 'Bama

    College

    The memory of his first game against Alabama in 2011 is vivid for Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel.

    Very vivid. And it isn't very pleasant.

    "I was definitely underprepared," Driskel said. "I didn't know how to prepare at that time to play anybody, especially Alabama as good as they were. Just going in not knowing what you're doing is not a good situation. I'm not going to let that happen again. I'm going to do whatever I can this week to prepare and be as ready as I can. I know that's best for the football team. So, that's what I'm going to do."...

    Quarterback Jeff Driskel and the Gators are off to 2-0 start, beginning with a drubbing of Eastern Michigan on Sept. 6.
  3. Gators Kurt Roper has not so fond memories of facing Alabama

    Blog

    When No. 3 Alabama hosts Florida Saturday afternoon, it won't be the first time Gators offensive coordinator Kurt Roper has had to square off against a Nick Saban coached team.

    The two meet as recently as 2010 when Roper was offensive coordinator at Duke.

    The outcome?

    Let's just say Roper is hoping for something much different for the Gators this weekend.

    “We were actually in Durham against Alabama," he said. "That was a long day. 13, I think we had."...

  4. Amari Cooper vs. Vernon Hatgreaves a key matchup in Alabama-Florida game

    Blog

    One of the most highly-anticipated matchups in Saturday's game between No. 3 Alabama and Florida is that of Gators CB Vernon Hargreaves and Alabama WR Amari Cooper.

    Hargreaves leads the SEC  and is tied for No. 1 nationally in passes defended. Cooper leads the nation in receptions per game (11.0).

    The two are expected to see a lot of each other on Saturday, and you know the potential matchup is good when even coaches are looking forward to it....

  5. Keeping up with the Tide

    Blog

    As the Gators prepare to play No. 3 Alabama on Saturday afternoon, here are some links from writers who cover Alabama to give you more insight on the Tide.

    Tidesports.com Senior Writer Aaron Suttles writes about the expanded role for freshman CB Tony Brown in the Gators' game.

    ESPN.com writer Alex Scarborough writes about how Alabama's secondary is thin for the game against Florida....

  6. Dante Fowler confident young Gators can handle first road test

    Blog

    VIDEO BELOW:

    Dante Fowler remembers the first time he went on the road as a Florida Gator.

    It was Texas A&M and he was a true freshman.

    "There was a TV timeout before I went in the game, so I got to like just look around and see what was going on" Fowler said. "It can have you like, 'Wow, this is for real.'"

    Fowler is now a junior, and on Saturday he'll be among the veteran players who will be leading a lot of young players into Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa for the Gators' first road trip of the season....

  7. Muschamp, Saban have long personal history

    Sports

    GAINESVILLE — Despite their long personal history, Alabama coach Nick Saban and Florida's Will Muschamp said they can't let their relationship get in the way Saturday afternoon.

    "My responsibility is to Alabama football and what we have to do to try to be successful here," Saban said. "But it's never personal with me when it comes to the opponent. I never try to make it personal. We compete against each other and we're still friends, and that's the way it's going to be."...

  8. Even off the field, Tim Tebow finds TV spotlight

    College

    GAINESVILLE — It's hard to imagine Tim Tebow's public profile being elevated any more than it was during his days as a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida or during his two-year NFL career.

    But spend a little time with him on or around the set of the new SEC Network traveling Saturday morning college football show, SEC Nation, and you realize he might be becoming an even bigger star....

    Florida Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow will be with the SEC Network for its pregame show from Saturday’s Gators-Alabama game in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  9. Gators say Blake Sims poses a serious threat at QB for Alabama

    Blog

    Although Alabama has used both quarterbacks Blake Sims and Jake Coker this season, Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said it appears the Tide has settled on Sims, for now, and for good reason.

    "He's very dangerous on his feet,” Durkin said Wednesday. “He creates plays on the ground when the pocket breaks down. There are some design runs to him, but I think sometimes when it’s not designed plays, they do a good job of moving the pocket with him. And I think he throws it well and delivers the ball well for them, too. He’s a dangerous guy and we’ve got to be really conscious of where he’s at and containing him and keeping him in front of us because he can beat you either way, throwing it or running it.”...

  10. For Alabama's Nick Saban, facing Will Muschamp not personal

    Blog

    The relationship between Florida coach Will Muschamp and his former employer and mentor Nick Saban is well-documented. Muschamp credits Saban for a big part of his success as a coach.

     

    But when Florida and No. 3 Alabama meet Saturday afternoon, the personal relationship will have to be put aside. ...

  11. Gators Max Garcia on Alabama: :"We'll be ready for this test"

    Blog

    Florida center Max Garcia is well aware the Gators are a 14 point underdog heading into Saturday's game at No. 3 Alabama.

    That's just fine, Garcia said. The Gators don't need anyone to believe in them, but themselves, he said.

    And make no mistake, the Gators will be ready on Saturday, he said.

    Listen to more from Garcia about the upcoming game against Alabama:

    ...

  12. Gators face challenge in Alabama offensive line

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The Alabama offense is on a record-setting pace with 1,705 yards in the first three games, an average of 568.3, which is a school record. The Crimson Tide has gone three and out on offense only twice in 32 possessions.

    While those opponents — West Virginia, Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss — are a combined 4-5 the Gators, who visit Alabama on Saturday, said there's no denying that facing the Tide's extremely physical offensive line will be a huge challenge. And the outcome may rest on just who's tougher....

    ‘‘We’re physical and we’re going to bring it to them just like they’re going to bring it to us,” Florida DL Dante Fowler says.
  13. Brothers Landon Collins, Gerald Willis meet on the field in Alabama vs. Florida

    Blog

    Saturday afternoon's SEC showdown between No. 3 Alabama and Florida will feature a little sibling rivalry.

    Alabama's Landon Collins and Florida's Gerald Willis are half-brothers who are eager to meet on the field.

    Collins said he'd like an opportunity to hit his brother.

    More on the story from TideSports.com senior writer Aaron Suttles...

  14. After miserable 2013 season, Kyle Christy happy to be back on track

    Blog

    VIDEO BELOW:

    One year after losing his starting job midway through the season as he struggled with his kicking duities, Florida punter Kyle Christy appears to be making a strong comeback.

    Christy had a stellar performance in Saturday night's triple overtime win over Kentucky, and was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

    He had six punts for 292 yards with a net punting average of 45.5, including four inside the 20-yard line. One of those punts was a season-high 61-yarder in the fourth quarter, falling just six yards shy of matching his career best....

  15. Alabama's Nick Saban impressed with Gators' Kurt Roper, improved offense

    Blog

    Alabama may be a double-digit favorite over Florida right now, but count Alabama coach Nick Saban among those who believe the Gators are a much improved team from last season.

    Saban, a former boss and mentor to Florida coach Will Muschamp, said Monday he's impressed by what he's seen from new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper so far.

    "The new offensive coordinator has definitely done a really good job with them in terms of what they're doing offensively," Saban said. "They have some significant impact players back that were injured a year ago. The quarterback has played really well. The two runnig backs have played very, very well. No. 11 (Demarcus) Robinson, the receiver, is one of the top guys in the country. This is a much, much, much improved, very good offensive football team. Their offensive line is big and playing much better because they've got some continuity back there as well."...