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. 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.
  2. 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...

  3. 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....

  4. 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."...

  5. Gators Kyle Christy named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week

    Blog

    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 has a stellar performance in Saturday night's triple overtime win over Kentucky, and has been 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.

    "Kyle Christy punted the ball extremely well," coach Will Muschamp said. "I think his net was right at 45. He really flipped the field and early in the game."

    Five of Christy's nine punts this season have been for 50 yards or more. He ranks first in the SEC with a
    48.6-yard season punting average through the third week of the season....

  6. Gators secondary out of synch for Alabama game

    College

    GAINESVILLE — When Florida plays at No. 3 Alabama on Saturday, the Gators will face one of the nation's top wide receivers in Amari Cooper, who leads the SEC in receptions per game (11) and has 454 receiving yards in three games. For a Gator secondary that struggled against Kentucky last week, including giving up six completions that yielded 173 yards, correcting those mistakes is of utmost importance. And coach Will Muschamp insists they can be corrected....

    Alabama's Amari Cooper, who  leads the SEC in receptions per game  (11) and has 454 receiving yards in three games. [Getty Images]
  7. Alabama hoping to spread offense around vs. Gators

    Blog

    It's only Monday, but there has already been a ton of talk about Alabama WR Amari Cooper vs. the Gators.

    And with good reason. And the Gators try to shore up their young secondary, Cooper is leading the SEC in receptions per game (11) and is second behind Florida's Demarcus Robinson in receiving yards per game (454). Cooper has 33 receptions so far this season.

    But Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday he wants to spread the offense around so teams can't just key on Cooper....

  8. Gators Will Muschamp "looking forward to the opportunity" to play Alabama

    Blog

    The Gators will play at Alabama on Saturday, marking their first trip to Tuscaloosa since 2010.

    Alabama has won six the last eight meetings between the two schools and has outscored the Gators 101-29 in the past three games.

    But Florida coach Will Muschamp said Monday the Gators will approach this like any other game.

    “They’re all statement games,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said when asked if this Saturday is a statement game. “They’re all important. They all count for one. So we understand the importance of the game. It’s an SEC game, it’s the next game. We’re in a series of one-game seasons as far as I’m concerned right now, and that’s how we’re looking at it.”...

  9. Cecil Hurt: Alabama should worry about Gators

    Blog

    Alabama may be a 17.5 point favorite over the Gators in Saturday's SEC showdown in Tuscaloosa, but at least one longtime columnist believes and improved Florida team might prove a challenge for the Tide.

    Check out this column from Tuscaloosa News columnist and sports editor Cecil Hurt on why Alabama should at least be concerned about the Gators....

  10. SEC says proper guidelines used in Kentucky-Florida game delay of game issue

    Blog

    The SEC has released a statement regarding the controversial play in Saturday night's triple overtime game between Florida and Kentucky, saying officials "applied the proper mechanics and guidelines."

    The Gators eventually won 36-30, extending their winning streak over the Wildcats to 28 games.

    Kentucky scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from QB Patrick Towles to Stanley Williams to take a 27-20 lead in the first overtime....

  11. Florida Gators say 3OT win good prep for Alabama Crimson Tide

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Once they had a few moments to take it all in, the Florida Gators came to this conclusion about the 36-30 triple-overtime win over Kentucky on Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: It was exactly the kind of game they needed as they prepare to face No. 3 Alabama this weekend.

    "It's definitely good for us," said junior running back Matt Jones, who had four consecutive carries in the third overtime, including the winning 1-yard touchdown run. "We needed this game. We needed some adversity to get through to go to Alabama because we know they're a tough team."...

    "It's definitely good for us," said junior running back Matt Jones, who had four consecutive carries in the third overtime, including the winning 1-yard touchdown run. "We needed this game. We needed some adversity to get through to go to Alabama because we know they're a tough team." [Getty Images]
  12. Gators survive Kentucky in triple overtime

    Blog

    It took three overtime periods, but the Florida Gators managed to survive a much-improved Kentucky team with a 36-30 victory Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

    Gators junior RB Matt Jones had the game-winning 1-yard run in the third overtime. It was the first three overtime game in Florida history.

    Florida has now defeated Kentucky 28 consecutive years, dating back to 1986....

  13. Florida beats Kentucky in triple overtime

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The hush that fell over Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with just under three minutes remaining in the game Saturday night spoke volumes.

    By the end of regulation, it had become stunned silence.

    Hosting Kentucky, a program it had defeated 27 consecutive times, Florida was in a down-to-the-wire battle in the SEC opener for both teams.

    Time was running out. Then regulation ran out. And overtime kept going....

    Florida’s Matt Jones, a graduate of Seffner’s Armwood High, leaps over tight end Clay Burton during a second-quarter run.
  14. Muschamp should be safe as Florida coach, analyst says

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Marcus Spears has read the message boards. He knows all about the websites calling for Florida coach Will Muschamp's head during the 4-8 season of 2013. And he understands the frustration.

    But for Spears, a former LSU and NFL defensive end now an analyst with the SEC Network, none of that is a genuine reflection of his former defensive coordinator.

    "Me and Will, we still have a great relationship," Spears said during a visit to Gainesville, where the network's SEC Nation held a live broadcast Saturday morning. "He's a big part of why I was able to have success in college. He taught me the game, taught me how to look at the game, how to approach it. ...

    Seeking yards: Florida running back Kelvin Taylor gets past Kentucky defensive tackle Cory Johnson during the first half.
  15. College football preview: Florida vs. Kentucky, 7:30 Saturday, SEC Network, 1250-AM

    College

    It's the streak neither team wants to publicly discuss, but it's there: 27 games. That's how long it s been since Kentucky earned a win over the Gators, dating to 1986. The Cats want to end the streak, the Gators don't want to be the ones to drop the ball. It's as simple as that. Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will go up against a familiar opponent in Kentucky's Mark Stoops, who have battled since their days at Duke and Florida State respectively....