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. With Vols next, Gators feel urgency

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The week off has proved beneficial for the Gators secondary, according to S Jabari Gorman. After a 42-21 loss to Alabama in which the secondary was shredded by the Tide's offense, coach Will Muschamp told the players no job was safe. Gorman said it sent a message that's been received loud and clear as the team prepares for Tennessee this weekend. "It makes us better because it starts a competition all over again like in camp," he said. "Things like that make me a better player, makes me more hungry and anticipate more of what's going on. … You can see the work ethic increase since. … We realized you can't be complacent."...

    Derrick Henry and the Tide offense gave Jabari Gorman, left, and the rest of the UF secondary a hands-on lesson Sept. 20.
  2. Confidence? Gators still have plenty of it heading into Knoxville

    Blog

    The Gators spent last week's bye focusing almost exclusively on themselves following a 42-21 loss to Alabama.

    Despite giving up more than 600 yards to the Tide the Gators insist they have regrouped, are focused and ready to play at Tennessee on Saturday.

    “We move on," Florida S Jabari Gorman said. "We’re the type of defense that moves on. We know what we did wrong, and we know how to correct those things. Now that we know what to do there’s no need to feel sad about what happened two weeks ago because we have to work on the next game. Each game matters.”...

  3. Roper says dual QB's not feasible for Gators right now

    Blog

    During his six-year tenure as Duke's offensive coordinator, Kurt Roper wasn't afraid to use two quarterbacks in a season if necessary.

    But for now, the Gators have no plans to implement a two quarterback system with Jeff Driskel and Treon Harris, and Roper said the comparison to Duke isn't a fair one.

    “Llast year, or last couple of years at Duke the whole thought process was we had a 6-2, 225-pound physical guy that could go in the short yardage, red zone, the tough areas where obviously you’re going to run out of, your numbers aren’t going to be equaled up in the run game and we can add the quarterback in the run game," Roper said. "That was the reason behind the two quarterback system at Duke. He (Brandon Connette) was older, obviously last year, but he was 225 pounds from his first year one. He had a physical mentality, you know, he was a guy that would get downhill and ended up having to be our starting quarterback, but he was in his fourth year, which ended up helping. We were able to mature him through those type situations on the football field without turning the whole game over to him. He backed up Sean Renfree that way and he backed up Anthony Boone that way and there’s conversation, you know, and thought. That was one of our first short-yardage plays against Eastern Michigan, in that mode. But I don’t think Treon is quite there yet in that mentality. I think he’s an elusive runner, a good runner, but he’s not a heavy runner right now and so those situations are a little bit different.”...

  4. Gators OC Kurt Roper has fond memories of Knoxville

    Blog

    When Kurt Roper travels to Knoxville this weekend, the Gators offensive coordinator will be all about businesss.

    But Roper took a moment today to talk about his fond memories of his time coaching for former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer during the start of his career.

    Knoxville is also the place where Roper met his wife.

    You can hear more from Roper on his Knoxville days here:...

  5. Butch Jones expects Vols to bounce back and be ready for Gators

    Blog

    Because he's dealing with such a young team, Tennessee coach Butch Jones doesn't know exactly what to expect from the Vols when they host the Gators Saturday afternoon in Neyland Stadium.

    The Vols have played 22 true freshmen this season - the most of any Division I program in the nation - and are coming off a 35-32 loss to Georgia.

    "Half of our football team wasn't here, so they don't have that experience to rely on (after a loss)," Jones said. "All I know about this football team is we have great competitive character. It's very important to them. Now, it's all new to them. How do we bounce back after an extremely (physical) football game? That was two football teams laying it on the line Saturday afternoon. I was exceptionally proud of our effort. We still need to continue to get better with that though. Our kids fought to the bitter end and you can see the resiliency, you can see the perseverance. Again, every week is a new season in and of itself."...

  6. Gators' Muschamp blocks out critics

    College

    GAINESVILLE — As Florida prepares to venture into the heart of its SEC football schedule, coach Will Muschamp said he's focused on Saturday's noon game at Tennessee and making sure the Gators are improving, and remains unfazed by the growing outside criticism.

    Last week, athletic director Jeremy Foley said during a radio interview that Muschamp will be judged on his full body of work when the season is over. "You never judge or evaluate a program based on one game or one season,'' Foley said. "That's just not how we do things here."...

    Will Muschamp has a 24-17 record in four seasons at Florida. [Getty Images]
  7. Will Muschamp: Vols' success begins with QB Justin Worley and the offense

    Blog

    The Gators are going to Tennessee this week, which means lots and lots of Rocky Top.

    Or maybe not.

    Florida coach Will Muschamp said he's hoping the Gators play well enough that he won't have to hear the band playing the Vols' fight song all day long at Neyland Stadium.

    He's been hearing it in Gainesville already.

    "Hopefully not very long, that means they're not playing it very much," Muschamp said Monday when asked about hearing the song on Saturday. "We hear in in practice every day. We've got to listen to that. Humming it walking in, I can tell you that."...

  8. Gators secondary still a work in progress

    Blog

    Florida will get a chance to see very quickly whether its struggling secondary has improved with extra work during the bye week.

    The Gators are ranked next to the bottom in pass defense in the SEC, giving up an average of 287.7 through the air and eight passing touchdowns. Florida worked extensively on those areas last week, but coach Will Muschamp said it remains a work in progress, including whether there will be personnel changes....

  9. Vols fans plan to "checker" Neyland Stadium when Gators come to town

    Blog

    Tennessee coach Butch Jones is asking Vols fans to do something extra special to give their team more of  home field advantage when Florida comes to town on Saturday.

    Jones sent the following Tweet out to Vols fans about Saturday SEC East showdown:

    #VolNation you asked for it, now make it a reality!!! Go to http://CheckerNeyland.com  to find out what color to wear on Sat! #CheckerNeyland...

  10. Florida Gators AD: Muschamp status won't be evaluated til end of season

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Coach Will Muschamp's job status won't be determined by one or two games but by his body of work this season, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Friday.

    "You never judge or evaluate a program based on one game or one season,'' Foley said on Open Mike on 790-AM The Game in Orlando. "That's just not how we do things here. We're going to evaluate where we're headed, where the players are, how is recruiting going, what type of staff do we have, are we better? That's going to be plain for all of us to see, but it's also going to be played out over the course of 11 games, and we'll see where we are when we get to the end of the season."...

  11. Jeremy Foley says Will Muschamp to be evaluated on entire season

    Blog

    Florida coach Will Muschamp's job status won't be determined by one or two games, but by his entire body of work this season, Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said.

    Florida has a bye this week after losing 41-21 to No. 3 Alabama on the road last week.

    "You never judge or evaluate a program based on one game or one season, Foley said on "Open Mike" on 790 The Game in Orlando, reported by ESPN.com "That's just not how we do things here. We're going to evaluate where we're headed, where the players are, how is recrutiing going, what type of staff do we have, are we better?"...

  12. James Bates, Louis Oliver to be inducted into Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame

    Blog

    Former Florida All-American safety Louis Oliver (1984-1988) and LB James Bates (1993-1996) will be inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Oct. 31 at EverBank Field. They will be joined by Georgia legends Pat Dye and Ben Zambiasi who will also be inducted.

    Oliver went to Florida in 1984 as a walk-on, then earned a scholarship in 1985. He became a starter in 1986, and was named a first-team All-American in 1987 and 1988. He was one of three finalists for the Thorpe Defensive Back of the Year Award in 1988....

  13. Gators' Muschamp defends Driskel

    College

    GAINESVILLE — In the aftermath of Saturday's 42-21 loss at No. 3 Alabama, Florida coach Will Muschamp said he has no plans to replace Jeff Driskel but added the junior quarterback needs to improve.

    "Jeff needs to play better, and I think he'd be the first person to tell you that," he said.

    Muschamp said it's unfair to place all of UF's offensive struggles against the Tide on Driskel, who was 9-for-28 for 93 yards and two interceptions. The coach said dropped passes and incorrect routes were also to blame. Muschamp said freshman backup QB Treon Harris continues to improve and could see playing time. "But Jeff gives us the best opportunity to win right now," Muschamp said....

    Gators QB Jeff Driskel was manhandled by defensive back Tony Brown and the Crimson Tide on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
  14. Gators plan to stick with QB Jeff Driskel

    Blog

    In the fallout from Florida's 42-21 loss to Alabama last weekend, coach Will Muschamp said he has no plans to replace Jeff Driskel as the Gators' starting QB, despite Driskel's struggles.

    The reality is at this point Driskel is what's best for the Gators, Muschamp said.

    "Jeff needs to play better and I think he'd be the first person to tell you that," Muschamp said.  "I thought he forced four to five balls where in some situations you check the ball down or you take the ball somewhere else. He had four drops that I thought were all critical downs, especially the second or third series of the game, you know, you got a third-down conversion, the ball’s on the money and you've got to catch the ball. The wheel route to Andre (Debose), you got to catch the ball. The seam ball to Latroy (Pittman) - we got four drops. That’s hard....

  15. Urban and Shelley Meyer surprised by Aaron Hernandez murder charges

    Blog

    As part of their interview with HBO's REAL SPORTS, former Florida coach Urban Meyer and his wife Shelley say they never could have imagined former Gator TE Aaron Hernandez would be facing a murder charge.

    The Meyers said Hernandez was like a member of their family, and although they knew he had problems, they didn't expect anything this severe.

    Hernandez, a former Gators All-American and member of the New England Patriots, is currently in jail awaiting trial after being charged with the murder of Odin Lloy - the boyfriend of his girlfriend's sister....