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. Florida Gators examine options for suspended game vs. Idaho

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The decision about what to do about Saturday night's suspended game between Florida and Idaho remained undecided Sunday.

    "We will know more in the next two or three days," Florida senior associate athletic director Steve McClain said.

    The game was suspended after a delay of more than three hours because of heavy lightning and thunderstorms. The Ben Hill Griffin Stadium field eventually was deemed unsafe to play on....

  2. Gators season-opener vs. Idaho cancelled due to inclement weather

    Blog

    After multiple, lengthy delays, Florida's season-opener against Idaho was cancelled Saturday night after officials determined the field was unsafe to play on.

    The game was delayed for two hours and 48 minutes due to lightning and heavy rain.

    When the game finally began, Idaho won the toss and deferred to the Gators.

    Florida receiver Valdez Showers returned a kickoff 64 yards on the opening play, then lightning in the area forced a delay again....

  3. Florida Gators OL Tyler Moore wants a steady job

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Tyler Moore will be the first to tell you that last year wasn't a pleasant season with the Florida Gators.

    The redshirt junior offensive lineman was the victim of circumstances on and off the field. With so many injuries on the Gators, Moore, who entered 2013 camp at right guard, was forced to play right tackle and some at left tackle.

    It was a task that proved to be difficult....

  4. Lightning, storms get Florida Gators opener called off

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Following multiple lengthy rain and lightning delays, Florida's season-opener against Idaho was cancelled late Saturday after officials determined the field was unsafe to play on.

    "It's unfortunate that the weather didn't cooperate," Gators coach Will Muschamp said. "After long discussions with the head referee, it was determined that the field conditions were too dangerous for the student-athletes."...

    Lightning strikes near Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field during a weather delay before an NCAA college football game between Florida and Idaho in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin) GVP106
  5. Senior Darious Cummings among three Gators suspended for Idaho game

    Blog

    Three Gators players will miss tonight's season-opener against Idaho due to suspensions.

    "Jay-nard Bostwick and Darious Cummings will not play due to a violation of team rules," Florida coach Will Muschamp said in a statement released prior to the game. '"Demarcus Robinson will miss the game due to a university sanction that is now resolved. I support the university sanction. We have rules here that we have to follow - team, athletic department and university rules - and when you don’t follow them there are consequences.'...

  6. Kurt Roper saw something special in Gators QB Treon Harris

    Blog

    After Kurt Roper was hired as Florida's offensive coordinator back in January, one of the players he went out and recruited was Miami QB Treon Harris.

    So what exactly did Roper see in Harris? A playmaker.

    "I think he was a guy that made a lot of plays and that's what it really gets down to," Roper said. "He was a decisive quarterback when you watched him in high school, whether he was going to make decisions in the passing game or decision in running the football versus a good pass rusher or whatever it was. But I think I saw a decisive football player. He's working hard to get better every day and he's obviously a talented guy that has a really strong arm, a fast arm and can make plays with his feet."...

  7. College football preview: Florida vs. Idaho, 7 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU; 1250-AM

    College

    UF vs. Idaho, 7, ESPNU, 1250-AM

    Florida opens the season hoping to end a seven-game losing streak and finally put last year's 4-8 season in the past. The first-ever meeting between the Gators and Vandals marks a return for former UF team captain and All-SEC LB Bam Hardmon, who played for the Gators from 1999-2002. He is the Vandals' defensive line coach.

    Watch out for … The return of QB Jeff Driskel and the Gators' new offense under coordinator Kurt Roper. How well has UF perfected the new offense? How will first-time C Max Garcia handle a live-game situation at that spot, and has the offensive line improved enough to offer more adequate protection and open the running game that is so necessary for this offense to succeed? Will the receivers finally become a factor? And how will the young secondary, which coach Will Muschamp says is a work in progress, perform — along with nine true freshmen who will see their first collegiate action? All questions that will begin to be answered. Expect backup QB Treon Harris to see action as the Gators continue to try to solidify that position. … UF has won 24 straight openers, second only to Nebraska (28)....

  8. Texas A&M win over South Carolina costs local furniture store more than $1 million

    Blog

    No. 21 Texas A&M's victory over No. 9 South Carolina Thursday night may have stunned a good chunk of the college football world, but it probably didn't cost most people the way it has a local furniture store.

    The Ashley Furniture Store in College Station, Texas, promised that if the Aggies won by more than 10, all furniture purchased between August 16th and 27th would be free.

    Believe it or not, they plan to make good on that offer....

  9. Why are fewer students going to college football games?

    College

    TAMPA — The University of South Florida has taken measures both creative and benevolent to embrace — a Bull-hug, if you will — one of the most vital segments of its football fan base.

    In August alone, USF players, coaches and athletic administrators have courted the student body with pizza, pep rallies, T-shirts and team bonding events. The players even spent a recent day helping students haul their belongings back into their respective dorm rooms....

    The University of South Florida athletic department has tried to drum up support for its football program with pizza, pep rallies and T-shirts, and even had players help move other students in.
  10. Former Gator Cody Riggs ready to make impact at Notre Dame

    Blog

    When former Florida DB Cody Riggs decided to transfer to Notre Dame after last season, he said the decision was a combination of wanting a change in the classroom and on the football field.

    Riggs, who graduated from UF, used the NCAA's transfer rule for graduates to avoid having to sit out a season.

    It appears that decision is working out well. With Notre Dame CB KeiVarae Russell involved in an internal investigation into academic fraud, Riggs' stock has risen and he's earned a starting job....

  11. Kurt Roper takes charge of Florida Gator offense, fortunes

    College

    GAINESVILLE — On the night before games, Kurt Roper generally sleeps pretty well. He doesn't expect that to change tonight — despite the circumstances.

    When Florida opens the season Saturday night against Idaho, Roper, 42, will be the center of attention. The first-year UF offensive coordinator has been given the task of resurrecting the offense, and essentially the program.

    Florida finished 4-8 last season and ranked No. 113 nationally in total offense, with 18.8 points per game....

    First-year offensive coordinator Kurt Roper has been given the task of resurrecting Florida's offense, and essentially its program. [Rob C. Witzel/The New York Times]
  12. Gators Matt Jones gains valuable life lesson from Illness, injury last season

    Blog

    Last season this time, Florida RB Matt Jones was still recovering from the effects of a severe viral infection he became infected with last August.

    A few weeks later, Jones suffered a knee injury that ended what he believed was a very promising season.

    On Saturday when Florida hosts Idado at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in the 2014 season-opener, the junior from Seffner will once again begin what he hopes is an outstanding season - for himself and the Gators....

  13. "SEC Storied" documentary focuses on Steve Spurrier tonight

    Blog

    Former Florida and current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier will be featured tonight in an ESPN Documentary SEC Storied.

    The film focuses on Spurrier and his long history with the SEC, is co-directed by Kenny Chesney and Shaun Silva, and will air tonight at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network.

    “The Believer” reveals the essence of the most competitive man in the most competitive football conference in the nation," ESPN said in a press release....

  14. Florida Gators pick No. 2 quarterback

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Freshman Treon Harris has been named the backup QB for Saturday's opener vs. Idaho. The Miami native led Booker T. Washington High to the Class 4A state championship in 2012 and 2013. Coach Will Muschamp said the competition between Harris and freshman Will Grier was extremely close, but Harris won — for now.

    "There's really no separation from the backup standpoint,'' Muschamp said Tuesday. ''We met through the weekend and talked moving forward and felt like Treon has some things he can provide for us offensively, but that's nothing that's made for the long-term. No one's been redshirted. No decisions have been made with Will Grier, Skyler Mornhinweg or anyone else. All of those guys did some good things and we're gonna move forward from week to week on that situation there."...

  15. Gators Jeff Driskel looking forward to returning to the field after injury

    Blog

    It has been 10 months since Jeff Driskel limped off of Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with a broken leg that sidelined him the remainder of the Gators' 2013 season.

    So it should come as no surprise that Driskel is one of tthe Florida players most anticipating Saturday's season-opener aganist Idaho.

    Regardless of the opponent, Driskel's just happy to get back on the field....