KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After years of second-half dominance over rival Tennessee, No. 19 Florida finally cracked Saturday.
The Gators squandered an 18-point halftime lead, as the No. 14 Volunteers snapped their 11-game losing streak to UF and beat the Gators 38-28 at Neyland Stadium.
UF (3-1, 1-1 SEC) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in front of an announced crowd of 102,455 and looked every bit like a defending SEC East champion, and the favorite to return to Atlanta this year....
Player of the week: De'Vonta Smith, Central
Before the season Smith said he wanted to do better than his record-setting cousin, Nature Coast alum DeShawn Smith. He took one record away from his cousin Friday night in a 63-28 win over Weeki Wachee. Smith gained 488 yards on 23 carries and scored eight touchdowns. He broke DeShawn's Hernando County single-game rushing record of 444 yards, set last season. His eight touchdowns tied a county record....
09/24/16 Lightning Strikes
TAMPA — C Brian Boyle's practice ended a little early Saturday after the heel of D Braydon Coburn's stick blade caught him in the nose during a 1-on-1 drill.
Boyle was fine — no hard feelings, just some pain and blood on his jersey.
"It's going to happen sometimes," Boyle said, smiling. "The guys had a good chuckle out of it."
But the friendly fire is an example of how intense, and fast-paced, the first part of Lightning training camp has been. Associate coach Rick Bowness told the players camp would be tough, hoping to get them up to the same speed as the 12 who will soon return from the World Cup. ...
TAMPA — Toni Gross and Annette Kirk stood close to each other as they shared a podium in Veterans Memorial Park and Museum on Saturday.
Their heads bobbed to and from a microphone as they traded off reading the names of fallen soldiers — until Kirk paused. She wouldn't say the next name, even though it was her turn. Her eyes locked with Gross'.
"Go ahead," she said.
"U.S. Army Cpl. Frank R. Gross," Gross replied....
CLEARWATER — A man died Saturday in a boating accident in Island Estates, according to the Clearwater Police Department.
Officers and Clearwater Fire & Rescue responded to the 800 block of Island Way shortly before 4 p.m., police officials said. The man was not identified.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were on the scene investigating.
Stay with tampabay.com for updates....
TAMPA — The early stage of Saturday's proceedings inside Raymond James Stadium weren't bereft of a bright side for USF fans.
Any administrator from Oklahoma or Texas who joined the ABC viewing audience at that point saw the Bulls brandish a product ideally suited for the Big 12: quick strikes on offense, cameo on defense.
But as things unfolded on this sweltering afternoon, a glaring question presented itself: Forget the Big 12, is USF ready for the big time?...
09/24/16 Public Safety
ZEPHYRHILLS — Police are investigating the suspicious death of an 18-month-old boy found unresponsive early Saturday morning.
Police received a 911 call around 4:30 a.m. They arrived to a home on 5831 Apollo Street and found the toddler, Sebastian Lieb, on his back just inside the front entrance. A woman was attempting CPR, investigators said. Officers took over CPR until paramedics arrived....
TAMPA — They are called explosives, those big-bang plays that detonate and destroy the game.
The NFL defines them as runs of 10 yards or more and passes of 20-plus yards.
The Bucs already have given up 13 in two games .
In fact, the Bucs already have yielded three pass plays of more than 50 yards —- fifty! — or as many as all of 2015.
"We've had 12 plays that have gone for over 400 yards (combined)," Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "Sometimes they're missed tackles, sometimes they're missed assignments and sometimes they're bad calls by me. So we've got to get better. We've got to tackle better, we've got to execute better and I've got to make better calls."...
Josh Adams thought he'd found a solid expert witness for his client.
The Orlando attorney was representing Jason Eugene Daniels, who faced more than a dozen felonies involving sexual abuse of a child. Adams said Daniels' cell mate William Teets had mentioned Chester Kwitowski, who had already appeared as computer forensics expert in other Polk County cases including Teets'. Adams called Kwitowski and asked for his resume....
HOLIDAY — The 82-year-old man who was battered by a teen boy on Friday has died, according to Pasco deputies. Investigators were working with the Medical Examiner's Office to determine if Robert Walker's cause of death is related to the beating.
In an interview with WFLA News Channel 8 before he died, a badly beaten Walker said this was his second incident involving the teen....
LITHIA — Once families come to Keysville Road they never seem to leave.
They are drawn by the cheap, abundant land and, over time, fall in love with the secluded quiet of their shady country road. That love is passed on to their children, and then to their children. Stop by a home and it's likely the only one its residents have ever known.
So odds are the families will stay put, even if the water they drink, the water that nourishes their orange groves, cattle and collards, turns out to be poisoned....
Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Sept. 17 through Friday, Sept. 23. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Elanny Breton, volleyball, Wiregrass Ranch: The junior had 16 kills in a four-set win over Fivay. She also had the winning kill in the fourth set, a 26-24 comeback win....
TAMPA — The situation appeared bleak for Tampa Catholic. Clinging to a four-point lead, the Crusaders watched bitter rival Clearwater Central Catholic drive down the field in the final two minutes of regulation.
The Marauders had first and goal at the 2-yard line. Tampa Catholic's defense was spent and depleted. Several players were cramping and out of the lineup. But the Crusaders dug in, bunching up to stop three straight runs. On fourth down, on the final surge, Tampa Catholic's defense came through — again....
TARPON SPRINGS — The way Tarpon Springs coach George Kotis had it figured, if everything went his team's way, and the Spongers got a little luck, then they might have a chance against rival East Lake Friday night. Instead, not much went Tarpon Springs' way in a 38-0 home loss.
East Lake quarterback Tyler Rupe threw two touchdown passes and Bryce Miller scored both as a receiver and a kick returner in a game that used a running clock in the fourth quarter. The Eagles held the Spongers to 67 total yards of offense. For East Lake's defense, it was their second straight shutout. St. Petersburg's only score last week came on a punt return....
09/24/16 TV and Radio
Autos Sprint Cup: Bad Boy Off Road 300 practice 9 a.m. CNBC Trucks: UNOH 175 qualifying 10 a.m. FS1 Sprint Cup: Bad Boy Off Road 300 practice 11:30 a.m. CNBC Trucks: UNOH 175 1 p.m. FS1 Xfinity: Visitmyrtlebeach.com 300 qualifying 4:30 p.m. NBCSN Xfinity: Visitmyrtlebeach.com 300 8 p.m. NBCSN NHRA: Midwest Nationals qualifying (taped) 2 a.m. FS1 Baseball Cardinals at Cubs 1 p.m. Ch. 13 Yankees at Blue Jays 4 p.m. MLB Red Sox at Rays 6 p.m. Fox Sun; 620-AM Phillies at Mets 7 p.m. MLB Braves at Marlins 7 p.m. FSF Rockies at Dodgers (in progress) 10 p.m. MLB Golf PGA Europe: European Open 9:30 a.m. Golf PGA: Tour Championship 11 a.m. Golf PGA: Tour Championship noon Ch. 8 Web.com: Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship 3:30 p.m. Golf Champions: Bear Mountain Championship 6 p.m. Golf Hockey, World Cup Semifinal: Canada vs. Russia 7 p.m. ESPN2 Soccer EPL: Leicester City at Manchester United 7:30 a.m. NBCSN German: Bayern Munich at Hamburg 9:30 a.m. FS2 EPL: Hull City at Liverpool 10 a.m. NBCSN EPL: Chelsea at Arsenal 12:30 p.m. NBCSN German: Wolfsburg at Werder Bremen 12:30 p.m. FS2 Mexican: Cruz Azul at Tigres 8 p.m. Univision Mexican: Pumas at Club America 10 p.m. Univision