Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Governor speaks out against playing

The decision to play Saturday afternoon as Florida was in a state of emergency and preparing for Hurricane Jeanne didn't sit well with the state's leader.

"I just don't think it's appropriate to be traveling for a football game when people are planning evacuations," Gov. Jeb Bush said at his news conference in Tallahassee. "That's just one man's opinion."

Citing safety concerns for fans traveling to and from the game, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley moved the kickoff from 6 p.m. to 11:30 a.m.

"If I was a Gator fan, which I am except when they play the University of Miami of course, I wouldn't go to the game if I were living in an area that's going to be impacted by the storm," Bush said. "But that's (for) everybody to make their own decision."

Many made that decision. Empty seats were seen throughout Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, and many fans attempted to sell tickets before the game.

"I appreciate the people who were there," Florida coach Ron Zook said. "And I appreciate Jeremy making the (time) change so we could have people be there to see the game and still be able to get back and do the things they need to do to get ready for this storm."

INJURY WOES: Kentucky linebacker Dustin Williams broke his right arm and left the field on a cart with 9:09 left in the second quarter.

ROTATING LINE: Last season, injuries and inconsistent play forced the Florida coaching staff to shuffle its offensive line. After a stable two weeks, Florida went to its backups Saturday.

By the third series, left tackle Anthony Guerrero and right guard Steve Rissler were substituting for Mo Mitchell and Jonathan Colon. Billy Griffin saw action in the fourth quarter after center Mike Degorywas "banged up."

"(Kentucky was) doing some things, and we were trying to keep some poise on the offensive line," Zook said. "The fact they can all go in there and play is good."

ANDERSON, RHETT HONORED: Florida defensive line coach Jerry "Red" Anderson is among nine inductees into the UF Hall of Fame this spring. Anderson, a starting defensive lineman from 1965-66, was co-captain of the 1967 Orange Bowl team. He began his coaching career in 1967.

Errict Rhett, an All-America running back from 1990-93, also will be inducted. His 4,163 yards are the most in school history.

WYNN-LESS: He had a career-high 15 carries and a touchdown last weekend against Tennessee, but sophomore running back DeShawn Wynn didn't get one carry Saturday. Zook said it's a matter of being rewarded for hard work.

"I've said this a lot of times. DeShawn has a chance to be as good a back as any back that's ever played here. You reward ( Ciatrick Fason) for his work ethic, and we want DeShawn to do the best he can do."

_ ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times staff writer