ESPN 850 WRUF – Gainesville, Florida

Thursday Sports Update (12/18)

By on December 18th, 2014

Today we talk college football, NFL, some NBA news and more in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The Gainesville Sun reports and ESPN 850 WRUF confirms that Gator junior offensive lineman DJ Humphries will leave school early to enter the NFL Draft.

** Speaking of the Gators, New England Patriots defensive lineman Dominique Easley has been placed on injured reserve while offensive lineman Jon Halapio has been signed to the practice squad of the Denver Broncos.

** And former Gator and long time San Francisco 49er defensive lineman Ray McDonald has been cut by the team after allegations surfaced that he is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault.

** Another NFL week begins tonight as Jacksonville hosts Tennessee in a battle between two teams that have each won two games this season.

** In college football, Pitt coach Paul Chryst is officially hired at Wisconsin as its new football coach.

** In the NBA, Boston beats Orlando 109-92 and the Utah Jazz down the Miami Heat 105-87.  Both the Heat and the Magic are off today.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay trades outfielder Wil Myers to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Rene Rivera in a reported three team deal.

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Wednesday Sports Update (12/17)

By on December 17th, 2014

College football, a former Gator goes back to his roots, NBA, NFL and more in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins accepts the same position with the Gator football program; it is the first staff hire for new Gator coach Jim McElwain.

** McElwain also gets his first verbal commitment with Georgia tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe making his announcement on Twitter on Tuesday; he will enroll at UF next month.

** In college football coaching news, Bo Pellini is the new coach at Youngstown State after being fired at Nebraska; Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman is the new man at Houston and LSU coach Les Miles tells anyone who will listen that he is not interested in the vacant Michigan job.

** In the NFL, Jacksonville has its final home game of the year tomorrow when it hosts Tennessee.

** Former Eastside High School and Marshall University football player Gator Hoskins was released by the Miami Dolphins after being with the team all season.

** Former Gator and NFL player Cornelius Ingram, per the Gainesville Sun, is returning to his high school alma mater, Hawthorne, to become the school’s new head football coach.

** In the NBA, Miami downs Brooklyn 95-91; The Heat host Utah tonight while Orlando is at Boston.

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UF Football Has New Defensive Coordinator

By on December 16th, 2014

New Gator football coach Jim McElwain has made the first hire on his new staff.

Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins will take the same position with the Gators.

The hire was first reported by Sports Illustrated at SI.com.

Current Gator defensive coordinator DJ Durkin is Florida’s interim head coach for the Gator bowl game on January 3; he is scheduled to speak to the media on Thursday.

Collins and McElwain both served on the Alabama staff under Nick Saban in 2007.

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen spoke to the media today in Starkville and said he didn’t like anyone leaving his program “for what I would view a lateral move to be perfectly honest.”

 

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Tuesday Sports Update (12/16)

By on December 16th, 2014

In a slow sports day, we’ll talk NFL, NBA, some college football and more in our Tuesday Sports Update..

** Monday Night Football sees the New Orleans Saints take the lead in a weak NFC South with a 31-15 win over the Chicago Bears.   Despite being 6-8, the Saints lead the division with two games left in the season.

** A nightmare season for the Tampa Bay Bucs got worse when Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was lost for the season with a knee sprain.

** In college football, Auburn junior wide receiver Sammie Coates is declaring for the NFL Draft.   Coates was a big play receiver for the Tigers over his career there.

** In the NBA, Toronto downs Orlando 95-82 while the Miami Heat were off.  The Heat are in Brooklyn tonight while the Magic are off.

** In baseball, infielder Chase Headley agrees to a new four year deal to stay with the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox formally announce the signing of free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera.

** Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Kellen Winslow Sr. has resigned as the athletic director at Florida A&M after just eight months on the job.  Winslow was heavily criticized for the way he fired football coach Earl Homes during the school’s Homecoming Week festivities.

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Dolphins Trounced by Patriots 41-13, Playoff Hopes Look Bleak

By on December 16th, 2014

The Miami Dolphins fell further in the AFC wild card hunt as they dropped to 7-7 after losing 41-13 to the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The Dolphins kept up with the Patriots early, ending the first quarter only down four points. After that, it was all New England as they went on a 34-10 run to end the game with quarterback Tom Brady throwing for 287 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.  Tight end Rob Gronkowski led the team in receiving with three catches for 96 yards and a TD.

Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who threw for 346 yards with one TD and two interceptions, talked about the team’s downfalls during the game.

“I felt good coming into the half. Came in with a little momentum. They scored to start the half, but I still felt good about our offense. Then we had the third and short, and came up six inches short. Then the next drive we had the pick where Lamar [Miller] got hit in the back, so it was kind of frustrating. Then they’re scoring points and you’re just not going to win.”

Next week, the Dolphins take on the Minnesota Vikings (6-8) at home as they try and salvage any playoff hopes, while the Patriots (11-3) take on the New York Jets (3-11) at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

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Monday Sports Update (12/15)

By on December 15th, 2014

Football, hoops, a local coach stepping down and more in our Monday Sports Update…

** Both Gator basketball teams are victorious on Sunday; the Gator men blast Jacksonville 79-34 while the Gator women beat Stetson 59-54.   Both teams have exams now and won’t play again until this weekend.

** In the NBA, Kobe Bryant passes Michael Jordan for third place in all time NBA scoring in a game against Minnesota Sunday.   Ahead of Bryant now are Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

** The Chicago Bulls down the Miami Heat 93-75 even without former Gator Joakim Noah who misses his third straight game with a bum ankle.   Miami is off today while Orlando is at Toronto tonight.

** In the NFL, another bad day for Florida teams as they all lose; the Jags drop a 20-12 decision at Baltimore; the Bucs lose 19-17 at Carolina and Miami is blown out 41-13 at New England.

** Monday Night Football tonight has two bad teams as New Orleans is at Chicago.   Even though the Saints are 5-8, they are in the playoff hunt in the NFC.

** Long time Ocala Trinity Catholic head football coach John Brantley will be stepping down after seven seasons as head coach.

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Gators Men’s Basketball Throttles Jacksonville

By on December 15th, 2014

The Florida Gator men’s basketball team moved to 6-4 on the season by dominating the Jacksonville Dolphins (2-9) 79-34 Sunday afternoon at the O’Connell Center.

The Gators led by just 10 points at halftime, but outscored JU 45-10 in the second period to pull away in dominating fashion.

Forward Dorian Finney-Smith led Florida by scoring a career-high 25 points, shooting 10 of 15 from the field while making 5 of 7 three point attempts.

“The one guy I thought elevated our team in the second half in particular was Doe-Doe,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “He did a really, really good job you know, rebounding, effort, those kinds of things.”

This is the healthiest Finney-Smith has been since he injured his left non-shooting hand in the Gators’ season opener against William & Mary.

“I think he’s at least moving to a point of being healthier each day,” Donovan said. “We get a little bit of time here before we play again with finals, hopefully the week will help him get closer to being one hundred percent.”

Guard Michael Frazier II added 22 points, making 8 of 14 shots from the field and going 6 of 11 from three. The Gators made a season high 13 threes in the contest.

Despite the 45 point margin of victory, Donovan wasn’t entirely pleased with the performance, in particular with his team’s effort in the first half.

“I think, that’s part of these guys’ growing process there,” Donovan said. “It takes an enormous amount of mental discipline and focus to really understand what you need to do and how you need to play. And I really thought from a competitive standpoint, I know the scoreboard didn’t say it, but I thought they outworked us, out-competed us.”

Florida now gets six days off before their next game, Saturday against Wake Forest in the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. Tip off from Sunrise, FL is set for 5:00 P.M., with coverage on Country 103.7 The Gator.

Click below to listen to audio from this story:

Donovan on Finney-Smith

Donovan on Finney-Smith’s Injury

Donovan on Negatives

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Gator Women’s Hoops holds on to beat Stetson

By on December 15th, 2014

The Gator women’s basketball team (6-4) effectively snapped its three game losing streak on Sunday afternoon after escaping with a 59-54 victory over Stetson (7-3) at the O’Connell Center.

It was not a pretty sight offensively for either team as they both shot under 40 percent from the field and committed over 20 turnovers. The Gators had just one player, guard Carlie Needles, who scored in double figures with just 10 points.

Although neither team played their best basketball of the season, the Gators were able to get the win by gaining the upper hand in a number of key categories. In the paint, the Gators outscored Stetson 30-20 and outrebounded them 47-39. UF also had 19 offensive rebounds, six of which came from guard Kayla Lewis.

“I mean, you just give your team another chance to score. You get more opportunities and I think the team that has the most opportunities will win, so just getting more rebounds just gives us the ball more,” said Lewis. “It’s just kinda like in football, if you have the ball more, time of possession, you’re more likely to win. And I think that’s the same thing with rebounding in basketball, you wanna give your team as many chances to score as you can.”

The Gators capitalized on Stetson’s mistakes by scoring 25 points off of their 26 turnovers and managed to outscore their bench 20-8 despite shooting just 34 percent from the field.

“I’m just really proud of our overall effort. I think Stetson’s a really good team, I think it’s a postseason team. I think they were coached very well…had a great game plan coming in,” said Gator head coach Amanda Butler. “There’s a lot of familiarity on that staff down there, one of our former managers is an assistant coach. So, they knew a lot of things we were gonna do and I think that was great for us to have to overcome that…and to do it with a lot of composure and a lot of toughness.”

The Gators will try to win two in a row when they face Southern University next Sunday to begin the Gator Holiday Classic. Tipoff for that game is set for 2:30 pm but you can catch live coverage of the game on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 2:15.

To listen to the audio mentioned above, click below:

Lewis on her rebounding

Butler on the team overcoming challenges

 

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NFL: Dolphins, Buccaneers, Jaguars Preview

By on December 14th, 2014

It’s Week 15 in the NFL and most teams are doing everything possible to win each week in hopes of making it to the playoffs. With the exception of the Miami Dolphins at times, it hasn’t been the greatest of seasons for Florida’s NFL teams.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers(2-11) are struggling to get wins under new head coach Lovie Smith. It seems they do everything possible to prevent themselves from coming out on  top at the end of games. They are coming off a loss to Detroit and the week before they blew a chance at a last minute field goal for the win caused by a penalty for having too many players on the field. This week they look to change that when they face Carolina who is without their starting quarterback, Cam Newton.

Newton was injured in a automobile accident earlier this week and suffered a fracture in his lower back. Derek Anderson will be taking the snaps in his place Sunday but for Smith the preparation coming into this game will be the same regardless of who will be behind the center at the start of the game.

Lovie Smith comments on facing Carolinas offense

The season is going about to same for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They also have just two wins on the season. Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles has had a hard time keeping the ball out of the defense’s hands; he’s thrown 16 interceptions on the year which has been a factor in his team only putting up an average of 15.2 points per game..

The Jags secondary will have quite a task trying to contain the dynamic duo that is Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receiver Steve Smith when they travel to take on the Ravens. Jags head coach Gus Bradley is confident in his team’s ability to go get this win if they go up there with an aggressive mentality and play until the end.

What Head Coach Gus Bradley expects from his team

The year has been a little different for Miami who has a record of 7-6.  They are second in the AFC East behind only New England who happens to be their Week 15 opponent. The Dolphins look to have the same outcome as they did earlier in the season when they beat Tom Brady and the Patriots 33- 20.

The Dolphins will have to find a way to replace starting line backers Koa Misi and Jalani Jenkins who are still out with injuries. Miami head coach Joe Philbin knows that if his team wants to go out there and get a win, they must eliminate the negative plays such as penalties and sacks.

Joe Philbins comments on Dolphins eleminating negative plays

One person that is anxious to play this game is Tom Brady, who knows these teams are completely different from the last time they faced each other in Week 1.

Tom Bradys comments on the teams being different from week 1

All three of these games are set to begin at 1 pm.

 

 

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Roller Coaster Weekend for Gator Volleyball Ends with Loss to Stanford

By on December 14th, 2014

The second weekend of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament pitted the best 16 teams in the nation in search for the best eight, and then the best four teams.

The eighth seeded Florida volleyball team had an interesting challenge when they were slated to face the ninth seed Illinois in the the Regional Semifinals. But the Friday night showdown was only the beginning of the roller coaster.

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And then there were eight.

For the first time since 2011, the Gators made it to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight.

Florida (28-3, 18-0 SEC) defeated Illinois (26-8, 16-4 Big Ten) 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 16-14) Friday night, extending its overall winning streak to 23 straight matches.

Three different UF players recorded double-doubles, and Illinois was held to a .170 hitting clip and committed 32 total errors.

Freshman middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan finished with 15 kills and 10 total blocks, but it was backup blocker Shainah Joesph who came up big for the Gators down the stretch. Joseph ended the night with seven kills on 13 attempts and five blocks.

“I’ll tell you this,” associate head coach Dave Boos said.  “Shainah Joseph is a secret weapon that we’ve known about that she could do some pretty special things. But that was an unbelievable situation, the biggest situation, to step into that forefront and make the plays she did. (She) was a monster.”

With Alhassan out, Joseph accounted for three of Florida’s final seven points to close out the fifth set.

Sophomore Alex Holston also had a big contribution, finishing with 18 kills and 10 digs. Setter Mackenzie Dagostino was the third UF player to earn a double-double, compiling 51 assists, 10 digs and four kills.

It was the most closely contested match of the tournament for Florida, as the two teams tied 90 times throughout the five sets.

The Gators finally began to pull away from the Fighting Illini in the fourth set, when they took a 12-6 lead after a leaping kill from junior Gabby Mallette. Mallette tallied 10 kills and three blocks.

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With all roads leading to Stanford, even before the tournament began, the Gators knew that they would have to face the top-seeded squad. Saturday night’s match-up further proved Stanford’s dominance.

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While the Gators were sweet in the field of 16, they couldn’t overcome the elite Stanford Cardinals.

Florida’s season came to an end as the Orange and Blue fell in straight sets to top seeded Stanford (17-25, 22-25, 21-25) at Hilton Coliseum.

The Gators were put on their heels quickly, as Stanford (33-1, 19-1 Pac-12)  hit .560, committed just one hitting error while never trailing in the first set. After swinging at .293 in the second set, the Cardinal surged past Florida with a .441 mark in the third.

There were only two lead changes throughout the entire match, which came in the second set.

Sophomore Alex Holston hit .533 with 18 kills to lead the Gators, while junior outside hitter Gabby Mallette posted a season-high 14 kills towards UF’s efforts against a tough Stanford squad. Senior libero Holly Pole ended the night with 17 digs, while junior setter Mackenzie Dagostino added 44 assists.

SEC Freshman of the Year Rhamat Alhassan and SEC Player of the Year Alex Holston were both named to the NCAA Volleyball Ames Regional All-Tournament team.

Florida also bids farewell to three seniors: Maddy Monserez, Holly Pole and Taylor Unroe, who compiled a 110-19 (.853) record while donning the Orange and Blue. The trio were winners of two SEC titles and made four straight NCAA Tournaments.

Florida associate head coach Dave Boos spoke highly of the seniors and their impact on the squad and season.

““Obviously, our front row players, our point scorers all return, but how do you replace the heart and soul of your team?” Boos said. “That’s going to take a while.”

The squad has four matches scheduled for the spring, with the first of these matches against FSU, in Tallahassee, on March 21st.

For more post match comments from associate head coach Dave Boos, click below:

Boos recaps the Stanford match

Boos on Stanford’s strong passing

Boos on Stanford’s passing and speed

Boos on losing three seniors (Pole, Unroe, Monserez)

Boos recaps the Gators’ season

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