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Gator Volleyball Drops Match to Texas, 3-1

By on September 7th, 2014

Freshman Carli Snyder and junior Noami Santos-Lamb both posted career-best performances against the Texas volleyball squad, but the third ranked Longhorns edged the 11th ranked Florida Gators 3-1 (16-25, 28-26, 17-25, 16-25) Saturday night in front of a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 4,845 in the first of two meetings between the two teams this season. Florida will wrap up its regular-season slate November 29 in Austin with the second Gators/Longhorns tilt of the campaign.

Snyder registered a career-best 18 kills to lead Florida (3-2) and turned in a .324 hitting efficiency against Texas (4-0), while Santos-Lamb made it three consecutive matches with double-digit kills, including a career-best 14 Saturday. Another freshman in middle blocker in Rhamat Alhassan paced the Gators with a .417 clip (7-2-12) and had three roofs to lead UF for the fifth straight match in blocks. It was Texas’ 16 blocks as a team, compared to Florida’s five that had the Gators off balance.

In addition to Snyder (18.5) and Santos-Lamb (14), sophomore All-American right side Alex Holston (10.5) put up a double-digit point performance with nine kills, a service ace and a block assist.

Gator coach Mary Wise was quick to look at the loss as a strong learning experience for her squad.

“The takeaway from the match is to play against an elite blocking team and learn what a game-changer that is,” Wise said. “Great experiences for our young players and they rose to the challenge — Rhamat (Alhassan) and Carli (Snyder), especially. Our goal right now is just to narrow the gap that existed tonight when we play Texas again in November.”

The Orange and Blue now hit the road to the West Coast for a Thursday date with 15th ranked San Diego, followed by a meeting with number six Southern California in Trojan territory for the USC Classic.

The San Diego matchup is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday; while the USC matchup is slated for 10:30 p.m. Friday. You’ll be able to catch both matches on ESPN 850 WRUF.

For postgame comments from coach Wise, as well as Noami Santos-Lamb, click here:

Wise talks about Texas’ blocking

Wise discusses the performances of Alhassan and Snyder

Wise talks about new starters facing difficult competition

Santos-Lamb discusses facing tough competition early in the season

Santos-Lamb talks about coming back from injury last season

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Gator Football Blows Out Eastern Michigan 65-0 In Season Opener

By on September 7th, 2014

The 2014 Florida Gator football team made quite a statement to their critics and fans in their season opener against Eastern Michigan in a blow out 65-0 win.

The Gators extended their opening day win streak to 25 games, which is the second longest nationally behind Nebraska’s 29.

Florida’s 65 point outburst were the most points scored thus far in Will Muschamp’s tenure.

Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s new offensive scheme was put on full display in front of 81,049 at The Swamp, as the Gators ran 86 plays for 655 total yards. The person who benefited most from this new offense was quarterback Jeff Driskel. He completed 31 of 45 passes for 248 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. Driskel had already surpassed his career high of 22 completions five minutes into the third quarter. The last Florida Gator quarterback to have more than 30 completions in a game was Tim Tebow, who had 31 in his final college game, the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

The Gators got their first points of the season on a 33 yard field goal from Frankie Velez. However, it wasn’t long before Florida got their first touchdown of 2014. After defensive lineman Caleb Brantley recovered a fumbled snap from EMU quarterback Reginald Bell, running back Kelvin Taylor ran for a 31-yard touchdown on the first play of the six second drive to make it 10-0 Gators. Taylor finished with eight carries for 68 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Shortly after on the next Florida drive, running back Matt Jones, who missed most of the 2013 season with a knee injury, got his first of two touchdowns on a 40-yard burst up the middle. Jones was also the recipient of Driskel’s only touchdown, a four yard pass, which made it 37-0 Gators early in the third quarter. Running back Brandon Powell scored as well on a 12-yard run in the second quarter. The Gators didn’t have three different backs score on a running touchdown in the same game all of last season.

At the wide receiver position, Demarcus Robinson led the way for the Orange and Blue with six receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown. Right behind him was Quinton Dunbar, who hauled in five catches for 81 yards.  Tight end Clay Burton had the most receptions with seven.

Robinson was suspended for what was supposed to be the Gators first game against Idaho. However, it was ruled a no contest so he was eligible to play against Eastern Michigan. Driskel was definitely excited to have him back.

“He’s a big time play maker and he can make plays on the ball down the field. You have to have big plays in this league in order to win. We’re happy that he’s back out there and that he’s contributing to this team because we’re going to need him this year,” Driskel said.

The Florida defense held the Eagles to just 125 yards of total offense. In addition, they forced five turnovers including four forced fumbles and a 36 yard pick six by true freshman safety Duke Dawson. He became the first true freshman in school history to return an interception for a touchdown in his first collegiate game. Gator head coach Will Muschamp said winning the turnover battle is huge.

“We stress it all the time. I think we do have some ball hawk type guys. I go back to 2009 I believe at Texas, I think we led the country in turnovers. We had a guy named Earl Thomas who was the 17th pick in the draft. I think he had seven or eight interceptions, he had four or five caused fumbles.”

Muschamp praised red-shirt senior Neiron Ball on his big game on defense as well.

“Neiron’s a very good football player. He’s a guy that can play really well in space as far as a linebacker is concerned. He’s got good off the ball instincts, he’s also a good end of the line player. He’s a very good pass rusher and we can get him in some match up situations. If people are going to slide the protection to Dante[Fowler Jr.], we can create some one on one’s for Neiron on a back or a tight end that will be advantageous for us.”

After Dawson’s pick six made it 51-0 Gators late in the third quarter, Jeff Driskel was done for the day; that gave back up quarterback Treon Harris a chance to get some reps. He wasted no time showing why he deserved to be the back up quarterback. On his first pass as a Gator, Harris hit wide receiver Demarcus Robinson on a 70-yard touchdown strike, but Harris wasn’t done. On his second drive, the true freshman connected on a 78-yard touchdown bomb to tailback Mark Herndon. It’s only the first game of the season and Harris already has a career QB rating of 1,051.6.

“I told Kurt the guy[Treon Harris] needs to play. We need to play the guy, we don’t need to sit on the ball,” Muschamp said. “We need to take some shots and we did that. We had a smash called in the boundary which we felt like based on how they had been playing to that point was just going to be a hitch ball thrown into the boundary, but they rolled up into cover two and he took right to his middle read throw to Mark Herndon.”

Despite the much needed blowout victory for the Gators, it did come at a price. Florida lost tight end Jake McGee for the season after he broke his tibia and fibula in the second quarter. The injury occurred when 360-pound offensive tackle, Trenton Brown, rolled up on McGee’s left ankle and leg. McGee transferred from Virginia Tech after earning his undergraduate degree and was expected to be a key contributor in Roper’s new offensive game plan.

“I’m so disappointed for him,” Muschamp said. “It’s very difficult to come into a situation for one year, and he’s done it as well as you could imagine.”

After McGee was carted off the field, senior Clay Burton stepped up by making a career high seven catches for 42 yards.

“I think he proved that he’s a complete tight end,” Driskel said. “His hands have continued to get better. He worked a lot on that in the offseason. I think he had a really good game and I think it was seven catches which has to be a career high.”

Another Gator to suffer an injury in the season opener was starting left tackle D.J. Humphries. He suffered a chipped bone in his ankle that will sideline him for two to three weeks, but Muschamp said “no surgery is needed.”

Florida knows its next game won’t be this easy, but it was a pretty good tune up to get them ready for SEC play. Now the Gators will turn their sights on their first SEC game of the season, which will be against Kentucky this Saturday.

Kickoff from The Swamp is scheduled for 7:30.

For audio of the above quotes, click below:

Driskel on Robinson’s play making ability

Muschamp on winning turnover battle

Muschamp on Neiron Ball

Muschamp on Treon Harris

Muschamp on McGee injury

Driskel on Clay Burton

 

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Video: Gators Shut Eastern Michigan Out 65-0 In Season Opener

By on September 7th, 2014

The Florida Football team kicked off its 2014 campaign right blanking the Eastern Michigan Eagles 65-0. WRUF’s Bonnie Mott recaps the squad’s big win. Up next, the Gators open conference play as they welcome Kentucky to the Swamp.

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Photo Gallery from Florida vs. Eastern Michigan

By on September 7th, 2014

Some images from the Gators 65-0 win over Eastern Michigan.

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Gator Football Opens Season With Big Win

By on September 6th, 2014

The Florida football team opened play for the 2014 season on Saturday and came away with a big 65-0 home win over Eastern Michigan.

Florida gained 655 yards of total offense and ran off 86 plays in the debut of new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s offense.

Meanwhile the defense pitched a shutout, causing five turnovers and holding the Eagles to just 125 yards of total offense.

Look here for more stories about tonight’s game coming soon.

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VIDEO: Gators Fired Up To Kickoff Season; Florida vs Eastern Michigan Preview

By on September 6th, 2014

WRUF/WUFT’s Bonnie Mott previews Florida vs Eastern Michigan. Kickoff is set for 4 PM from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and you can catch all the pregame action on ESPN 850 WRUF beginning at noon.

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SEC Football Round-Up: Week 2

By on September 6th, 2014

 There isn’t a lot of sizzle in this week’s slate of SEC football games as most league school’s are facing non-conference rivals.   However, Ole Miss does play Vanderbilt.

Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt

Ole Miss is 1-0 after winning its season opener 35-13 against Boise State. On the other side of the ball Vanderbilt lost 37-7 to the Temple Owls making their record 0-1.

Ole Miss is relying on quarterback Bo Wallace this season. In his first game Wallace completed 25 of 36 passes, but he also threw three picks.  He did throw for 387 yards and four touchdowns.  

The Ole Miss defense came out ready to play. It forced four interceptions, had three sacks, and 10 tackles for loss.

 “I thought our defense played extremely well most of the game, as did our special teams. Offensively we struggled the entire first half, but settled in the second half and played much better so hopefully we will keep improving in all areas this Saturday up in Nashville,” said Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze.

Vanderbilt struggled on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Stephen Rivers completed 12 of his 25 passes for 186 yards and no touchdowns. The Commodores also played quarterbacks Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary to try and generate offense.

 According to Vandy head coach Derek Mason the team is focusing on the team they need to be.

“They have done exactly what they needed to do, make the changes, refocus… you know understand who they are. More or less what we need to do is be the team we want to be.”

Alabama vs. FAU

The Alabama Crimson Tide will host Florida Atlantic University at Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday.

Alabama is coming off a 33-23 win against the West Virginia Mountaineers, and FAU is trying to bounce back from a 55-7 blowout against Nebraska.

Crimson Tide’s quarterback Blake Sims completed 24 of 33 passes for 250 yards but the FAU defense will have to account for Sims as a runner as well.  But a bigger worry for the Owls might be the running back tandem of Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon, who both ran for over 100 yards last week.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said his team had some problems on defense and many had a lot to do with lack of communication between new linebackers and the secondary.

“I think most of the things we didn’t do correctly can be corrected, which is very encouraging,” said Saban. “I think we are capable of playing a lot better, which is a challenge for the coaches because we are ultimately responsible for how they guys go out there and play… and that’s something we hope to do a better job of this week.”

South Carolina vs. East Carolina

The South Carolina Gamecocks kicked off their season with a SEC matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies where they lost 52-28.

The Gamecocks offense couldn’t get moving on the ground as they rushed 22 times for 67 yards. But a bigger concern was a defense that allowed A&M to accumulate 680 yards and 39 first downs.

It doesn’t sound like South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier expects the East Carolina game to be an easy win.

“East Carolina is well coached, and have had continuous success year after year,” said Spurrier.

East Carolina had its own blow out of a different sort beating North Carolina Central 52-7. If the Gamecocks want to add a win to their record they could have to get their ground game moving, but that may be difficult against the Pirates defense that held their last week’s opponents to 70 rushing yards.

Kentucky vs. Ohio

Both the Kentucky Wildcats and the Ohio Bobcats are coming off season opening wins. The Wildcats defeated UT Martin 59-14 while Ohio edged Kent State 17-14.

“I felt the preparation was good, and I felt like we played with great energy,” said Kentucky’s head coach Mark Stoops. “That was good and exciting to see.”

The Wildcats racked up 656 yards of total offense and scored six rushing touchdowns. The Bobcats went in as the under dogs in their match up against Kent State but came out victorious.

A Bobcat defense that held Kent State to 295 yards of total offense, 17 first downs, and 31 rushing yards on eight carries may provide a challenge to Kentucky.

Here’s a list of the rest of the other SEC games this week:

Missouri @ Toledo

Arkansas State @ Tennessee

UAB @ Mississippi State

Eastern Michigan @ Florida

Nicholls State @ Arkansas

East Carolina @ South Carolina

San Jose State @ Auburn

Sam Houston @ LSU

Lamar @ Texas A&M

For sound from some SEC coaches Click here:

Hugh Freeze- Ole Miss Head Coach

Derek Mason- Vanderbilt Head Coach

Nick Saban- Alabama Head Coach

Steve Spurrier- South Carolina Head Coach

Mark Stoops- Kentucky Head Coach

 

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Gator Volleyball to Continue Tough Non-Conference Schedule; Host No. 3 Texas

By on September 6th, 2014

The third ranked Texas Longhorn volleyball team (3-0) comes to Gainesville Saturday to face nationally ranked Florida for the first of two meetings between the two powerhouses this season.

The last time the 11th ranked Gators (3-1) faced the Longhorns, things didn’t go smoothly. In the meeting in the 2012 NCAA Regionals, the Gators fell in straight sets to Texas.

The Gators head into this match following the 2014 edition of the Sunshine State volleyball showdown, in which the Gators fell short in five sets after a gritty battle against eighth ranked Florida State (30-28, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25, 9-15).

But Gator head coach Mary Wise was quick not to let the loss linger for too long.

“It was a great match this early in the season,” Wise said. “Credit Florida State with how well they played in making the plays at the end, but we couldn’t be more proud of our team’s effort. There are lots of positives to take from it; we’ll be a better team down the road from playing in this environment and playing as gritty and tough as we did.”

The Gators do lead the all-time matchup against the Longhorns, 12-7 (12-6 under Mary Wise). Also on their side is a 2010 five-set victory over Texas, the last time these two met in Gainesville.

The Orange and Blue then hit the road to the west coast for a Thursday (9/11) date with 15th ranked San Diego, followed by a meeting with number six Southern California in Trojan territory (9/12).

Saturday’s match is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.

To hear coach Wise’s comments, click here:

Wise on the team’s hard-fought match against FSU

Wise on scheduling tough competition early in the season

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Gainesville High blanks Eastside 49-0

By on September 6th, 2014
The Gainesville Hurricanes (1-1) blew out the Eastside Rams (0-2) with a 49-0 win on Friday night at Citizens Field.
It’s a satisfying win for Gainesville head coach Mark Latsko; his team is a week removed from suffering a heartbreaking one-point overtime loss to Columbia.
“We were a little down after the loss (to Columbia) but then we got to prepare for in-city rival Eastside so the kids got up for it and they played their hearts out tonight,” said Latsko.
Gainesville quarterback Caelan Christian threw for 263 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 40 yards as well.
“Caelan’s just maturing nicely,” said Latsko. “He’s a junior, he’s been a starting quarterback now for a full season and a couple of games. So he’s continuing to mature and play better each game.”
From here, the Hurricanes will travel to Madison County (2-0) next week in Week 3.
“They’re a tough, hard-nosed football team,” Latsko said. “Coach Coe (Madison County head coach) does a great job and we’re gonna have our hands full with a very talented Madison County football team.”
For audio on the above quotes, click below:
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Florida Soccer Looks for Revenge Against FSU

By on September 5th, 2014

The Florida Gator soccer team is heading to Tallahassee tonight to face in-state rival Florida State. The Gators head into the game 3-1 on the season coming off of a 4-0 win against Oklahoma State. Those same Florida State Seminoles also defeated the Cowboys earlier in the season narrowly winning 2-1 in double overtime.

While the Gators did win their game against the Oklahoma State, Florida head coach Becky Burleigh wasn’t too pleased with the pace of the game.

” When you have that much time and space, you think I should take time and space, but it slows the game down so much and then you start to make unforced errors,” said Burleigh.

Florida will look to improve on controlling pace as they try to avenge their loss to the Seminoles last year. FSU came into Gainesville and blanked the Gators 3- 0. Luckily, for the Gators both teams have a similar style of play.

” When we play FSU, it’s like playing ourselves because we have the same styles. It’s kind of nice to be preparing for a team in a way you already play anyway,” said Burleigh.

Florida hopes to give FSU its first blemish of the season when the Sunshine Showdown kicks off at 7 pm.

Burleigh 1 - On Controlling the Pace of the Game

Burleigh 2 -Burleigh on the Similar Styles of Florida-FSU

 

 

 

 

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