The Detroit Lions will take on the Seattle Seahawks tonight at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.
Both teams enter the match up in need of victories; Seattle is just 1-2 and third in the NFC West while Detroit is winless, with an 0-3 record.
Despite the poor record, Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson believes the team is still capable of making the playoffs.
“Expectations have to stay the same,” Johnson said. “We are a playoff team. We showed that last year with a first-year coaching staff.”
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford says the run game needs to be more consistent.
“You want to be balanced, there’s no question,” Stafford said.
Detroit ranks last in the NFL in rushing yards, with only 135 total rushing yards this season. The team averages only 45 rushing yards per game. The Lions face a huge challenge tonight as Seattle ranks second in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing only 301 total rushing yards this season.
The Seahawks will be looking to improve their passing, as they rank 27th in the NFL in passing yards per game, averaging only 212 yards per game.
Seattle also faces the challenge of replacing Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks’ running back will miss tonight’s game with a hamstring injury.
The game will air live on ESPN tonight at 8:30 p.m.
The Florida volleyball team is now 1-3 in SEC play after losing at Arkansas on Sunday.
The match went to five sets. Arkansas took the first set of the game 25-23, but the Gators would turn it around in the second set winning 25-15. Arkansas once again took another set in the third, 25-19. Florida won the fourth set 25-18, but Arkansas would claim the win in the fifth, 18-16.
The Gators are now 9-4 overall. Florida coach Mary Wise says Arkansas’ ability to score “big” points gave them the win.
“If it had been a boxing match we would have won by decision. Unfortunately, it’s by points and Arkansas won the big points when it mattered.”
With the win, Arkansas has now won five matches in a row, including four matches being won in the fifth set. Wise credits the Razorbacks for their ability to be clutch in these wins.
“[They] played so well just to win the big points and credit Arkansas…they won five straight and four of those last five have come in fifth sets.”
During the match, Florida starting setter Mackenzie Dagostino sustained a concussion causing her to leave the game. Abby Detering took over in the third set and had a career high 30 assists by the end of the match. Wise says exceptional individual performances like Detering’s matter just as much as a win itself.
“Abby Detering did a terrific job. She’s never been on the floor in a fifth set and I think the third set is when we realized Mackenzie was not capable of playing anymore.”
Florida tries to get back on the winning track Friday as it welcomes the Texas A&M Aggies into the O’Dome at 7:00 PM. Live coverage starts at 6:50 PM on ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM.
As Sunday’s NFL games wrapped up, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Miami all saw their records drop to 1-3 after losses. Up in Indianapolis, the Colts edged out the Jags in overtime with a tie-breaking field goal by Adam Vinatieri. The game ended with the Colts winning 16-13.
Indianapolis Colts’ Frank Gore (23) runs out of the tackle of Jacksonville Jaguars’ Johnathan Cyprien (37) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
“We just didn’t finish. We didn’t finish. So I’m not concerned about it because I think this team in that locker room, they know what it takes. We just need to keep consistently putting it together I think as far as the good plays,” said Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley.
In Tampa Bay, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for a career-high 287 yards and two touchdowns but it was not enough to stop the undefeated Carolina Panthers from winning 37-23. Carolina is now 4-0 for the first time since 2003.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
The Miami Dolphins played the New York Jets in London. Miami was not able to crack New York’s defense, going 0 for 12 on third downs and 0 for 4 on fourth downs. The Jets won 27-14 and Miami head coach Joe Philbin is not happy with his team’s current record.
“I expected to be better than one and three…you guys expected to be better than one and three. That’s what we are. As somebody said, you are what you are in football.'”
Next Sunday, the Bucs and the Jags will face off in Tampa, while the Dolphins head into a bye week.
To listen to Bradley’s and Philbin’s audio clips, click below.
Amanda Butler addresses the Gator Madness crowd last Friday.
The Florida women’s basketball team is practicing now in preparation for the start of the 2015/16 season that begins with a game at Temple University on November 13th. Florida comes off a 13-17 season a year ago.
The Gator women participated in this past weekend’s Gator Madness event and UF coach Amanda Butler and the Gators answered questions about the upcoming season at their annual Media Day.
Butler stresses that the team and coaching staff are ready to get started and show the Gator Nation how much they have improved in all aspects of the game. With five returning seniors, including Carlie Needles, Cassie Peoples and others, and new bonding strategies, the Gators have high hopes for this season.
“I think collectively this group has a chance to be one of the best teams that ever played here,” said Butler.
One of two freshmen on the team traveled a long way from home to be a part of Gator Nation. Standing at 5’11” Eleanna Christinaki is from Athens, Greece. Coach Butler believes the guard is a great asset to the team.
“She’s fun to watch, she’s fun to play, she’s a lot of personality, she gives us size on the perimeter, she can shoot it, but she’s just really dynamic with the ball in her hands and really threatening. I think she’s a tough match up,” Butler said.
It was noted that during the summer, the Gators faced new obstacles and bonding experiences while adventuring in the woods at Camp Crystal Lake and new training experiences in the ring while boxing.
To win the close games they lost last season (Florida lost seven games by seven points or less) all 13 Gators are expected to give their all on the court this season and to display the toughness and sister-hoods that were instilled in them during the off-season.
Click below to listen to audio from Amanda Butler.
On paper, the Florida Gators wouldn’t be able to hang with the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels had gone on the road and beaten Alabama.; its offense averaged close to 55 points per game, good for second best in the country. And don’t even bring up their “Landshark” defensive unit featuring maybe the best lineman in the SEC, Robert Nkemdiche. On top of being outmatched on paper, the Gators had been ravaged by a flu bug that, reportedly, had affected up to 21 players during the week. All signs pointed to an Ole Miss victory, but that’s why the game is played.
In front of a loud and ready for an upset crowd in the Swamp, Florida ripped the third ranked Rebels 38-10 Saturday night.
Both offenses came out in the game and promptly went three-and-out. The Gators got the ball back and never looked back from there. Red shirt freshman quarterback Will Grier found junior wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for a 36 yard touchdown to break the scoreless tie with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. That completion was the first for 20+ yards that the Ole Miss secondary had allowed this season. Grier was one of the Gators that had been dealing with those flu-like symptoms coming in to the game. In fact, he was listed as questionable entering the game. Based on the results in the game, it seemed like he was “healthy as a horse.”
Grier had his best performance as a Gator finishing the game 24 of 29 for 271 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half. It was the first time a Gator quarterback threw four touchdowns in a half since Chris Leak in 2005 against Kentucky. After the game, Grier was all smiles and seems very happy with the direction of the offense.
“As an offense we’re just starting to click, I think it’s starting to come together for us,” Grier said. “Preparation, I think we’re doing a better job preparing, and the guys around me, I mean, we’re all kind of elevating as a team and doing a really good job.”
The Gators offense totaled 355 yards, adding 84 yards on the ground to Grier’s 271 through the air. Florida had struggled mightily on third down conversions coming in to this game posting an abysmal 38% conversion rate, 23 for 61. On this night, the Gators finished 8-for-16 on third downs, and also won the all important turnover battle. The Rebels turned the ball over four times to the Gators zero. UF coach Jim McElwain was extremely pleased with the performance from his team.
“That was a good football team we beat,” McElwain stated. “That was really a good football team, and our guys took it took them.”
The Gator defense was stifling all night, not allowing Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly to ever get comfortable in the game. Linebacker Antonio Morrison finished with a team high 13 tackles. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III picked off Kelly, his third interception of the season. The Gators also combined for four sacks. A dominating effort in holding the high-powered Rebel offense to a season low 10 points. McElwain could not have asked for a better performance from that side of the ball.
“It starts, obviously with defense,” McElwain explained. “Our defense played their tails off, they had a great plan, and I thought the guys executed it.”
As for Ole Miss, their key play makers stayed quiet throughout the game. Kelly finished 26 of 40 for 259 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception and fumbled twice. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell had five receptions for a team-high 42 yards. And defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche only recorded one tackle. .
Florida now hits the road for the foreseeable future as they won’t have a game in the friendly confines of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for over a month. The Gators will take on the Missouri Tigers coming up next Saturday. Last year, the Tigers embarrassed the Gators 42-13 in game where Missouri totaled just 119 yards of offense. McElwain wants to see how his team handles some success heading out on the road.
“I’m looking forward to getting to break down this Missouri squad and put the plan together,” McElwain exclaimed. “(We’ll) see how we do on the road and see how we handle all this, and yet, that’s the way it should be.”
While McElwain and other Gator coaches and players have said they move past each game quickly, this major upset might hang around in their minds a little longer. Florida will take on Missouri in Columbia next Saturday night at 7:30.
The Florida volleyball team looks to rebound in SEC play Sunday when it travels to face Arkansas.
Florida has lost back to back SEC games for the first time since 2011 and it will face an excellent Arkansas team Sunday. Florida is 1-2 in the conference and 9-3 overall. Gator coach Mary Wise says it is up to her team to respond.
“How we respond…I’ll be able to answer that in terms of our focus, our ability to be resilient, (and) to bounce back.”
Arkansas is currently 12-2 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. Wise says the Razorbacks are an impressive team and will be challenging.
“Playing at Arkansas, a team that ended the non-conference with a huge win at Wisconsin, and then starting off the league undefeated. A much improved Arkansas team that’s playing very well.”
The Florida Gators will be in Arkansas this Sunday to face the Razorbacks at 4:00 PM. Live coverage will begin at 3:50 PM on ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM.
The Baltimore Ravens (1-3) opened up Week 4 of the NFL season with a 23-20 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2).
Thursday night’s AFC North match up featured Michael Vick starting at quarterback for the Steelers, who are without Ben Roethlisberger because of injury. Vick managed the game well for a 35-year-old backup, completing 19 of 26 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Vick also avoided turnovers all night while adding 33 yards on the ground.
Pittsburgh, PA — 10/01/2015 — during the first quarter of the Ravens game against the Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun (frame#DSC_0717.JPG; FBN RAVENS STEELERS)
Pittsburgh’s performance was heavily reliant on halfback Le’Veon Bell, who became the first player to rush for 100 yards against Baltimore in 29 games.
The real story, however, revolved around two missed field goals late in the fourth quarter by Steeler kicker Josh Scobee. Scobee went wide left on consecutive kicks from 49 and 41 yards, opening up an opportunity for Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. In the final seconds, Tucker responded to Scobee’s misses by forcing overtime with a 42-yarder. Tucker ended the stalemate with 5:08 left in OT, nailing a 52-yard field goal.
Moving to Sunday’s match ups – every Florida team will face a divisional opponent.
In the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins (1-2) and New York Jets (2-1) will travel to London for an early game. Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins’ developing offense will face a challenging Jets defense led by Darrelle Revis.
“They’ve had a good pass rush, so they force the quarterback at times into bad decisions.” Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin explained. “Those fundamental principles of a good defense have helped them.”
Moving to the NFC South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) will host Cam Newton and the undefeated Carolina Panthers (3-0).
Bucs standout linebacker LaVonte David is no stranger to Newton and his ability to make explosive plays.
“It’s just all about everybody flying around, man. Flying around, hitting him – you know he’s the quarterback and most quarterbacks don’t want to get hit.” David said. “When you get a chance to get a lick on him, you gotta get a lick on him.”
Finally, Jacksonville (1-2) will travel to Indianapolis (1-2) for an AFC South rivalry game.
The biggest headline of this match up comes from Indy, as the Colts may take the field without their starting quarterback Andrew Luck who is injured. Luck hasn’t missed an NFL game since he was drafted first overall by the Colts in 2012.
Jags’ head coach Gus Bradley says his team has approached this game with a “business as usual” mindset.
“They’ve responded great, we’ve had a couple of good practices,” Bradley said after his team was waxed last week at New England. “That part’s not surprising to me, but I think that it’s important to give direction – a message.”
Former Gator running back Matt Jones is in his rookie season with the Washington Redskins after being selected in the third round of last year’s NFL Draft. Jones says he’s had a smooth transition from college to the NFL.
“Probably just adjusting to the speed of the game, it wasn’t really so fast coming from the SEC, because it’s fast in the SEC but it was a little faster. Once I got into it during camp it kind of slowed down for me and it has been a great transition from there,” Jones said.
The rookie running back has played in three games and has rushed for 189 yards in 36 attempts with two touch downs this season. Jones says Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is a great coach to be around.
“Jay Gruden is more of a people’s person, he fits in. He’s not just a coach; he’s a guy you can talk to on and off the field. He’s a funny guy, he has a great sense of humor. He’s a great coach to be around.”
While the Redskins are 1-2 this season, Jones’ former team, the Florida Gators, are 5-0. He says it feels great to see the Gators doing so well.
“Oh man, that feels great to see my boys 4-0; (at the time of the interview) they definitely have a great win like they did last week.”(against Tennessee)
When Jones joined the Redskins, his first move was to earn respect from his new teammates. He says if you make plays then you can earn respect.
“It was pretty smooth, when I first got here, you know you have to earn respect. When you make plays you gain respect without saying anything. And when I came in I started to compete with the guys, no rookie stuff.”
The Washington Redskins and Matt Jones will host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at 1:00 pm.
The Swamp was rocking Saturday night in Gainesville and the Florida football team rode that momentum to a shocking 38-10 home win against third ranked Ole Miss. Florida (5-0) did just about everything right in the
game as the offense got a nice night from quarterback Will Grier who went 24 of 29 for 271 yards and four touchdowns. Kelvin Taylor added 97 yards rushing and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson had 98 receiving yards as well. Defensively, Florida put a ton of pressure on Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and the Rebels were held to only 328 yards of offense. The Gators had four sacks in the game and forced numerous turnovers as well, including a fumble recovery by freshman defensive lineman Ce Ce Jefferson and a pick by defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III. Grier’s touchdown passes went to Robinson, tight end Jake McGee, wide receiver Brandon Powell and wide receiver Antonio Callaway. The Gators next go on the road to face Missouri next week in a night contest.