ESPN 850 WRUF – Gainesville, Florida

Gator Football falls to South Carolina 23-20 in crushing overtime defeat

By on November 16th, 2014

The Florida (5-4, 4-4 SEC) Gator football team blew another fourth quarter lead in The Swamp, this time to South Carolina (5-5, 3-5 SEC) who won 23-20 in overtime. The win marked South Carolina’s second win in school history in Gainesville and in the process spoiled the Gators’ chance at an SEC East title.

Two big special teams plays won this game for South Carolina. The Gamecocks blocked a field goal late in the fourth quarter to prevent the Gators from securing a 10 point lead with three minutes to go. They also blocked Florida’s punt with under a minute to go to set up the game-tying score and send it into overtime.

“We put ourselves in a position to win that game bottom line,” Florida head coach Will Muschamp said. “If you don’t get the punt blocked, you win the game. That’s the bottom line. We knew what we had to do to win the game, we put ourselves in that position, we didn’t get it done.”

South Carolina scored right out of the gates on its opening series on an 85-yard drive that took only three minutes. The drive concluded with a 20-yard touchdown run by running back Brandon Wilds.

On the Gamecocks’ second drive of the game, they chose to go for it on fourth-and-one at their own 42-yard line, but the Gators stopped them, except for the fact that Dante Fowler Jr. was called for a face mask penalty. That tacked on 15 yards and a fresh set of downs for South Carolina. Nine plays later, Elliot Fry knocked in a 31-yard field goal to put SC up 10-zip with two minutes to go in the first quarter.

The Gators ended the first quarter with zero passing yards and only had 25 total yards of offense.

Florida finally got on the board in the second quarter thanks to a 34-yard field goal from Frankie Velez. The nine play, 46-yard drive for the Gators featured all run plays.

The Gators got a huge touchdown to end the first half as Treon Harris found wide receiver Demarcus Robinson in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown. The key play on the five-play, 50-yard drive was Robinson was able to initiate a pass interference call on South Carolina, which moved the ball from mid-field to the SC 24. Three plays later, Harris connected with Robinson in the end zone to knot things up at 10 apiece to end the first half.

In the third quarter, after neither team could do much on offense, the Gamecocks’ were able to work their way down to UF 29-yard line. However, Fry’s 47-yard field goal was wide left to keep the score tied at 10 and give the ball back to the Gators.

Florida capitalized after they took over, marching 71 yards in 10 plays, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Matt Jones to give the Gators a 17-10 lead — their first lead of the game. Harris converted a pair of big third downs on the drive, one being a 32-yard completion to wide-receiver Latroy Pittman. The other one came on a 22-yard run by Harris, who got the ball to the one. That set up the Gators go-ahead TD.

The momentum clearly swung to the Gators because on the Gamecocks’ ensuing possession, wide receiver Shaq Roland caught a 21-yard pass, but not before UF safety Jabari Gorman stripped it to cause a fumble and then recovered it himself at the Carolina 42.

However, the Gators couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity — a constant theme through the day.

Instead, they gave the ball right back to start the fourth quarter, as South Carolina punched the ball out of Harris’ arm on a third-and-two run and recovered it at their own 31-yard line. The Gamecocks only mustered 17 yards as their series was stalled on a magnificent play by Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, who stopped running back Brandon Wilds in the flat on an option play on fourth-and-two.

Florida had the chance to make it a two-score game, but Velez’s 32-yard field goal attempt was blocked by South Carolina and the ball rolled all the way to the SC 41.

However, the Gators were able to get a crucial stop on third-and-10 thanks to a pass that was broken up by safety Marcus Maye. That forced the Gamecocks’ to go for it on fourth-down. Thompson fumbled the bad snap and chucked it long but it was incomplete to give the Gators the ball back to try and run out the clock with two minutes to go in the game.

But, UF couldn’t get the first down it needed to seal the game. And to make matters worse, the Gamecocks blocked the punt giving them the ball at the UF 34-yard line with 39 seconds to go. Four plays later and after a costly pass interference call on Florida, South Carolina scored on a bizarre option play to running back Mike Davis, who fumbled it, but recovered the ball in the end zone to tie the game at 17 and send it into overtime.

“Two blocked kicks with 3:30 to go playing in the game, cost us the football game,” Florida head coach Will Muschamp said. “Don’t know what else to say other than that. We got 40 seconds to go, just get the ball off. We have an operation time issue on the field goal and a low kick. It didn’t matter what the operation time was, it would’ve been blocked anyways.”

Florida got the ball first to start OT and only managed to get seven yards, but it was able to get a 35-yard field goal from Austin Hardin to take a 20-17 lead. South Carolina took over and ran the ball right down Florida’s throat. The Gamecocks used five run plays to finish the off the Gators as Dylan Thompson took it in himself from four yards out to clinch the 23-20 victory.

“We’re hurt; we’re still a team. We have to move onto next week,” cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III added. “Obviously, we wanted it, but we can’t do anything about it now. We need to just move on and continue our season.”

With the Gators now officially out of the SEC East race, offensive lineman Chaz Green says they still have a lot to play for.

“We’re playing for each other, playing as competitors, playing for the game of football, the man next to you. We playing for a lot things, fans, coach, lot of stuff. We just gotta dig deep and pull close.”

Florida safety Jabari Gorman isn’t worried about the team’s cohesiveness, despite the teams third deflating loss in a row at home.

“We always unified no matter what. There’s no finger pointing or anything like that because we work all off season and we always talked about staying together no matter what.”

The Gators will have their final home game of the season next weekend when they host Eastern Kentucky at noon. Pregame coverage begins at 8 am on ESPN 850 WRUF.

For audio of the above quotes, click below:

Muschamp says they would’ve won if the punt didn’t get blocked

Muschamp on the two blocked kicks costing them the game

Hargreaves on just moving on after the loss

Chaz Green on what they’re playing for now that they’re out of the SEC East race

Gorman on the team sticking together no matter what











Posted in College Football, Gator Football | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Road Ahead for Gator Women’s Track & Field

By on November 16th, 2014
The University of Florida’s women’s track and field team is in the throws of preparing for its 2015 season. After finishing last season at the 2014 SEC Indoor Championship, the Gators are hungry for January to come and for what this next season will bring them. This is especially true for sophomore hurdler Ryann McEnany, who started out last year injured and didn’t begin competing until six weeks into the season.
“I had really bad shin splints and they were almost stress fractures, and that put me six weeks behind my training group and six weeks behind in our hurdle practice so it was really a set back for me – along with just being a freshman and having to go through all those new changes,” McEnany said.
Despite the setbacks McEnany faced in the 2014 season, she is ready to attack the 2015 season with more vigor than ever.
“This year I’m healthy and I’m faster. My starts have gotten better and I’m quicker on top of the hurdle so I’m really excited for this season.”
And she’s not the only one looking forward to an exciting new season. Senior Loreal Curtis is quick to give credit to the coaching staff and says she is excited to watch the new talent contribute to the team’s success this year.
“Even though we lost great talent, we also gained a bunch – so we haven’t really lost anything. I’m actually really excited to see what this year brings for our team,” Curtis said.
Back during her first season with the Gators, Curtis’ 4×400 meter relay team finished fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and third at Indoor Nationals. Transitioning from the indoor season to the outdoor season can sometimes be a challenge, but Curtis says that the team is used to practicing outdoors while competing in their indoor season. The Gators are looking to defend their SEC Indoor title, as well as make a name for themselves in Outdoor.
“We have won SEC Indoor but we have lost other titles, and this only makes us hungrier to become a better team. We hope to win many more titles this year.”
The Gators first meet of the 2015 season will be January 23rd at the University of Kentucky. This will also mark the start of their indoor season, and another chance to earn that top spot.
Posted in Gator Track and Field, Southeastern Conference | Leave a comment

Gator Football Loses In OT To South Carolina

By on November 15th, 2014

South Carolina quarterback scored on a four yard quarterback keeper in overtime to lift the Gamecocks to an improbably 23-20 win over Florida Saturday in Gainesville that eliminates the Gators from any chance of winning the SEC East.

Florida seemed to have the game won in regulation but after taking a delay of game penalty with less than a minute to go in the game, Gator punter Kyle Christy had a punt blocked and Carolina took over at Florida’s 34 yard line.

With just 12 seconds to go in the game, Gamecock running back Mike Davis fumbled the ball at the Florida two yard line but he recovered the ball in the end zone and the extra point tied the game.

In overtime, Florida kicked a field goal but when Thompson ran the ball in for the touchdown, the Gators were beaten.

Florida falls to 5-4 overall and ends up 4-4 in SEC play.   Next week, Florida hosts Eastern Kentucky.

Posted in Gator Football | 1 Comment

Preview: Gator Football looks for third straight SEC win as South Carolina comes to Gainesville

By on November 15th, 2014

Courtesy of

After the Florida Gator (5-3, 4-3 SEC) football team was embarrassed by Missouri at home four weeks ago, it seemed its SEC East hopes were a long shot, especially with Georgia up next on the schedule. However, following a bye week, the Gators found new life after literally running the Bulldogs out of Jacksonville en route to a 38-20 upset stunner. They followed up that performance with a 24 point victory on the road over Vanderbilt to now reemerge themselves back in the SEC East picture.On the other hand, South Carolina (4-5, 2-5 SEC) is coming off a bye week, following back-to-back losses to conference opponents Auburn (42-35) and Tennessee (45-42, OT). The Gamecocks will need to try and salvage a win in Gainesville — something they haven’t done since 2010 — to try and become bowl eligible.

South Carolina has blown leads in the fourth quarter in three of their SEC losses. Head coach Steve Spurrier voiced his aggravation with losing games with a late lead.

“We’ve lost our fair share of the close ones, one or two close ones earlier. Anytime you lose some close ones and one play determines a game it is frustrating for coaches. That’s just the way we are right now, but hopefully it’s going to improve soon.”

Despite being ranked last in the league in total defense, the Gamecocks are fifth in the SEC in total offense, including second in passing offense. Florida head coach Will Muschamp says they feature a high-powered attack.

“Offensively, they’ve been outstanding this year. They’re the best offense we’ve faced in my opinion to date this season. Dylan Thompson is playing very well. He has 22 touchdown passes. Really throwing the ball well. They’re a talented group outside. They’ve got Pharoh Cooper who does it all. He lines up and plays wildcat, quarterback, speed sweeps. They run it with him or they throw it to him. He is a talented football player.”

The Gamecocks also have a solid backfield led by junior tailback Mike Davis, who leads the team in rushing with 819 yards. UF defensive coordinator, D.J. Durkin, gives praise to their efficiency in the run game.

“They run it really well. They do a great job up front of getting a hat on a hat. There’s not many missed assignments in their run game. They block up the box and they got good backs, back there, carrying the ball.”

The Gators also boast a formidable rushing attack, which they relied on heavily against Georgia. But, the passing game was put on display against Vanderbilt last weekend. Freshman quarterback Treon Harris threw for a career high 215 yards and 49 rushing yards to go along with two touchdowns on the ground.

“He does have a calm demeanor,” UF offensive coordinator Kurt Roper said. “He does a good job with his vision and buying a little time and moving in the pocket. And just making plays.”

Speaking of Harris, Gamecocks’ play-by-play announcer, Todd Ellis, thinks one of the keys to victory for USC will be limiting Harris in the passing game.

“They have to win the time of possession by 10 minutes over the Gators. We have to get a defensive score or a special teams score. Or a free play that we’ve rarely gotten, and get some benefit from the Gators. And Treon Harris has got to be less than or right at 50 percent completing passes.”

The last two games in The Swamp have not been pretty for the home team. The last one being a blowout loss to Missouri 42-13. UF hasn’t won a home game since Sep. 13 when they beat Kentucky 36-30 in a triple overtime thriller.

“Our fans do deserve something to cheer for at The Swamp,” center Max Garcia said. “We gotta defend it. The Swamp is a place where other teams should fear coming into. Gators only get out alive. We gotta make that happen again.”

South Carolina has only beaten Florida ONCE in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in the history of the series. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Roderick Johnson hopes to keep it that way.

“Now being able to come back and play a big game in The Swamp. We want to come out with the ‘W’ and just get it back, reclaim it.”

Kickoff for Florida’s SEC finale against the Gamecocks is set for noon on Saturday, with pregame coverage starting at 8 a.m. on ESPN 850 WRUF.

For audio of the above quotes, click below:

Spurrier on the frustration of losing close games

Muschamp on South Carolina’s offense

Durkin on the Gamecocks’ run game

Roper on Harris

Todd Ellis on the key to the Gamecocks winning

Johnson on wanting to win to reclaim The Swamp



Posted in College Football, Gator Football | Leave a comment

VIDEO: Gators vs Gamecocks Preview In SEC Finale

By on November 15th, 2014

WRUF/WUFT’s Bonnie Mott previews today’s SEC matchup between Florida and South Carolina. Kickoff is set for noon at with pregame coverage beginning at 8 a.m. on ESPN 850 WRUF.

Posted in College Football, Gator Football, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gators defeat William & Mary 68-45; Find success on defense

By on November 15th, 2014

In the span of one week’s time it was seemingly a different team that took the court Friday night against the Tribe of William & Mary. The seventh ranked Florida Gator men’s basketball team looked a lot crisper on the defensive side of the ball and that propelled them to a 23 point victory, 68-45.

Against Barry University the Gators gave up 70 points on 62 shots and seemingly never looked in rhythm. The defense looked to be a step behind and many of the players at one point or another simply looked lost.

Against the Tribe on Friday night, despite being on the receiving end of a lot of missed shots, the Gators found success and established themselves as a team with at least a little more of a defensive presence.

The Gators held the Tribe to just 45 points on 31 percent shooting. Despite attempting 57 shots, William & Mary only sunk 18, with just two of those coming from beyond the arc. The Tribe shot an abysmal nine percent from three on the night and that ultimately led to their demise. William & Mary senior guard Marcus Thornton who averaged over 18 points per game a year ago, shot 3 of 11 from the field and 0 of 5 from three finishing with just 10 points. Despite the Gator defense’s success as a whole on the night, head coach Billy Donovan attributes Thornton’s quiet night to his sophomore point guard.

“I was really proud of Kasey Hill. I thought he was phenomenal. The fact that he had to guard Thornton every minute he was out there except for a couple possessions, he did a terrific job on him.”

The Tribe finished with just one other player in double figures on the night as sophomore forward Omar Prewitt totaled 15, shooting 7 of 15 from the field. The Gators as a whole came away with one block, eight steals and out-rebounded the Tribe by eight on the night and transfer Jon Horford says it was all in the preparation.

“We’ve been practicing a few weeks, so we expect as a team for it to get better. A little bit every week, the more we play together the more we get a feel for what our roles are and what we need to be and what we need to do. It’s gradual improvements.”

Offensively it was a tale of two halves.

The Gators got out to a hot start sinking their first four three pointers, connecting on five in the first half alone. The Gators ended the first half with a 24 point lead shooting 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. Florida’s success would not continue however as the team put up just 26 points in the second half. The Gators shot just 38 percent from the field and sank just one three pointer but it would prove to be more than enough.

The Gators finished with three in double figures as redshirt junior Dorian Finney-Smith led the way with 15, junior Michael Frazier II finished with 12 and Horford ended the night with 11. Despite Smith injuring his left wrist early in the game he was able to rebound and shoot 55 percent from the field. Doe-Doe also finished with five rebounds and one steal and Frazier spoke after the game about the former Virginia Tech transfer.

“He’s a very good, well rounded player. We need him to do multiple things for this team and he proved he can do that tonight.”

The Gators also received big performances out of the freshmen as back-up point guard Chris Chiozza and forward Devin Robinson combined to play 36 minutes on the night. Robinson struggled in the exhibition but improved against the Tribe, hitting on 4 of 9 from the field including a big time alley-oop from Chiozza. Robinson finished with one block and four rebounds, and most importantly did not look lost on defense.

Chiozza made great use of his 20 minutes as he finished with four points, three assists, two rebounds and three steals. Chiozza’s speed should prove to be quite valuable to the team moving forward and he proved on Friday night, what he lacks for in size he can make up for in other areas.

Overall, it was a solid team effort for Donovan’s crew. The Gators finished with more fast break points, more bench points, and more points in the paint. The team also finished the night with 13 assists as six different players finished with one each. With the team succeeding in a multitude of areas on the night coach Donovan was able to speak very highly of his players after the fact.

“I thought our whole team got better from last week. I saw some growth individually and I saw some growth collectively.”

Now sitting 1-0 the Gators will welcome the Miami Hurricanes into the O’Connell Center Monday night as they will look for yet even more improvement.

For audio of the quotes above, click on the links below:

Donovan talks about Kasey Hill

Donovan talks about Devin Robinson

Donovan discusses Jon Horford

Donovan talks about the team’s improvement

Horford discusses the team’s improvement through preparation

Frazier talks about Doe-Doe

Posted in College Basketball | Leave a comment

Gators Defeat Jacksonville in Season Opener

By on November 15th, 2014

The Florida women’s basketball team holds on in its season opener to defeat Jacksonville University 84-73 on Friday. Despite the win, Gator coach Amanda Butler says the team has a lot of improvements to make. The team shot on 40-percent in the first half to JU’s 48 percent but Florida still managed to enter halftime with a four-point lead 37-33.

“Defensively, I think that we rushed a little bit. We didn’t shoot the ball too well from the three [point line] and that’s not something we are really concerned with. We are getting high percentage shots and we have to make those matter,” said Butler.

“All in all, I thought Jacksonville did a fantastic job and showed a lot of fight and resilience. They are a great team to play against this early in the season and to be tested in specific ways. I think today is going to help us going forward.”

Florida’s saving grace came from its bench, which scored 38 points with 16 coming from Antoinette Bannister who helped the team open up the second half on a 10-4 run. The team shot 64-percent from the field in the final half.

“I think Antoinette in particular did a great job of establishing that if I get to be in that second wave, then I’m going to make that second wave even more important than the first wave” said Butler.

Defensively, the team gave up 36-points in the paint, 17 bench points, and eight second chance points. Butler says that her team’s defensive play has to improve in order for them to keep winning.

“The thing we’re the most concerned with is our defensive consistency. We’ve got to close that gap a little bit better between possession to possession.”

Next up for Florida is a match up against the Longwood Lancers Monday in the O’Connell Center. You can catch the game right here on ESPN 850 WRUF. Tip-off is set for 4:15pm.

Posted in Gators Women's Basketball | Leave a comment

Late three pointer extends game, Palm Beach prevails over Santa Fe in OT

By on November 15th, 2014

Last week, the Santa Fe Men’s basketball team was able to travel to Lake Worth and defeat Palm Beach State College 89-69. Last night, the script had a different ending and Palm Beach got their revenge on the road with a 77-73 win over Santa Fe in overtime.

Neither team was able to gain an edge in the first half as they entered halftime all tied up at 30. Santa Fe guard Morris Marshall led all scores with eight points. The defensive intensity was relatively high for two teams that are accustomed to simply out scoring their opponent. Both teams had to earn each and every point.

In the second half, the Saints seemed to have the game in hand. Yet, several missed free throws in the closing minutes kept Palm Beach in the game. Panther guard Fabian MacDonald took full advantage of the opportunity by draining a three pointer to tie the game with five seconds left. The ensuing Saints’ possession was unsuccessful, taking the game to overtime.

Once in overtime, the Panthers were able to make key shots that gave them the lead. Saints guard Michael Sanchez struggled on the free throw line down the stretch, keeping the game in the Panthers’ favor.

Morris Marshall finished with 24 points and five rebounds and Saints guard Allen Baez came off the bench with 16 points and two assists.


After the game, Santa Fe coach Chris Mowry said his team played with great intensity but made mistakes too.

“I thought both teams played really hard tonight. Maybe it wasn’t the crispest of games. We had some looks there late where we did not handle some passes.”

Down the stretch, Mowry favored backup guard Allen Baez over starting guard Michael Sanchez.

“I thought Allen was doing a good job defensively, he’s a little bit bigger guard defensively. And he is a very good free throw shooter, just looking at stats he was five of six tonight.”

With this being the second loss on the season, Mowry says his team has room to improve.

“I think we just need to watch the film. They hit a shot there with five and a half seconds left or so in regulation. We wanted to play it out and not foul. So we need to see why that guy was able to get the shot off.”

To hear full audio clips from above, click below:

Mowry’s quick recap of the game

Mowry on why he chose Baez over Sanchez

Mowry continues discussing his decision on Baez

Mowry on what the team needs to do moving forward


Posted in Sante Fe College Men's Hoops | Leave a comment

Gator Women’s Hoops Opens 2014 Season Friday

By on November 14th, 2014

The University of Florida women’s basketball team is gearing up to open its regular season this afternoon against the Jacksonville Dolphins.

Despite returning six players from last year’s team, this year’s squad is different; just in sheer numbers.

Last season, Florida coach Amanda Butler barely had enough players for a 5-on-5 scrimmage. But even following a series of injuries and transfers, the 2013 Gators fought for their 20-13 season and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Penn State.

“The biggest thing where we were at a deficit last year was not having height, and so defensively we were always trying to camouflage that. It’s not something we have to hide anymore, we’ve got some size and we’ve got some people who have got that presence that you want your players to have,” Butler said.

And this year, the team wants more success.  This especially rings true for forward Kayla Lewis – the team’s leader and lone senior. Last season, Lewis led the Gators in rebounding at 8.7 per game and took second in scoring with 12.2 points per game.

And one of the young players to keep an eye on is sophomore standout Ronni Williams as a combo player.

“Her voice and her presence and the confidence… that is just really contagious.  You know everyone knows that Ronni is a big time player but I think she’s taking on other big time roles besides playmaking. She’s really trying to be a great leader and is trying to make sure that her energy is consistent and that she’s raising people’s levels around her.”

And the addition of talented freshmen forwards Haley Lorenzen and Brooke Copeland is also something to look forward to for the Gators this season.

“I really like a lot of things I’ve seen so far, like the play of our freshmen – their spirit and their energy combined with their talent makes them a really special group.”

Butler, a former Gator in her eighth season as the women’s head coach, says she expects big things from this particular group this season. The quest for success begins today.

To hear audio for the story, click below.

Butler on Freshmen players

Butler on Ronnie Williams

Butler on team height







Posted in Gators Women's Basketball | Leave a comment

Gator Cross Country Competes at NCAA Regionals

By on November 14th, 2014

Both the men’s and women’s Florida Gator cross country teams will participate in the NCAA Regional Championships on Friday.  The Gator teams will try to take one of the two team spots to qualify them for the NCAA Championship. The top four individual runners that are not on a qualifying team will also advance to the finals.

Most recently competing in the SEC Championship, the women are coming off a seventh place overall finish.  There were many notable performances in that championship with Taylor Tubbs placing 24th overall and season best performances from Devin McDermott, Amber Johnson, and Gabrielle Yatauro.

“For the women at the SEC’s I thought Taylor Tubbs did a good job leading the women, Becky Greene right behind her… Devin McDermott best race this season. Really did a fine job stepping up at the SEC’s,” said assistant coach Paul Spangler.

In addition to placing seventh at the SEC Championship the women have had two first place finishes, one eighth place finish, and one 38th place finish.

“We saw.. I felt like a big improvement on the women compared to what we did at Wisconsin at the SEC’s,” said Spangler.

In the SEC Championships the men earned a 10th place finish and Thomas Howell was awarded Freshman All-SEC status after finishing 47th.

“Thomas Howell is first team All-SEC as a freshman. He was really excited for that… that was a goal of his coming in,” said Spangler. “So coming off the first race or second race of the season where he was the SEC Runner of the Week as a freshman… I’m  very proud of the job he’s done and it was nice to see him step up at the SEC’s and earn that award. And I think that certainly that will be something that he can build upon.”

The men’s finishes this season include one first place finish, two second place finishes, and one 36th place finish, as well as the 10th place finish at the SEC’s.

“We’ve got to do a better job than what we did at the SEC Championships with the men. So going into the regionals this is an opportunity for them to have a good performance…get in there to compete for one of the two spots for the national championships,” said Spangler.

The NCAA Regional will be held in Tallahassee. Women’s races will begin at 9:00 and men’s will begin at 10:00.

For audio from assistant coach Paul Spangler click here:

Spangler on standout women performances in the SEC’s.

Spangler on women’s improvement.

Spangler on Thomas Howell.

Spangler on men’s performance at SEC’s.



Posted in Gators Generic | Tagged , , | Leave a comment