December 28, 2011
Florida's 2012 football schedule was released Wednesday morning and, as expected, UF will travel to new Southeastern Conference addition Texas A&M in Week 2 to kick off conference play.
The construction of next year's schedule is a little bit different with only one non-conference game -- Bowling Green -- at the beginning of the schedule and two non-conference games -- Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State -- before the annual FSU game at the end of the year.
Florida will play the other new addition to the SEC East, Missouri, in Week 10 to end the conference schedule.
Here is the complete schedule:
Sept 1 -- Bowling Green
Sept 8 -- @Texas A&M
Sept 15 -- @Tennessee
Sept 22 -- Kentucky
Oct 6 -- LSU
Oct 13 -- @Vanderbilt
Oct 20 -- South Carolina
Oct 27 -- vs. Georgia
Nov 3 -- Missouri
Nov 10 -- UL-Lafayette
Nov 17 -- Jacksonville State
Nov 24 -- @FSU
December 17, 2011
No. 13 Florida (7-2) travels to Sunrise to take on Texas A&M today at 2:30 in the annual Orange Bowl Classic. Here are some quick notes on the No. 22 Aggies (8-1):
-- Texas A&M's only loss of the season came against a Southeastern Conference team -- Mississippi State. The Aggies lost 69-60 at home against the Bulldogs.
-- The Aggies have only beaten one BCS school in their eight wins this season. A&M knocked off St. John's 58-57 in the fourth game of the year.
-- A&M is led by two long forwards -- Khris Middleton and Ray Turner. Middleton, 6-foot-7, scored 24 points in the Aggies' last game against Louisiana-Monroe, his first game back from a knee injury that kept him out of the previous seven games. Turner, 6-foot-9, is averaging 13 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while shooting 64 percent from the field. UF's Brad Beal, Will Yeguete and Patric Young will see a lot of time guarding these two players.
-- Elston Turner, a 6-foot-5 guard, and David Loubeau, a 6-foot-8 forward, are also both averaging double-digit points for A&M. The Aggies have plenty of size, but like to play at a slower tempo and don't stretch the floor with 3-point shooting, as Texas A&M is averaging just four 3-pointers per game. The Aggies are built almost completely opposite from the Gators.
-- These two teams have only played twice before, both times in the early 90s. This will become a more frequent matchup with Texas A&M joining the SEC next season. How the new conference schedule will work with 14 teams is yet to be decided and the Aggies are an unlikely add to the Eastern side of the conference.
-- A&M holds opponents to 51.4 points per game and Florida comes in averaging 86.8 points per game. The Aggies hold opponents to 33.4 percent shooting from the field and 23.6 percent from deep. The Gators come in shooting 47.7 percent from the floor and 40.3 from 3-point range.
-- The Aggies come in to the game holding a +10 rebound margin.
December 09, 2011
No. 12 Florida (6-2) will take on Rider (1-8) tonight in Jacksonville, the third neutral-court game of the season for the Gators.
Rider, from the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference, comes in on a four-game losing streak with its only win of the year coming against Howard.
Here are some notes on the Broncs:
-- Though Rider is off to a rough 1-8 start, the Broncs kept it close against No. 15 Pittsburgh earlier in the season, leading the Panthers with less than five minutes to play before Pitt eventually went on to win 86-78.
-- The Bronc's leading scorer is 6-foot-7 forward Daniel Stewart who averages 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds -- also a team high -- per game. UF's Patric Young will likely matchup with Stewart for most of the game.
-- Rider comes in with two other players averaging double-figures this year. Jeff Jones (13.1) and Anthony Myles (11.1) play off of Stewart. Myles is a 3-point threat, shooting 46 percent from deep.
-- In each of the last two seasons, the Broncs scored wins against D-I BCS programs. Rider knocked off USC by 20 points last season and defeated Mississippi State the year before.
-- This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools. UF is 5-2 all-time against the MAAC, and 7-0 all-time at Jacksonville Memorial Arena.
-- Rider was home to the No. 12 overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, Jason Thompson, who has averaged 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in three seasons with the Sacramento Kings.
December 03, 2011
Bowl invitations go out Sunday, and Florida will find out where it is headed after a 6-6 regular season under Will Muschamp.
The options have been narrowed and there appear to be only two destinations possible for the Gators.
The first, and most likely, would be the Gator Bowl, played in Jacksonville on Jan 2.
The Gator Bowl, which has the fourth or fifth pick of Big Ten teams and the sixth pick of SEC teams, has already said it wants to host a Florida-Ohio State matchup, which would likely generate the most media attention ever for a game between two 6-6 teams due to Urban Meyer taking the OSU head coaching job. In addition, the Gator Bowl would have the benefit of selling tickets to the nearby UF fan base.
Rivals had this matchup in its latest bowl predictions, and ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards both have a UF-OSU Gator Bowl matchup in their most recent bowl predictions.
The only other scenario being discussed is the Gators taking a trip to Atlanta for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, played on Dec. 31.
In this scenario, Clemson would be headed to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl as the second pick from the ACC after losing to Virginia Tech in tonight's ACC Championship Game. Because of that, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl might not want to pick Auburn to square off with Clemson because that's precisely the game Chick-Fil-A had for their season kickoff game this season. As a result, the bowl committee could use their fifth pick of the SEC teams to bump up UF into a Clemson-Florida matchup in Atlanta, which is what CBSSports has projected.
However, even if Clemson is to lose to Virginia Tech tonight, that would drop the Tigers to 9-4 and suddenly not necessarily the runaway No. 2 pick from the ACC. The Chick-Fil-A bowl could also pick FSU or local Georgia Tech at that point, who both sit at 8-4 after concluding their regular seasons.
If Clemson beats Virgina Tech to earn the automatic BCS Bowl berth, the Chick-Fil-A bowl would almost certainly choose the 11-2 Hokies with its No. 2 pick of the ACC teams.
In short, if Clemson wins tonight, Florida is almost definitely heading to the Gator Bowl to face off with Ohio State. But if Clemson loses and the Chick-Fil-A bowl decides Clemson is the ACC team they want represented in its bowl, Florida could be heading to Atlanta instead.
November 26, 2011
FSU jumped out to a 14-0 lead on UF in the first half of Saturday night's game in The Swamp behind a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by Devonta Freeman. Here are some notes from the first half:
--John Brantley had a nightmare start to his senior day. UF's quarterback threw two interceptions that set up FSU on a short field, resulting in touchdowns both times. FSU took over on the UF 20-yard line after a pick by cornerback Greg Reid and again on the UF 4-yard line after an interception by safety Mike Harris. FSU running back Devonta Freeman ended both drives with 1-yard touchdown runs to give the Seminoles a 14-0 lead. Brantley added another interception that didn't lead to points giving him three for the game. He had only thrown three interceptions on the season coming into today's game.
--Brantley took a shot to the helmet on a completed pass with 1:42 remaining in the first half. The senior's arms appeared to go into a "fencing" position, which is a sign of a concussion. He was taken to the locker room by the trainers and freshman Jacoby Brissett came in to replace him. Brantley finished the half 9-of-15 passing for 104 yards and three interceptions.
--Florida freshman tight end A.C. Leonard got off to a good start filling in for the injured Jordan Reed. Leonard caught three passes for 65 yards in the first half.
--The Seminoles defense bottled up the Gators' rushing attack in the first half. The Gators carried the ball 20 times for 36 yards.
--Florida was aggressive in the second quarter, refusing to settle for a field goal just before the half. Will Muschamp put a fake field goal on with the Gators needing 2 yards on the FSU 28-yard line. Trey Burton took the snap as the holder and converted to keep the drive alive. Four plays later, UF was facing fourth-and-1. Burton again took the snap, this time under center for the quarterback sneak but he lost 14 yards on the play after bouncing it outside.
--UF's defense turned in an impressive performance in the first half, holding FSU to 42 total yards of offense including just 10 rushing yards on 19 carries. The Seminoles only two scores came with them starting in the red zone as a result of turnovers.
November 21, 2011
Florida travels to Tampa to take on Wright State tonight in the St. Pete Times Forum. Here are a few notes on the Raiders:
-- Wright State is 2-1 on the season, losing the opener to Ohio State 73-42. WSU logged a 56-39 victory against Jackson State last week, the same team UF blew out 99-59 in its season opener.
-- The Raiders have six players on their roster that are 6-foot-7 of taller, but they still like to shoot the ball from the outside, averaging almost 19 3-point shots per game.
-- Reggie Arceneaux, a 5-foot-9 guard who Billy Donovan compared to UF's Erving Walker, leads the team in scoring at 11.7 points per game. Arceneaux is shooting 46 percent from 3-point range in the early going but only 33 percent from the field. Florida will focus on chasing him off of the 3-point line.
--Cole Darling, 6-foot-8, and Tavares Sledge, 6-foot-9, are the team's leading rebounders, though Darling has only played one game this season. Wright State, which plays in the Horizon league, has six players on the roster at 6-foot-7 or taller.
-- The Raiders are coming off a 19-14 (10-8 Horizon) season. The last time they made the NCAA Tournament was in 2007. Wright State's four top scorers from a season ago are all gone.
-- WSU's biggest win of last season was a conference game against Butler, the team that knocked UF out of the NCAA Tournament.
November 19, 2011
To the shock of all in attendance at The Swamp, Furman jumped out to a quick 15-0 lead on Florida just nine minutes into the game. The Gators rallied back and took a slim 27-22 lead into the half.
Here are some notes from the first half:
-- Florida's defense came out seemingly unprepared for Furman and gave up a touchdown on each of Furman's first three drives. On the first drive, the Paladins ran the ball right down the field and punched in it on a 1-yard rushing touchdown. On the second drive, quarterback Chris Forcier found David Hendrix for a 31-yard touchdown pass. And on the third drive, Furman used a double pass to hit a 47-yard touchdown coming off the hand of a wide receiver.
--Furman's other first-quarter score came when UF center Jonotthan Harrison, who was pulled from his center duties two weeks ago against Vanderbilt and played left guard last week against South Carolina, snapped the ball over quarterback John Brantley's head for a safety. Dan Wenger took over for Harrison at center against the Gamecocks, but an injury kept him out of the game and Harrison got the nod over Sam Robey.
-- UF tight end Jordan Reed proved to be a big mismatch for FU in the first half. Reed caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.
--Freshman fullback Hunter Joyer scored the second touchdown of his career on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. Joyer did a nice job of shedding a tackler at the goal line and pushing it across on the extra effort.
-- UF wide receiver Andre Debose caught his third long touchdown pass of the season in the second quarter when Brantley hit him for a 80-yard strike on the first play of the possession. Debose also caught deep balls against Alabama and LSU earlier in the season.
-- Redshirt freshman wide receiver Quinton Dunbar caught the first touchdown pass of his career with three minutes remaining until halftime. Brantley found him from 29 yards out in the back of the end zone to give Florida its first lead of the day 27-22.
-- Brantley had a huge first half throwing it around from behind. The senior quarterback was 12 of 20 for 226 yards and three touchdowns, tying a career high.
-UF kicker Caleb Sturgis missed his only two field goal attempts of the half from 51 and 40 yards out. Sturgis was 19 for 21 coming into this game.