Saturday, April 9, 2011
Noting the Gators' spring game
By Edward Aschoff
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- While Florida’s spring game was a bit of a snoozer, new coach Will Muschamp was pleased with how his team progressed this spring.
Here are some notes from the Blue team’s 13-10 win over the Orange in Saturday’s Orange and Blue Debut:
- The Gators entered Muschamp’s first spring game with a laundry list of injuries. Here are some of them: RB Mike Gillislee (stress fracture), RB Mack Brown (broken fibula), RB Mike Blakely (shoulder surgery), OL Xavier Nixon (ankle), OL Matt Patchan (wrist surgery), OL Nick Alajajian (knee), FB Trey Burton (ankle), WR Andre Debose (ankle), DT Jaye Howard (ankle surgery) and CB Janoris Jenkins (shoulder surgery).
- Freshman wide receiver Javaras McRoy missed Saturday’s game after undergoing a medical procedure on his lung. Muschamp said he missed the last week and a half of practice, but will be fine. “There’s no serious situation right here,” Muschamp said.
- Redshirt freshman receiver Chris Dunkley wasn't seen at the game. He was suspended from the team earlier in the week for academic reasons.
- Redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Murphy finished 7-for-11 passing with a game-high 68 yards. “I made some plays,” Murphy said. “I made some mental errors and stuff like that. I have to focus on getting better in the offseason and watching film and learning from my mistakes.” Starter John Brantley only played in the first half, going 4-for-14 with 45 yards. Brantley started the game 0-for-6 and didn’t complete his first pass -- a 19-yard completion to tight end Jordan Reed -- until 5:28 remaining in the second quarter.
- The teams combined for 340 yards of total offense, while the Orange defense held the Blue to the fewest points (13) by a winning team in the history of Florida’s spring game. The Orange also limited the Blue to six total completions, tied for the lowest in spring game history (Orange, 2008). The Blue defense held the Orange to the fewest total offensive yards (143) in spring game history. “It’s going to look different, but we’re going to be more comfortable with it,” Brantley said of the offense. “Everyone will be healthy, everyone will be fresh.”
- However, the Orange broke the spring game record for highest third-down percentage, completing .625 (5-for-8) of its third-down attempts. The previous record was .556 by the Orange team in 2001.
- Rising senior kicker Caleb Sturgis tied Jeff Chandler’s 2001 spring game record by making all three of his field-goal attempts. In the first half, Sturgis made a 21-yarder for the game’s first points. He followed with a 43-yarder with 1:56 left in the half. His final one came on a 33-yard attempt late in the third.
- Freshman punter Kyle Christy tied Nick Fleming’s 2003 spring game record for longest punt with a 55-yarder in the first quarter. Christy enrolled at Florida in January and is listed as the first-team punter.
- Muschamp said he and his staff achieved the goal of finding its playmakers and devised a list of 22 players they are comfortable relying on. One of those players was redshirt freshman Quinton Dunbar, who caught two passes for 45 yards, including a 29-yarder to start the second half. “Dunbar has made more big plays than anybody else [this spring],” Muschamp said.