SEC: Florida football

GatorNation links: Seeking playmakers

January, 15, 2013
1/15/13
11:24
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Derek Tyson writes Insider: WR James Baker stands among Florida's top remaining targets for signing day even though UF has five commits at the position, because he has the talent to make an impact immediately.

Michael DiRocco writes: Several Gators already on the roster are poised to raise their profiles on the field next season as UF looks for big-play contributors.

GatorNation links: Robinson to UF

January, 7, 2013
1/07/13
12:34
PM ET
Derek Tyson writes Insider: ESPN 300 WR Demarcus Robinson says he's traveling to enroll early tomorrow at Florida. Ranked No. 14 at his position, he had bounced back and forth between the Gators and Clemson Tigers.

Tyson Insider: Spring practice could enable Robinson to start as a true freshman, especially with UF struggling to find reliable receivers.

Michael DiRocco writes: Florida expects eight early enrollees in spring practice now that Robinson is choosing the Gators.

Florida-Louisville game preview

January, 2, 2013
1/02/13
11:00
AM ET
No. 3 Florida (11-1) vs. No. 21 Louisville (10-2)
Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Mercedes-Benz Sugar Bowl, New Orleans
ESPN

Gators to watch

QB Jeff Driskel: The 6-foot-4, 237-pound sophomore played his best game of the season in the regular-season finale against Florida State. Even though he was still bothered by an ankle injury, Driskel remained composed -- despite being sacked four times and harassed by a pair of NFL defensive ends -- and hurt the Seminoles on rollout passes. It’ll be interesting to see how much he has benefitted from the 15 bowl practices in which he didn’t have to evenly split reps with Jacoby Brissett. A lot of players make significant jumps during the bowl practices, as CB Loucheiz Purifoy did last season. Is Driskel next?

DT Sharrif Floyd: This might be Floyd’s final game with the Gators because the 6-3, 303-pound junior is considering leaving early for the NFL. Floyd has been a disruptive force all season, with 11 tackles for loss, a sack, and six quarterback hurries (one shy of the team lead). He’ll be matched up against a pair of sophomore guards, John Miller and Jake Smith. The Cardinals average just 127.1 yards per game rushing and are without RB Senorise Perry, who tore his right ACL. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and still leads the team with 11 rushing touchdowns. Floyd will be a big part of the Gators’ plan to make the Cardinals one-dimensional.

S Matt Elam: Elam is another player who could be appearing in his last game for Florida. The 5-10, 202-pound junior also is considering leaving early for the NFL after putting together an All-American season (65 tackles, four interceptions). He’s a rarity in that he can play safety but also has the one-on-one coverage skills to line up at nickel back. He made perhaps the biggest play of the season when he stripped LSU WR Odell Beckham after a 56-yard gain. The Gators went on to score a game-clinching touchdown and beat the Tigers.

Cardinals to watch

QB Teddy Bridgewater: The 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore ended the regular season ranked eighth nationally in pass efficiency. He was named the Big East’s Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was fantastic in the regular-season finale against Rutgers, when he came off the bench and rallied the Cardinals to a 20-17 victory to win the Big East title in one of the gutsiest performances of the season. Bridgewater had a broken left wrist and a severely sprained left ankle but he still managed to complete 20 of 28 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

CB Adrian Bushell: Bushell transferred from Florida after the 2009 season, spent a year at a junior college, and enrolled at Louisville just before the Cardinals started practices in 2011. It turned out to be a good move for the 5-11, 184-pounder from DeSoto, Texas, and the Cardinals. Bushell is a two-time first-team All-Big East selection and had a team-high 11 pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, and an interception to go along with 59 tackles.

WR DeVante Parker: Parker has 38 catches for 712 yards and nine touchdowns this season. That’s a team-high 18.7 yards per catch. The 6-3, 204-pound sophomore is a touchdown machine. He has 15 touchdown catches on only 56 career receptions, which means he’s averaging a touchdown every 3.7 receptions. He’s also a big-play machine, because his 15 touchdown catches are averaging 29.5 yards.

Key matchup

Florida RB Mike Gillislee vs. Louisville LB Preston Brown

Expect a heavy dose of Gillislee today, especially with the state of the Cardinals’ rush defense. Louisville is giving up an average of 151.1 yards per game rushing and opponents have rushed for at least 196 yards in five of the past eight games. The 6-0, 257-pound Brown, who anchors the middle and leads the team with 96 tackles, is averaging 11.3 tackles in his last six games. Gillislee, a first-team All-SEC selection, has rushed for 1,104 yards and 10 touchdowns to become the first UF back to surpass 1,000 yards since 2004. Gillislee is coming off his best performance: 140 yards and two TDs against Florida State, which had the nation’s No. 1 rush defense.

By the numbers

2 -- Number of victories Louisville has posted over top-five teams. The Cardinals beat No. 3 West Virginia in 2006 and No. 4 Florida State in 2002.

3 -- Number of victories for Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Gators are 3-5, with victories over West Virginia (1994), Florida State (1997) and Cincinnati (2010).

12.9 -- Number of points per game Florida is allowing. It’s the fewest allowed in a season since 1964 (9.8).

GatorNation links: 10 Sugar Bowl facts

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
3:01
PM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: Ten things to know about Florida’s Sugar Bowl matchup against Louisville -- including, but not limited to, super sophomore QBs Jeff Driskel and Teddy Bridgewater.

Derek Tyson writes Insider: Duke Dawson and Garrett Brumfield are among the prospects who will keep the UF-FSU recruiting rivalry burning into 2014.

GatorNation links: Just win ugly, baby

November, 21, 2012
11/21/12
11:42
AM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: Will Muschamp doesn’t care that the wins are ugly, he’s just pleased his team is in the BCS mix with one loss -- and three quality wins.

Roundtable Insider : GatorNation and NoleNation writers address the top issues for Saturday’s game at Florida State.

Video: GatorNation’s Michael DiRocco and NoleNation’s David Hale preview Saturday’s game.

GatorNation links: Matchups vs. Noles

November, 19, 2012
11/19/12
12:20
PM ET
Michael DiRocco and David Hale write Insider: Key matchups stand out in Saturday’s battle when Florida travels to Florida State.

DiRocco Insider: LB Jon Bostic’s interception pushes him closer to the top of the Florida 10 player power rankings.

DiRocco Insider: A few plays stand out as significant for Florida moving forward from its win Saturday over Jacksonville State.

GatorNation links: Young Gators' shot

November, 15, 2012
11/15/12
1:29
PM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: Insider Younger Gators whose playing time hasn’t matched their ability could get a chance to break out Saturday against Jacksonville State.

Derek Tyson writes: Insider Juco DT Darious Cummings could flip his commitment away from Ole Miss, and would fit in with UF’s plans if so.

DiRocco: Insider Backup QB Jacoby Brissett’s play and seniors’ last game in The Swamp are among five storylines to watch Saturday.

GatorNation links: Rivalry regains steam

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
2:38
PM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: The Florida-Georgia rivalry is picking up steam again after the Gators dominated the rivalry with Georgia for more than 15 years, with intrigue returning to the border battle during the past five seasons.

DiRocco: A look at the Top 5 Georgia-Florida heartbreakers.

DiRocco: Gators coaches are punishing ‘violators’ who don't carry the football reliably.

Derek Tyson and Kipp Adams write Insider: Former Gators receiver Jacquez Green and former Dawgs defensive lineman Marcus Stroud are linked as two of the top recruiting battles in the history of the Florida-Georgia rivalry.

GatorNation links: Top 5 rivalry players

October, 22, 2012
10/22/12
3:21
PM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: Georgia's Herschel Walker and Florida's Danny Wuerffel are two of the top-five performers in the Florida-Georgia rivalry all-time.

DiRocco: Florida's offense is suspect this season, but the Gators' excellense on special teams has helped with field position.

DiRocco Insider: Florida 10: Week 8 power rankings

DiRocco Insider: Scouting report: Georgia

DawgNation links: King vs. UF

October, 22, 2012
10/22/12
3:21
PM ET
David Ching writes: WR Tavarres King tends to play big against rival Florida. Georgia might need it again this year against the nation's undefeated No. 2 team.

Ching Insider: Kentucky was shockingly successful running against Georgia on third-and-long in the Dawgs’ narrow win Saturday.

Kipp Adams writes Insider: Naim Mustafaa, a UGA commit, visited Tennessee on Saturday and said he spent time with Vols defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri.

Ching Insider: Aaron Murray moves to the top of the Georgia 10 player power rankings.

Nabulsi Insider: Juco DL transfer Chris Mayes will enroll at UGA in January.

GatorNation links: Turnovers lend boost

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
1:33
PM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: Defensive back Jaylen Watkins and the Gators have an 11:4 turnover ratio in their favor -- which helps keep UF undefeated despite a roster thin on elite players.

DiRocco Insider: Both teams’ running games will be among the five storylines when Florida plays host to South Carolina.

DiRocco: UF’s defense can’t get so hung up on stopping South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore that it forgets quarterback Connor Shaw can run too.

GatorNation links: Special-teams tricks

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
12:30
PM ET
Michael DiRocco: Florida’s upcoming opponents will be studying plenty of film of the Gators’ special teams, which have been successful on several fakes this season.

DiRocco Insider: Quarterback Jeff Driskel -- fresh off breaking one of Tim Tebow's records -- tops Florida’s player power rankings.

DiRocco: Connor Shaw's mobility at quarterback figures to be a key as the Gators scout the South Carolina Gamecocks.

GatorNation links: Watch the fake

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
1:41
PM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: LSU coach Les Miles has called fakes on special teams against Florida in the past two seasons, resulting in big plays. The Gators will be on the lookout this time, to be sure, but there are no guarantees the Mad Hatter will try it again. Also: Watch a video preview of the game.

DiRocco: GatorNation hosts a Q&A with GeauxTigerNation’s Gary Laney for perspective on LSU.

DiRocco Insider: Five storylines -- Florida vs. LSU

GatorNation links: Jenkins return?

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
4:18
PM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: LB Jelani Jenkins might try to play Oct. 6 against LSU with a cast on his hand to protect a surgically repaired thumb.

DiRocco Insider: Matt Jones will be more effective when he can "quit all the dancing," Will Muschamp says, and starts hitting holes in the trenches straight on.

Note: Join DiRocco from 4-5 p.m. ET for a chat.

GatorNation links: Bye-week business

September, 24, 2012
9/24/12
11:24
AM ET
Michael DiRocco writes: Florida sees its bye week as a chance to get better: At 4-0 and with the LSU Tigers looming on the schedule, the Gators will take their bye week to watch their own film and make corrections before looking ahead to Oct. 6.

DiRocco: Insider Jeff Driskel still leads the Florida 10 player power rankings, which are full of new faces.

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