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Tag:Florida
Posted on: October 8, 2010 3:19 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 5:15 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 6

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

Breakfast

Main Course - #2 Ohio State vs. Indiana - Noon - ESPN

You know what the real problem is with the ACC and Big East being so awful/mediocre this year?  It really leaves the early menu of games leaving a lot to be desired.  I mean, I have Ohio State and Indiana as the morning's best option.

Think about that for a second.  Ohio State and Indiana.  A game which hasn't seen the Hoosiers get within more than 19 points of the Buckeyes in every meeting since 2002 -- though the teams didn't meet in 2007 or 2008.  The good news for Indiana is that the 19-point loss came last season, with Ben Chappell at quarterback.

The Hoosiers offense has been very impressive this season, but the Buckeyes will be by far their biggest test six weeks into the year.  Considering that we can't be sure just how healthy Terrelle Pryor is, and the struggles the Buckeyes had in Champaign last week, this game could prove to be more interesting than you'd think.

Side Orders: Should that game go the blowout route, your other options Saturday morning would be the ACC fare of North Carolina State and Boston College.   One is a team looking to rebound from its first loss, the other is a team that is having its three quarterbacks pick a number between 1-10 to see who gets to start.  If you prefer something else, you can watch Georgia and Tennessee fight to see which school's season is more far gone than the other.  It's a must win for Mark Richt, because a loss to Tennessee at home would only send him to the hospital with third-degree burns on his backside.

Lunch

Main Course - #19 South Carolina vs #1 Alabama - 3:30pm - CBS

If there's one thing I think we can all be certain at this point of the college football season it's that Alabama is the best team in the country.  There's a bit of a gap between them and Ohio State and Oregon, but after the Ducks, things drop off quite a bit.  That being said, going in to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks shouldn't be a cakewalk for the Tide.

What I think will be the key to this one is if Marcus Lattimore can do anything against the Alabama defense.  While the Alabama defense is barely giving up nine points a game, they are allowing an average of 101 yards per game on the ground. 

Though even if the Gamecocks do get a ground game going, they still have to stop Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, which no one has done to this point ('Bama is averaging 230 yards a game rushing).  Considering the Gamecocks allow 128.3 yards a contest on the ground, I'm not sure they're up for the challenge either.

Side Orders:
Listen, if people are taking this Michigan/Michigan State game so seriously that they're willing to die in order to see it, maybe you can take a few hours of your Saturday and do the same.  There is never a bad time to watch Denard Robinson play football, as he is without question the most dangerous one-man show in the sport right now.  If that's not good enough for you, check out Arkansas and Texas A&M.   One team has a quarterback who lives up to the hype, and the other has a quarterback who lives up to the hype on one series and then proceeds to get that hype lodged in his throat, suffocating himself and his team.  See if you can tell which one is which.

Dinner

Main Course - #14 Florida vs. #12 LSU - 7:30pm - ESPN

This game will be interesting for plenty of reasons, but perhaps none more so than the battles between the fans in the seats.  Watch as LSU and Florida fans argue about which team's offensive coordinator is going to drive some student to the top of the nearest bell tower with a sniper rifle sooner.  Then watch the other fan base tell them that if their offensive coordinator climbed up that same tower he'd only manage to fall out before getting a single shot off.

Then watch both fan bases fall into each other's arms in tears, unified in despair.  Then they'd smile when both agreeing that if it were Les Miles atop that tower, he'd kill 40 people before going to trial and being found not guilty on some technicality.

Side Orders: Though the rivalry between Florida State and Miami has lost some of its luster the last few years, the fact is both teams come into this game ranked and looking to stay on top of their respective divisions in the ACC.  Or you can watch Stanford try to run its win streak over USC to three games in Palo Alto as Ed Orgeron yells incoherently from home thanks to that staph infection in his leg.

Late Night Snack

The Washington Huskies look to build on any momentum they picked up by beating USC on the road last week against an Arizona State team that couldn't headbutt its way to a victory against Oregon State.
Posted on: October 7, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 12:04 pm
 

Jordan Jefferson is still LSU's starter

Posted by Tom Fornelli

At just about any school in the country, if you were a quarterback who in the team's first five games of the season had managed to throw for only 449 yards while barely completing half of your passes, and had thrown two touchdowns and six interceptions, you probably wouldn't be expecting to start the sixth game.  If your school was LSU, though, and your head coach was Les Miles, you'd have no reason to worry.

In his never-ending quest to win football games in spite of himself, Les Miles announced on Wednesday that Jordan Jefferson will once again be LSU's starting quarterback this Saturday against Florida.   Actually, when asked who the team's starter would be, Miles said that he thinks "it will probably go exactly the same."

Which means that Jefferson will start, play terribly, get bailed out by his defense, and then Les Miles will do something insane at the end of the game that should cost him his job yet, somehow, will result in another victory.

Which I guess is Miles' reasoning.  Sure, the LSU offense outside of Stevan Ridley has been the equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster -- oh the humanity -- but the Tigers are still 5-0.  Let's just ignore that Jarrett Lee -- who comes with his own share of "hey I'm just gonna close my eyes and throw this ball somewhere" problems -- threw for 185 yards against Tennessee last week and has a rating of 133.22 (Jefferson's at 87.99) this season.

Heaven forbid Miles put in the quarterback who has shown a modicum of competency this season, then the games might not be close enough at the end for him to totally mess them up and get away with it.  And what fun is Les Miles if he doesn't have a chance to nearly blow a game?


Posted on: October 6, 2010 3:47 pm
 

These Gators refuse to adapt

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Florida Gators may be 4-1 on the season but, by and large, they haven't played nearly as well as a team as that record would indicate.  They started the season with three straight wins over Miami (OH), South Florida and Tennessee and all three of those contests were a lot closer than what we've all become accustomed to seeing from the Gators.

Now, obviously, there is a reason for this.  No matter what your personal feelings were for Tim Tebow when he was playing in Gainesville, it's hard to argue that Tebow was the perfect quarterback for the Florida offense masterminded by Urban Meyer and called by Steve Addazio.   Losing Tebow is something the team needs to adjust to.

Unfortunately it's an adjustment that Florida's coaching staff doesn't seem willing to make.

It wouldn't be fair to compare John Brantley to Tebow because they're two completely different quarterbacks.  Tebow was the battering ram who would occasionally make an ugly throw whenever it was needed.  Brantley is your more traditional quarterback, with an arm that is much stronger than his legs.

Yet the Gators are treating Brantley as if he's Tebow, asking him to run more speed options than throw deep ins.  Brantley has carried the ball 15 times this season for 60 yards, with no run gaining more than 11 yards.  He also picked up some bruised ribs on an option run courtesy of the Alabama defense.

Even after seeing that unmitigating disaster, Addazio says that there will be no change in the way the Gators conduct business on Saturday against LSU.

"That's a part of who we are and that won't change," said Addazio. "It's like everything else. Get a little better, operate it a little better. Twenty of them? No. But the element is there and element will always be there."

Which is fine. It's hard for an offense to completely overhaul its identity in the middle of a season.  Still, you would think Addazio would take a look at his team's performance against Kentucky two weeks ago.

Without question the Gators 48-14 win over the Wildcats was their most impressive outing of the season, dominating the game from the opening kick to the final whistle.  In that game Brantley ran the ball four times and picked up a yard.

However, Trey Burton took some snaps at quarterback running the option and picked up 40 yards on five carries.  Each one of his five runs ending with six points as Burton went on to break Tim Tebow's school record with six touchdowns in the game.

Brantley had a fine afternoon throwing the ball, as well, completing 24-of-35 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown.

So why won't Addazio use this approach the rest of the season?  Against Alabama Brantley ran the ball eight times to lose a yard.  Burton had half as many carries, and only picked up five yards.

Forget about the output, as even Tebow had his problems with the sturdy Alabama defense last season, and look at the philosophy.  Burton was coming off an amazing game and only got half as many carries as the quarterback who has struggled to run the ball all season.

Hell, Brantley had more carries than every Florida running back other than Jeff Demps, and Demps was playing on an injured foot.

In what world does this make sense to anybody?

Not even Brantley sounds like he's comfortable running so much, though he isn't stupid enough to say it publicly.

"I don't mind doing it at all," Brantley said. "It is a little different. Gotta get a little used to it at game speed, but I'm comfortable doing it. That's what our offense is. It's been successful for us these last four years, so why not keep doing it?"

He doesn't mind doing it.  Not I enjoy doing it, not I want to do it.  He doesn't mind.  

Well, I don't mind watching Project Runway with my girlfriend if she asks me to, but that doesn't mean I want to. 

The reason you don't keep doing it is because in the four games you have been things haven't worked out too well.  In the one game you didn't, and mixed it up, you had your best game of the season.

If I can see this, then why can't the Florida coaching staff?

Go with a two quarterback system.  When you want to run the option, bring in Burton.  If you want to pass, use Brantley.  I seem to recall a former Florida quarterback who wasn't exactly suited to run an option offense either.  His name was Chris Leak.   That's when the Gators started using Tebow in run situations, and things turned out pretty well that year as the school's trophy case can attest to.
Posted on: October 5, 2010 2:57 pm
 

Is John Brantley hurt? Vegas seems to think so

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Tuesday rumors started to surface that Florida quarterback John Brantley was hurt and could possibly miss this Saturday's game against LSU in The Swamp.  The rumors were shot down by offensive coordinator Steve Addazio who said there's no truth to any of the rumors and that Brantley is fine.  Brantley himself said "I'm a bit sore.  It's nothing major."

Still, the assurances from Addazio and Brantley didn't seem to have much of an affect on those who stand to make or lose a lot of money on this week's game: Las Vegas.  Several casinos in this country's capital of vice and decadence have completely removed the Florida/LSU line from their sportsbooks, as they're not so sure these are just rumors.

"We're hearing that (Brantley) is questionable," said Jay Kornegay, Sportsbook Director at the Las Vegas Hilton. "Whenever we get confirmation, either way, what his status is, if he's playing or not, that'll make it a betting game again."

Now, obviously, just because Vegas has pulled the game doesn't mean for certain that Brantley isn't going to play this week.  Judging by what Brantley himself said, I'd be surprised if he wasn't trying to flag down errant snaps from Mike Pouncey this Saturday.  Still, there are a couple reasons to be wary of what Brantley's real status is.
  1. Football coaches aren't in the business of giving free information about their team or players to the opposition.
  2. Casinos aren't in the business of losing money.
For those two reasons alone it's not wise to make an assumption either way.  Let's not forget that Brantley did have to leave the Alabama game for a spell after getting hurt during the fourth quarter.  He did return, but it's possible that whatever was nagging him then hasn't subsided just yet.
Posted on: October 4, 2010 4:56 pm
 

Julio Jones day-to-day with bruised knee

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Alabama could be without one of their biggest weapons when they take on South Carolina this Saturday.  Stud wide receiver Juio Jones hurt his knee during the Tide's 31-6 dismantling of Florida on Saturday night.  Jones only made four catches for 19 yards in the game, but did have a 41-yard punt return in the first half that helped bury the Gators.

Nick Saban isn't sure about what Jones' status will be for this week's game against the Gamecocks.

"Julio bruised his knee in the game," Saban said. "Again, you never know how these things are. We did an MRI, checked it out and made sure he's OK, and he'll be day-to-day, at least for the first part of the week, and we'll see how he progresses."

If you were to hold a gun to my head and tell me to give you an answer, first of all I'd tell you that you're being a bit overdramatic.  You could have just asked, as there is no reason to get violent over this.  Then I'd tell you that I think Jones will be ready by the time Saturday rolls around unless the MRI missed something.

If the Tide didn't have Jones next week, it would have a pretty big impact on their passing game.  Though Alabama is a run-first team that doesn't really take full advantage of Jones' skills, he's still far and away the best receiving option they have.  He leads the team in receptions and yards, with 24 catches for 322 yards.  Darius Hanks is Alabama's second leading receiver, and he only has 14 catches for 230 yards.

Hat tip to CFT

Posted on: October 2, 2010 8:37 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 11:10 pm
 

Updates from Florabama

Posted by Tom Fornelli

FIRST QUARTER

8:35 - Trey Burton is not Tim Tebow.   Florida had a 4th and goal from the one yard line and went for it.  Burton tried to pull off the jump pass but was picked off in the end zone.  Tide gets the ball back up 3-0 with 2:15 left in the first.

8:39 - It's pretty scary to consider that Trent Richardson is the second running back for Alabama.   He just tore off a 30-yard run to get the Tide into Florida territory.

8:43 - The first quarter comes to an end with Greg McElroy hitting Darius Hanks for an 11-yard gain to the Florida 14-yard line.  So the second quarter will start with the Tide threatening to add to their lead.  Well, unless they call a jump pass.

SECOND QUARTER

8:48 - Mark Ingram does what Mark Ingram's done plenty of times, scoring a touchdown to give Alabama a 10-0 lead with 14:21 left until halftime.  Though Trent Richardson would have gotten there quicker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:54 - This is an important drive for the Gators.  While they don't have to get points, they need to move down the field and get some momentum behind them.  If they go three and out and punt, it could be 17-0 really quick.

8:55 And they go three and out, punt , and Julio Jones has a huge punt return to give Alabama the ball at the Florida 40.  This one's threatening to get out of hand for the Gators.

9:00 - Bit of an odd play.  Trent Richardson takes a direct snap, picks up a couple of yards and has the ball ripped out by Ahmad Black.   Julio Jones picks it up and gets a few more yards.  Replays showed that Richardson was down before fumbling, but the officials let it stand.  We'll see if that changes now that Alabama's taken a timeout.

9:03 - The call stands, so Bama's first fumble of the season is a fumble that wasn't actually a fumble.  Got it?

9:05 - Trent Richardson is an absolute beast.  He just ran over Will Hill and the Florida defense to set up a first and goal for the Tide.  Nine minutes left until halftime, and Dennis Dodd doesn't see this ending well for Florida.

9:07 - Mark Ingram finishes what Richardson started and gets his second touchdown of the night.  It's 17-0 Alabama, 7:50 left in the half.

9:10 - While they didn't have to score on their last drive, this one is a must-score for Florida.  If the Gators don't get into the end zone here then this one is already over and it's not even halftime.

9:12 - Good night, Gators.  John Brantley is picked off by Greg Kirkpatrick and Alabama has the ball at the Florida 18-yard line.

9:14 - And just like that it's 24-0 Alabama.  Marquis Maze comes in to run the Wildcat but instead of running, he throws an 18-yard touchdown pass to Michael Williams.

9:20 - On Florida's first drive of the night, they moved the ball down the entire field and the offensive line was pushing Alabama off the ball.  Then Burton threw that jump pass interception.  Since then, Alabama's defense is completely dominating Florida.  Gators just had to punt again.

9:24 - Alabama has a punter?  I did not know that.  He just made his first appearance of the night and unleashed a 26-yard punt, so Florida has a chance to get on the board before halftime.  Though something tells me they won't.

9:27 - The Gators have life!  Brantley hits Carl Moore for 11 yards on a 4th and ten for a first down.  On the next play Jeff Demps picks up nine yards and Florida has the ball at the Alabama 16 with just over a minute left.

9:32 - Chas Henry, filling in for the injured Caleb Sturgis, comes on and kicks a 39-yard field goal for the Gators.  Small moral victories!  The shutout is gone!  It's 24-3 Alabama with 36 seconds left in the first half.

9:35 - Alabama's content to just run out the clock and go to the locker room.  It's 24-3 Alabama and I'm not exactly confident that Florida is going to be able to make a game of this in the second half.

THIRD QUARTER

9:59 - Not a bad start for Florida in the second half, as Brantley hits Burton for a big gain and the Gator offense is already at midfield.  If they can get a touchdown here we might almost have a game.

10:02 - Brantley hits Moore on third down to set up a first and goal from the 5.

10:05 - The Gators have to settle for another field goal.  FIELD GOALS AREN'T GOING TO WIN THIS GAME, URBAN.  It's 24-6 Alabama and no sign of this game getting good anytime soon.

10:11 - Florida forces Alabama to punt, and it's a beauty.  Downed at the one-yard line.  If Florida can stop the Tide seven more times and kick seven more field goals, well,talk about excitement.

10:17 - Well that's a questionable strategy to get back in the game.  Brantley is intercepted by C.J. Mosely and the freshman takes it to the house.  It's 31-6 Alabama.

10:19 - Games like this really make you appreciate the idiocy of Les Miles. 

10:21 - College football needs to institute some kind of mercy rule.  Not to protect the feelings of the young men playing in the games, I don't care about them.  I'm talking about taking mercy on my eyes.

10:24 - Aww, the stinking sideline is ruining John Brantley's interception party.  He was just picked again, this time by Barron, but Barron comes down out of bounds so it doesn't count.

10:26 - On the very next play Brantley decides to just throw a pitch to Jeff Demps away, yelling "Stop this sideline!  Turnover party!"  Unforunately Demps never got the invitation and recovered the fumble.  Let's see what Brantley tries next.

10:28 - The refs take mercy on Florida, and call a holding on Milliner to give the Gators a first down at the Alabama 15.  Then on the next play Brantley throws to Moore in the end zone, and another flag is thrown. Pass interference on Milliner again.  Florida is officially a charity case.  Congratulations.

10:33 - Could it have gone any other way?  Brantley and Moody fumble the exchange, Alabama recovers.  The Brantley Turnover Extravaganza rages on.

FOURTH QUARTER

10:36 - We start the fourth quarter with Alabama up 31-6, and ready to heap more punishment upon the Gators.  Nick Saban is so happy that after the game tonight he's going to drink the blood of not one, but two babies.

10:39 - Alabama has to punt again, so it's Florida's ball once more.  How will they mess it up this time?  The only thing they haven't done tonight is give up a safety, so we should probably expect a Mike Pouncey snap to sail over Brantley's head and 50 yards through the back of the end zone.

10:44 - Wow, they just showed a stat that said the Tide only have 18 yards since halftime.  And they're still up 25.

10:46 - I know Gillilee is out of the game with an injury, but seriously, what's the point of having Jeff Demps in the game at this point?  He's already hurt, so why risk losing him next week in a game that's already decided?

10:48 - When it rains, it pours.  John Brantley just got sandwiched between two Alabama players while scrambling and he's down on the ground being attended to.  He looks to be in a considerable amount of pain too.

10:51 - See, this just makes no sense to me.  Both coaches just saw Brantley leave the game with an injury, yet Alabama still has all their starters in.  You're up 25.  You're not going to lose this game.  Get your reserves some play.

10:57 - Brantley is back in the game for Florida with a couple of sore ribs.  Why, I don't know.

11:00 - Only 4:22 left in the game.  Mercy will be taken upon us all soon enough.  It's still 31-6 Alabama.

11:05 - Saban has Mark Ingram running the wildcat just to pad his stats.  Well, that's awful nice, but he's going to need about 300 more yards to catch up to Denard Robinson.

11:07 - Verne points out that every one of Alabama's remaining opponents have a bye week before facing the Tide.  Which doesn't seem fair, but let's be real, Alabama had a bye this week as well.

11:09 - All right, it's a final.  Alabama wins 31-6.  The Tide get South Carolina next week, and if they get past them the only thing I see standing in their way to the SEC championship is Cam Newton and Auburn.

Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:19 pm
 

Florida loses kicker Caleb Sturgis for 6-8 weeks

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Florida's chances at beating Alabama took a hit today, when kicker Caleb Sturgis aggravated a previous back injury. According to GatorSports.com, Sturgis suffered a stress fracture and herniated disc in his back earlier this month, and though Sturgis was able to kick through the injury this far into the season, the rehab is expected to take him 6-8 weeks this time around.

Obviously, this is bad news for Sturgis; place-kicking is so dependent on athletic precision that not having a healthy back can absolutely wreck Sturgis' technique. Further, the long the injury sidelines him, the longer he'll need to re-develop that muscle memory well enough to reliably hit field goals. Thus, while the report puts him back for the last week or so of the regular season, we'd be shocked if Sturgis returned before Florida's bowl game.

What's more, the precision in special teams isn't limited to the kicking itself; punter Chaz Henry will be kicking field goals now, and unless he's very flexible, that means he'll have to relinquish his role as placeholder. We're not sure who the new placeholder will be, but we're pretty sure that sheerly by dint of the lack of repetitions, they won't have the timing and rapport down nearly as well as Sturgis and Henry did before the injury.

All of which is to say that Florida's special teams are appreciably worse now than they were 24 hours ago, and Urban Meyer's undoubtedly acutely aware of that. If that changes his playcalling at all, that may not be quite a bad thing; if Meyer continues two drives where he'd normally kick a field goal, and only one ends in a touchdown, the Gators are still better off than if they'd made both field goals. Obviously, having a good field goal kicker is much more preferable to just going for it all the time, but a shift in offensive priorities may not automatically be a bad thing.

Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:49 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Saturday in the bathroom.

Breakfast

Main Course - Clemson vs. #16 Miami - Noon - ESPN2


Okay, so once again breakfast has a lot of weak sauce in it this week, but we promise you that lunch and dinner are going to be a lot better.  Just remember what your mom used to tell you: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So eat this up because you're going to need it to help prepare you for the rest of the day.

Just beware that while the Miami looks good using too much Jacory Harris in it can cause indigestion.

Side Orders: This morning we offer some sides that should fill you up, but will probably leave you hating yourself for eating it later.  There's Ohio State steamrolling Illinois, and our "Ninth Place in the SEC" special, Mississippi and Kentucky.   If you already hate yourself, try some of the Minnesota and Northwestern.

Lunch

Main Course - #8 Oklahoma vs. #21 Texas - 3:30pm - ABC


Now that you've choked down your breakfast we can reward you with the real food for the day.  We're offering our Red River Rivalry this afternoon which is chock full of red meat deliciousness.   Just remember that the Longhorn can be somewhat tough and inconsistent. 

Texas has a lot on their plate this week, as they are coming off a rather embarrassing loss at home to UCLA last week, and a similar performance against Oklahoma this weekend could destroy the rest of their season. 

Side Orders: If you're not sure you can handle all the beef in our main course we do offer plenty of other options this afternoon.  There's Michigan State hosting Wisconsin in a game that will give us a better idea of what either team is really about this season.  There's also North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, or if offenses that set the game of football back 80 years are more your style, there's always LSU and Tennessee.   My advice is to just watch Patrick Peterson in that game.

Dinner

Main Course - #1 Alabama vs. #7 Florida - 8pm - CBS


We didn't lead you astray with our Alabama and Arkansas last week, and we promise you that this week's Florabama won't disappoint either.  Alabama has already faced it's first real test of the season, but this week they are the test.  Florida is 4-0 but didn't wow any of the critics until last week's Trey Burton-centric dismantling of Kentucky.

If the Gators can manage to get past the Tide they'll officially be back in the national championship picture.

Side Orders: It's not a bad night when your second choice features another two top ten teams.  If fowl is more your taste, then try the Oregon and Stanford.   The Pac-10 doesn't have a championship game, yet, but this game basically is just that.  Two high-scoring offenses finally get to test two defenses that have proven sturdy thus far.  If you prefer something a bit more old-fashioned we're also offering Iowa and Penn State.

Late Night Snacks

Nevada and Colin Kaepernick are two things you'll probably be hearing about quite a bit in the coming weeks, as they're essentially the last thing standing between Boise State and an undefeated season.  So why not check them out when they travel to Vegas to take on UNLV?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com