Florida Gators Football Focusing On Start Of SEC Schedule

Posted: Sep 8 2014, 6:47pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Florida Gators Football Focusing on Start of SEC Schedule
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The Florida Gators are focusing on their SEC schedule with the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on Sept. 13.

The Florida Gators are focusing on their SEC schedule with the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on Sept. 13.

Florida aims to build on its its 27-game unbeaten streak against Kentucky, per GatorZone.com senior writer Chris Harry:

"Quarterback Jeff Driskel watched from the sidelines Saturday as his backup, true freshman Treon Harris, launched a pair of bombs for scores on his only two pass attempts of the night. The first went for 70 yards to wideout Demarcus Robinson, the second for 78 to running back Mark Herndon.

"In his Monday meeting with the media, Driskel was asked what if anything he said to Harris after those two fourth-quarter bombs erupted in The Swamp.

"'His first two passes were touchdowns; my first one was an interception,' said Driskel, the fourth-year junior who was harkening back to his collegiate debut as an untested freshman at Alabama, of all places. 'So thanks for showing me up.'

"Driskel and the audience got a nice chuckle out of that one. That's what 65-0, the score of Saturday's season-opening rout of Eastern Michigan, can do for a quarterback and his team. Those 655 yards of total offense and five turnovers are defense were exactly the kind of jumpstart the Gators needed this season, given what happened last season.

"Clearly, last season is behind them.

"So is last week.

"The Gators (1-0) will enjoy the tape and process whatever miscues surfaced in the program's most lopsided victory since 1997 -- than an 82-6 bombardment of Central Michigan when Steve Spurrier roamed the sidelines -- but must now reset and refocus on Saturday night's Florida Field date against Kentucky (2-0) and the start of the Southeastern Conference slate.

"UF has won 27 in a row against UK, dating to the 1987 season, but those reasons are every bit as over the Gators' last game.

"'It's a 2014 Florida team versus a 2014 Kentucky team,' Coach Will Muschamp said. 'That's all it is to me.'

"That, and a chance to notch one on the good side in the SEC East Division standings. The Wildcats opened the season with a pair of non-conference wins over Tennessee-Martin (by a 59-14 score) and Ohio (20-3). In beating two FBS opponents, Kentucky has averaged 529 yards of total offense behind its 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback Patrick Towles, and allowed just 310.5 yards per game.

"The Gators promise the Wildcats will have their attention. And respect.

"'It's an SEC game, so I think that should explain it all right there,' junior defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. said.

"As rousing a night as it was in The Swamp, there were casualties. The season-ending broken leg to tight end and Virginia transfer Jake McGee, who underwent successful surgery Sunday, was a severe blow to the offense, but not the only one.

"Junior left offensive tackle D.J. Humphries suffered a chipped bone in his knee and is expected to be out through UF's Sept. 27 open date, meaning he'll miss both the Kentucky game and the following week's SEC road opener at Alabama. Muschamp said senior Chaz Green will move from right to the left tackle and replace Humphries, with redshirt freshman Roderick Johnson, out of Deiray Beach, Fla., stepping in on the right side for his first career start."

Harry's colleague at GatorZone.com, Scott Carter, delved deeper into the Humphries situation:

"Gators coach Will Muschamp said after Saturday's 65-0 win over Eastern Michigan that Humphries left the game becaues of an injured ankle. At his Monday press conference, Muschamp reiterated that Humphries is expected to miss at least two games.

"'We think we'll get him back after the open week,' said Muschamp, referring to the off week between Florida's road games at Alabama and Tennessee. 'He's dealing with a bit of a high ankle sprain as well as a bone chip. As we move forward we'll know more but he'll definitely be out this week.'

"Humphries missed five games last season because of a pair of knee injuries. He added about 20 pounds in the offseason to help withstand the rigors of facing SEC defensive lines but is expected to miss at least the first two SEC games due to his latest setback.

"While the Gators will be without Humphries, they got a good look at true freshman David Sharpe in the victory over Eastern Michigan. Sharpe played significant reps at left tackle and will serve as the primary backup to Green and Johnson. Left guard Trenton Brown can also slide out to tackle, where he started five games on the right side last year.

"Despite Humphries' injury, Muschamp is confident in the offensive line's depth.

"'We feel good there,' he said. '(Antonio) Riles will move up at guard and get some reps when Trenton goes outside. We feel pretty comfortable with where we are.'

"Like Sharpe, Johnson made his first appearance for the Gators on Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 308-pound Johnson was redshirted a year ago and made a strong impression in fall camp.

"'In my opinion, he's going to be very good,' Muschamp said. 'He played extremely well early on in the game. Obviously, there was some anxiety in your first time playing in those situations. But as the game wore on, we thought he played very well."

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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