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PREGAME: Medder stretching; predicting a Dorian Munroe breakout game

I'M BAAACK...been sick for a few days...

JACKSONVILLE -- Nothing like a nice rainy day on the St. Johns River.

The weather seems to be clearing up here at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium after a steady rain that lasted for about an hour. The field appears to be in good order, so soggy conditions shouldn't be a factor unless the rain picks up again.

-Florida offensive lineman Carlton Medder, who injured his heel last week, is stretching on the sidelines and appears ready to play. Medder did not practice this week and team doctors fitted him with a protective plastic cast. Medder said that he injured his heel during the preseason and the chronic injury finally took a turn for the worse against Kentucky. Medder is projected to start today but if his heel flares up again then redshirt freshman Marcus Gilbert (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) will fill in at right tackle.

-Mississippi State is up on Kentucky 24-14 at the end of the third quarter. I kind of saw this coming. The Wildcats are due for a letdown game and State is improving weekly with freshman quarterback Wesley Carroll (St. Thomas Aquinas).

-Florida sophomore Dorian Munroe (Miami Coral Reef) will play plenty today with freshman free safety Major Wright (St. Thomas Aquinas) out with a thumb injury. I'm predicting a breakout game from Munroe (at least one pick). Wright broke his thumb against Kentucky and had minor surgery on Monday. Florida coach Urban Meyer said on Monday that Wright had an outside chance of playing today. Smarter heads have prevailed. Florida will allow Wright to rest his hand, giving Munroe and Kyle Jackson plenty of opportunities today. Jackson, who started at free safety for the Gators first four games, is projected to start. Munroe, the Gators' most versatile defensive back, will back-up both Jackson and strong safety Tony Joiner.

-The scene outside the stadium is pretty festive despite the icky weather. I ran into a couple of Georgia fans dressed up like Civil War generals. They were hocking tickets.

-The Gator Bowl/Alltel/Jacksonville Muni/is filling up now. Pretty neat seeing Georgia and Florida fans split down the middle.

-From UF's sports info department: Former Florida quarterback Doug Johnson and former Florida head coach Galen Hall were inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame on Friday.

Hall was the head coach of the Gators from 1984-89, totaling a career record of 43-21-1 while leading Florida to three bowl appearances, including a win in the 1988 All-American Bowl over Illinois, 14-10. He became the first coach in Florida history to lead the Gators to back-to-back first-place finishes in the SEC (1984-85). Hall was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the AP in his first year at the helm, guiding Florida to a 9-1-1 record, the best regular-season mark in school history. He duplicated the feat in 1985, leading the Gators to another 9-1-1 season.

In 1998, Johnson enjoyed his biggest game against Georgia during his junior campaign. In his first start against the Bulldogs, Johnson became the second Gator player in as many years to throw, catch, and rush for a touchdown against Georgia. He was 25-for-34 passing for 292 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, adding a two-yard touchdown run and 10-yard touchdown catch from wide receiver Travis McGriff in the Gators’ 38-7 win. Johnson was 2-0 as a starter against Georgia in his career.

-jo-

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