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2 posts from October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013

The Midseason Edition: Rank'em

GAINESVILLE -- It’s the bye week, so what better time to rank Florida’s top 10 players to date…

1. WR/KR Solomon Patton – 28 catches for 426 yards, 5 total touchdowns: Florida’s most explosive and reliable playmaker. Think how inept UF’s offense would be if the senior were still a jet-sweep specialist?

(Solomon Patton | courtesy rantsports.com)

2. CB Vernon Hargreaves III – 19 tackles, 3 interceptions, 7 passes broken up: ‘Nuff said. 

3. LB Michael Taylor – team-leading 41 tackles, 3.5 TFL: Florida’s top linebacker on a unit that’s struggled all season. It’s strange to live in a world where Taylor is a better linebacker than Antonio Morrison, but alas, that’s where we are and it’s a major reason why Florida suddenly cannot stop the run.

4. UT QB Nathan Peterman DL Dante Fowler Jr. – 27 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 8.5 TFL, 7 quarterback hurries, 3 FF: The sophomore is still learning how to set the edge in the run game, but the baby-faced pass rusher remains Florida’s most menacing defensive line presence.

(Dante Fowler Jr. (No. 6), Jon Bullard (No. 90) | courtesy zimbo.com)

5.  WR Trey Burton – team-leading 29 receptions for 336 yards, 1 touchdown: The sheriff of Checkdown Central. With minimal zero tight end production, the senior is quarterback Tyler Murphy’s favorite target, especially on third down.

6. ARK QB Brandon Allen DL Jon Bullard – 20 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries: Not as heralded or dynamic as Fowler Jr., but Bullard has been one of Florida’s most consistent (despite playing out of position inside) linemen in Dominique Easley’s absence. 

7. CB Loucheiz Purifoy – 14 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 FF, 1 blocked punt: Borrowing ESPN Bill Simmons’ 90-10 theory, 90 percent of what Purifoy brings to the table is still better than almost any cornerback in the country. 


(Loucheiz Purifoy | courtesy cbssports.com)

8. Kentucky’s whole team K Francisco Velez – 3-for-3 on field goals, long of 44 yards: The walk-on hasn’t missed since leapfrogging Austin Hardin and Brad Phillips on the depth chart.

9. S Jabari Gorman – 30 tackles, 1 interception: The unsung junior is the team’s best tackler in the secondary and is better in coverage than Cody Riggs.  

10.  LG Max Garcia – At tackle it’s a different story, but when at guard (his natural position) Garcia has been UF’s most consistent and productive offensive linemen -- hands down. 

Thoughts? Comments? Your own list(s)… 

Have at it.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Searching for solutions

A teaser to a piece I wrote on Florida's coaching staff and Will Muschamp's vote of confidence. 

GAINESVILLE -- The Gators -- unranked and unraveling -- will have no mid-season coaching changes, Will Muschamp emphatically announced Wednesday.

Florida, crippled by injuries and a stale and inept offense, is reeling following consecutive drubbings against LSU and Missouri, but Muschamp endorsed his staff -- specifically offensive coordinator Brent Pease -- 100 percent.

“This is the same staff that came a game away from playing for [the] national championship, OK?” he said. “Obviously we’re not where we want to be right now, and nobody knows that more than our staff. So we need to go back and re-evaluate what we’re doing and continue to improve our football team over the next five weeks.”

The Gators’ (4-3, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) have continued to regress on offense, as they rank No. 106 in total offense (336.9 y/g) -- this following consecutive seasons finishing in the bottom 20 nationally of total offense. 

With no identity and few playmakers, it’s been agonizing for Florida to even gain first downs in recent weeks.

UF’s floundering offensive line has allowed 10 sacks in last the two games, while it’s rushing attack has averaged a conference-worst 3.70 yards per carry.

Changes are afoot though, including the coaching staff’s normal bye week schedule.

Muschamp pulled several assistant coaches off the recruiting trail Sunday, cancelling a two-day tour for an emergency meeting to address Florida’s endless offensive woes. ..."

For more click the link...

Also a notebook on Florida's ever-expanding injury report, a baby for Darrin Kitchens and Aubrey Hill's two-year, show-cause penalty.  


Florida’s injury report continues to read longer than a Faulkner novel.

Reserve linebacker and special teams ace Jeremi Powell will miss the remainder of the year with a torn ACL. It’s UF’s eighth season-ending injury in 2013.

“It’s just one of those years,” coach Will Muschamp said. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the game. You’ve got to coach through it and you’ve got to play through it. We don’t make excuses around here. We need to play better than we did the last two weeks.”

Powell was hurt on a punt block in the 36-17 loss to Missouri last weekend, but the injury was caused in a non-contact situation.

“He was just planting and got caught in the turf,” Muschamp said. “Unfortunate for him. He’s a guy who was really emerging, special teams-wise. He did a great job on kickoff for us.”

Meanwhile, linebacker/defensive end Ronald Powell remains out with an ankle injury, but Muschamp is hopeful the junior will return against Georgia following the bye week.

Quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) isn’t throwing in practice this week, but he too is expected to start versus the Bulldogs next weekend, as is defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (head injury).

Senior linebacker Darrin Kitchens (shoulder) and redshirt freshman tight end Colin Thompson (foot) remain sidelined and their return dates are unknown.  

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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