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3 posts from August 23, 2013

August 23, 2013

Notebook: Jones, Halapio & Morrison OUT vs. Toledo

GAINESVILLE -- It’s official, No. 10 Florida will kickoff the season without its top tailback, offensive guard and linebacker.

Coach Will Muschamp announced running back Matt Jones (illness) and right guard Jon Halapio (torn pectoral) are out for the opener against Toledo (Aug. 31), while middle linebacker Antonio Morrison remains suspended.

Jones is set to have additional blood work on Monday and is “questionable” beyond Week 1. Halapio, a senior with 27 consecutive starts, is likely sidelined until the Tennessee game (Sep. 21).

“I think his pectoral is filling in and we feel really comfortable where is he, but this being his senior year we don’t want to push him with it,” Muschamp said.

Junior tailback Mack Brown will start in Jones’ place, but will not see feature back carries.

“It will be a little more spread out at this time,” Muschamp said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in Mack, Mark Herndon and Valdez Showers.”

Nebraska-transfer Tyler Moore will start at right guard.


Muschamp said fullback Hunter Joyer (hamstring), cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (sprained shoulder), defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (patella) and wideout Raphael Andrades (turf toe) are all expected to return Monday.


Off-the-cuff, Muschamp named every freshman he expects to play this season. He admited some kids are still being evaluated and he’d “be better suited to answer after the fourth or fifth game,” but…


WR Demarcus Robinson

WR Ahmad Fulwood

WR Chris Thompson (special teams)

CB Vernon Hargreaves III

CB Nick Washington (special teams)

LB Alex Anzalone

LB Jarrad Davis

LB Daniel McMillian

S Keanu Neal


WR Alvin Bailey

WR Marqui Hawkins

OG Octavius Jackson

DT Antonio Riles

DT Jay-nard Bostwick

DT Caleb Brantley


QB Max Staver

LB Matt Rolin

OT Trevon Young

OT Roderick Johnson

DE Jordan Sherit

C Cameron Dilliard

P Johnny Townsend

Noticeably absent are four ballyhooed freshmen: DL Joey Ivie, S Marcell Harris and the two tailbacks, Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane.

“We haven’t made a decision on Lane or Taylor yet,” Muschamp said. “Right now both of those guys are taking some reps, and you never know how the season progresses and what they can and cannot do.”

The guess here is Ivie and Taylor will play, while Harris and Lane redshirt. We’ll see.


“It’s hard to go against the Heisman Trophy winner. I’m not going to express my vote though. That’s why it’s a private ballot.”

-- Muschamp on whether he voted for Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel for the preseason All-SEC first-team. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Embrace it

And on the third day, Will Muschamp delivered some zingers...


Much has been made of Florida's 2014 schedule, released by the SEC on Wednesday. See here, here, here, oh wait, yup, here

On Friday, an animated Muschamp admitted what many refuse to acknowledge: It's about TV. It's about money. The new SEC Network (ESPN): They don't want Kentucky vs. Mississippi State. They want prime-time prize fights. 

"At the University of Florida we embrace whoever we play and whatever happens. ...At the end of the day, no one wants to say it but it comes down to matchups. People want to see the Gators play. They want to see Florida and Alabama play. I know that's not the company line, but that's the bottom line."

Muschamp ribbed the league a bit, but all in good fun. 

"A season ago we were asked to go to College Station and we embraced it and welcomed the [Texas A&M] Aggies to the SEC," he said, smiling. "We've been asked to kickoff at noon Aug. 31, Sept. 1 every year, we embrace it. We've been asked to play a cross-division opponent with LSU. We don't gripe and complain about it, we embrace it. We embrace things at Florida."

He finished his bit by saying, "There's a rumor going around they're going to ask us to play nine conference games next season and rest of the league play eight. And if they do, we'll embrace it. What a wonderful opportunity.”

It certainly is, but the 2013 season can't start soon enough. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Friday Fodder: A schedule inquiry

The Gator Nation collectively shrieked in horror when Florida’s 2014 schedule was released Wednesday.


While Georgia and South Carolina again avoided The Legion of Saban Alabama, Florida drew the short straw for the third time in five years.

But that’s next season.

The 2013 slate hasn't even started yet. So instead of pondering any SEC office conspiracy theories or the eternal hollow droning of fairness, a more pertinent question is which 2013 schedule -- between rivals UGA and UF -- is more preferable in the final year of the BCS system?

Both schedules are extremely difficult but different. In a vacuum, Florida’s schedule is a tad harder, but then again, is it?

Florida and Georgia play four of the top 12 teams in the country. The Bulldogs host LSU and USC, while UF must travel to Death Valley and Williams-Brice Stadium.  Both teams play a pair of ACC foes.

The two schedules are listed below. The pertinent question is timing vs. location. Georgia opens against a top 10 team and plays three of its four hardest games in the first month -- but two are at home.

Meanwhile, Florida has a relatively mild opening eight weeks -- the Miami game the lone exception -- before its schedule gets brutal over the final two months of the season -- the FSU game stands as the only marquee contest in The Swamp. 




Aug. 31


@ No. 8 Clemson

Sept. 7

@ Miami

No. 6 South Carolina

Sept. 14



Sept. 21


North Texas

Sept. 28

@ Kentucky

No. 12 LSU

Oct. 5



Oct. 12

@ No. 12 LSU


Oct. 19

@ Missouri

@ Vanderbilt

Oct. 26



Nov. 2

No. 5 Georgia (Jax)

No. 10 Florida (Jax)

Nov. 9


Appalachian State

Nov. 16

@ No. 6 South Carolina

@ Auburn

Nov. 23

Georgia Southern


Nov. 30

No. 11 Florida State

@ Georgia Tech

So whatcha' say?

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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