September 17, 2009

Tennessee Tidbits - 2 Days Till Beatdown

I've been running Facebook updates making fun of Tennessee all week, time to put some of these onto the blog. First off, I'll start with the most recent stuff.

Tennessee wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson, who decommitted from the Florida Gators football team on National Signing Day last year, caused quite a stir with his Facebook status last night.

Richardson's status read: "Starting to second guess myself.. Did I make da Right Decision!!!! Only time will tell"

Whether or not that status was about his decision to attend Tennessee instead of Florida is debatable, but the timing couldn't be more questionable.

Tennessee fans have written it off as referring to his decision to shave his dreadlocks, but if that were the case wouldn't he know right away? Why "time will tell"?

Also interesting is that three Florida Gators appear on Nu'Keese Richardson's profile as friends. Apparently Richardson has some friends here (he played together with Janoris Jenkins in high school).

Here's a picture if you want to check it out: Nu'Keese Richardson Facebook.

The second ridiculous comment of the week from Tennessee land was made by Tennessee's interim president Dr. Jan Simek.

He said: “Lane comes from the Pac-10, which in many respects is the epitome of great academics and great athletics, as this past weekend showed on several different levels, including to us. When we lost to UCLA, we lost to a better academic institution, too.”

Really? Admitting that your school is a second rate school for academics. I'm sure alumni and current students were thrilled to hear that.

Anyway, that's all for now, but I'll be back tomorrow with some of the greatest pictures and videos on the web.
Read Florida Gators post...

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks

September 16, 2009

Back to the Blog! - Gatoroogle took some time

Sorry for the extreme lack of delays over the past few weeks, I've been working on setting up a campaign for the University of Florida to help make some money and cut the budget crisis a bit.

The project, called Gatoroogle, is a University of Florida portal to the Google search engine, basically making Google extremely Gator friendly.

You can check out Gatoroogle on the web for more information. Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm back and you can expect more frequent updates as we get ready for the heart of the SEC schedule! Read Florida Gators post...

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks

September 3, 2009

Replacing Percy Harvin - Part III - Chris Rainey

As promised, today we'll take a look at the second player that will be key in helping the Florida Gators football team replace superstar playmaker Percy Harvin.

Today, we'll take a look at what Chris Rainey will contribute to the offense this year to help ease some of the pressure on the offense.

First off, to be a true asset to the Gators this season, Rainey must be able to shake his label as an injury prone player. While Rainey was often nicked up last season, he did play in most contests and he has added some weight over the offseason to help protect him from the grind of the SEC.

We talked about how Jeff Demps will help to replace Harvin this season as the primary back who will eat up some of Harvin's touches in the backfield.

Rainey will also help to shoulder some of Harvin's carries as a running back, but he will primarily help to replace Harvin's impact in the short passing game in space.

The Florida coaches have been raving about Rainey's increased pass catching abilities and he will undoubtedly provide the Gators a Harvin-like threat in the flats and the short slant routes as a short yardage receiver.

As I mentioned yesterday, Rainey might very well have better agility and cutting ability than Harvin, although he doesn't have the same blend of size, cutting and speed that Harvin had. However, this cutting ability will make Rainey the primary threat in the short yardage passing game.

Coach Urban Meyer and his staff will undoubtedly try to get Rainey the ball in space as much as possible, where he can use his superior cutting ability to get free and make plays for the Gators.

Rainey also figures to see the majority of his rushing touches running to the outside, whereas Demps will likely be the primary runner through the middle of the offensive line.

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at the final aspect of replacing Percy Harvin: the receiving game.
Read Florida Gators post...

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks

September 1, 2009

Replacing Percy Harvin - Part II - Jeff Demps

Continuing our series on how the Florida Gators football team will replace superstar athlete Percy Harvin this season, today we'll take a look at what running back Jeff Demps will contribute this season.

Demps was perhaps the best pure running back on the Gators' roster last season, as he racked up seven rushing touchdowns and over 600 yards as a running back. Demps also added a touchdown and 141 yards receiving for the Gators during the 2008 season.

With Harvin's departure, Jeff Demps will undoubtedly see an increased workload during the 2009 football season. Demps figures to see the majority of this increase in the running game, where he is listed as the starting running back for the Gators.

Demps is seemingly more durable than both of his counterparts, Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Moody. In fact, in addition to his tough running style, Demps is perhaps a bit of a blend of the other two talented backs.

Demps has the best straight line speed on the team, making him an homerun threat for the Gators. However, contrary to Chris Rainey, Demps is best served by hitting a hole and running straight through, while the majority of Rainey's big plays involve and number of cuts and jukes.

Due to the strength of the interior of Florida's offensive line, this should mean that Demps will see more touches in between the tackles during the 2009 season. Demps showed remarkable effectiveness last year running behind the offensive line, and the interior should be as good as any in the Southeastern Conference this season.

While Rainey will likely be the threat when the Gators look towards the sidelines, Demps provides the Gators with a quality option on third and medium distance. Essentially, Demps' added carries will simply be a replacement of that aspect of Percy Harvin's game.

The same will be true of Chris Rainey's role.

Expect to see Demps utilized extensively in between the tackles this year, and less on the outside, as the Gators focus on letting Chris Rainey take over that portion of Harvin's role.

That's not to say that Demps won't see some jet sweeps this season, or some runs off tackle. What I mean is that someone must replace the touches between the tackles that Percy Harvin provided.

Demps is much better suited to this role than Rainey, so he will likely see a larger percentage of his touches come on those types of runs, while Rainey will be relied on more to be the threat in the flats.

Tomorrow, I'll expand upon Rainey's role and the increased load the coaches will put on him, particularly in the short yardage passing game.
Read Florida Gators post...

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks

August 31, 2009

Florida Gators Football - Replacing Percy Harvin - Part I

The 2009 Florida Gators football season is now literally upon us, as we enter the final few days until the defending National Champions kick off against Charleston Southern.

With today's piece, I'll take a look at one area that really concerns me as the Gators head into the 2009 season: the offense.

Gone is Percy Harvin, the team's do-it-all superstar who lit up the college football scene throughout his career at Florida. With Harvin goes a huge chunk of Florida's offensive production, and perhaps the most reliable playmaker on the field in any given game.

While I don't think it will be impossible for the Gators to win without Harvin, it will certainly be more difficult. Sure, people like to point out that Florida has players with better speed than Harvin (Jeff Demps), better moves than Harvin (Chris Rainey) and better power than Harvin (Emmanuel Moody). However, what the Gators really lack is one player who can do all three the way that Harvin did.

Like I said, I think it's naive to think Florida can't win without Harvin, but at the same time, it will certainly be more difficult. What Harvin gave to Florida was a consistent threat of a first down, regardless of the down or situation. In fact, Harvin was such a versatile player that he was almost always a first down threat from any formation.

Harvin could get a first down on a running play on 3rd-and-12 just as easily as he could get a first down catching a pass on 3rd-and-2. This type of versatility is what made Harvin so dangerous. It's also what will keep the Gators from truly replacing Harvin this season.

I doubt many Florida fans would disagree with anything I've said to this point, except perhaps that Jeff Demps or Chris Rainey can't do everything Percy Harvin could do. If you disagree with me on that, you're entitled to your opinion, but I'll base this article on the assumption that they can't (which I believe is a very fair and reasonable assumption).

What Harvin's loss does to Florida is force the coaches into smarter play calls in crucial situations. It also means the Gators will likely see a slightly decreased efficiency in third down situations.

This doesn't mean Florida can't win. It simply means that the offense loses a bit of its unpredictability and increases the chances that defensive coordinators will be able to properly identify the plays Florida is likely to call based on personnel.

Again, it will take smarter play-calling and it will take guys stepping up to relieve the pressure on Tim Tebow. Execution from the other guys is the only thing that will make up for Harvin's departure.

The real bottom line is that Percy Harvin is irreplaceable in the Florida offense. He's the type of player that comes around once in a decade, if not once in a lifetime.

That doesn't mean Florida's offense is doomed, it just means that Florida's offense will have to adapt, something they've been extremely adept at since Urban Meyer arrived.

I'll touch on this more tomorrow, but today I want to let the fact that Harvin won't be replaceable set in. Tomorrow I'll take a look at what the Gators must do to overcome Harvin's loss.

But in closing, let me ask you this:

On 3rd-and-12, who would you feel most comfortable having lined up in the backfield or in the slot... Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps or Percy Harvin?
Read Florida Gators post...

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks

August 29, 2009

Florida Gators Volleyball and Soccer off to hot start

The Florida Gators Volleyball team got off to a hot start to the 2009 season, opening with victories over UNLV and Colorado in the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational.

The Gators dominated each contest, winning both in three straight sets. The win over UNLV was the sixth consecutive season opening win for the Gators. Florida is currently ranked No. 8 nationally in college volleyball.

The Florida Gators Soccer team started the season equally well, with a season-opening win over Miami 1-0 on the road, and then a 3-0 win over Florida International last night.

Florida is currently ranked No. 7 nationally in college soccer. The Gators will take on South Florida at 1 pm tomorrow afternoon. Read Florida Gators post...

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks

Andre Debose needs surgery, Dustin Doe back

Now seven days away from the season, the Florida Gators football team received some bad news on Saturday, as they learned that star freshman wide receiver Andre Debose has a serious hamstring injury.

The full extent of the injury is still unclear and head coach Urban Meyer said he would know more details on Monday.

Still, it sounds like the best case scenario for Debose at this point is missing the first half of the season or so and coming on to contribute in the second half of the year.

In all likelihood, the injury will probably require surgery and could force Debose into a redshirt year. However, if Debose's recovery is on the short side, he could still have an impact in SEC play for the Gators.

Debose injured the hamstring in the final track meet of his senior year in high school. It was thought to be a minor strain at the time, but it has limited Debose throughout fall practice and wasn't going away. He will get it looked at over the weekend, and we should get a final verdict on Monday.

Some good news for the Gators is that linebacker Dustin Doe is back with the team after serving a suspension following several traffic citations and driving without a license repeatedly.

Doe is still undoubtedly in Urban Meyer's doghouse, but his return should provide some added depth for the Gators. Doe has likely lost his starting spot and will play a backup role in his final year in Gainesville. He practiced with the second team today.
Read Florida Gators post...

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks