Florida Game Notes

Florida's easy win comes with a price. Plus, three more freshmen see action....

TAKE IT EASY

It took Florida a hefty sum of cash to land an easy win Saturday. The Gators paid $400,000 to get Florida A&M into the Swamp, marking the first game against a Division I-AA opponent since their national championship season.

Judging on the result of that game, it'd be easy to see why Florida wanted the Rattlers on its schedule. The then-No. 4 Gators crushed Georgia Southern 62-14 on Sept. 7, 1996.

Easiest way to overcome a 38-33 loss to Miami? Bring in the punching bags.

ON THE REBOUND

Coach Ron Zook is now 4-2 in games following a loss. But even in his rebound wins, his team's ability to bounce back hasn't always been smooth.

Two of those four victories came against Auburn and Ohio – both unranked teams. Auburn took Florida to overtime while Ohio held on to a 7-6 deficit until just before halftime. Despite a second-quarter drive that lasted nearly 10 minutes, the Bobcats lost 34-6.

At first, it seemed the Rattlers would add to the trend. An early interception led to a FAMU field goal, but the score was called back on illegal procedure. Florida's Keiwan Ratliff blocked the following attempt.

FRESHMEN ORIENTATION

Three more true freshmen saw action Saturday, pushing the total number of first-year players to 13. Jarvis Moss, Joe Cohen and Webb all saw action.

Moss, a 6-foot-7, 231 pound freshman, has put on 20 pounds since his arrival in Gainesville. Zook said he hoped using Moss at defensive end would aid the Gators' pass rush.

Cohen, who looks unproportianatly big to be a tailback at 250 pounds, was used as a fullback in some situations. On first and goal at the 3-yard line, it was Cohen's block that allowed Ciatrick Fason to score untouched.

Although Florida doesn't have a true scholarship fullback, Cohen's size could make him a good fit.

KICKOFF COVERAGE

In its first two games, Florida's opponents were averaging 29 yards on kickoff returns. After Miami freshman Devin Hester ran back the opening kick 97 yards for a touchdown, Zook vowed to improve the unit.

Against FAMU, he had plenty of opportunities. Zook made a few personell changes, including the addition of freshman cornerback Dee Webb. The Rattlers returned two first half kicks for 24 and 14 yards, and had touchbacks on the other three.

FORGET FOOTBALL

Drawing some of the loudest cheers and the most camera flashes of the night, FAMU's Marching 100 may have been the most thrilling aspect of Saturday's game.

During halftime, the marching band known as "the most imitated band in America" won over Gator fans with its unorthodox dancing and fast paced movement.

After playing rapper Fifty Cent's Magic Stick, the crew spelled out "Get Low" across the field to today's most popular hip-hop songs.

ETC.

Since 1990, Florida is now 58-0 at home against unranked opponents….Saturday's game was expected to be so lopsided, most popular sports books failed to issue a spread….Tight end Ben Troupe appears to be a fan favorite as a result of his big-play ability. The crowd chanted, "Trooooupe" each time he caught a pass …. Kicker Matt Leach lost his perfect kicking percentage on a 51-yard attempt in the second quarter. Before the miss, Leach had hit 5-of-5 and was one of two SEC kickers to be flawless. Before Saturday, he was averaging 13 points per game…. Seeing his first career start, true freshman Steve Rissler was in for the first play of the game at right guard. The Sarasota native was replaced by Randy Hand shortly after. Rissler also saw action against San Jose State….Linebacker Taurean Charles saw some time at defensive end to assist the struggling pass rush….Todd McCullough dressed in street clothes because of a sprained shoulder. The Rattlers caused Florida to run out of nickel and dime packages, so the impact wasn't substantial.


Fightin Gators Top Stories