Monday Bowl Report

Florida offensive linemen Shannon Snell and Mike Degory missed Monday's practice for seperate reasons. Both will still play in the bowl game...

Despite missing two starting offensive linemen at Monday's bowl practice, Florida may have still managed to benefit from the absences.

OG Shannon Snell and C Mike Degory both skipped the workout for separate reasons, causing backup Jonathan Colon, who recently returned from a back injury, to gain added action.

The junior insisted he would be prepared to play in time for Thursday's bowl game.

"[Colon] got a lot of reps today and did fine," Coach Ron Zook said.

Snell, who suffered from a body temperature of 100 degrees, decided to sit out for fear of spreading germs. He is expected to return today.

Degory, who attended a funeral, is expected to return by Thursday at the latest.

ROUGH RIDER

Because of a cancelled connecting flight, DE Darrell Lee may not have arrived in time for Gators' first practice of the bowl week. But don't expect him to face any punishments from Zook.

Seems he's been punished enough.

Lee, a Missouri native, was forced to take a 24-hour bus ride from Cincinnati to Tampa in order to make it to town for Sunday's workout. The 6-foot-4, 267-pound senior said he repeatedly watched three DVDs – Old School, Matrix: Reloaded and a Martin Lawrence stand-up routine – until his arrival.

When asked if he was ever scared of any passengers on the cross-country bus ride, Lee added: "I think I might have been the one scaring people."

TOUGH TASKS

When you live in Iowa, a state not often associated with its warm winters and abundant beaches, winning over a potential high school recruit isn't always the easiest task.

And while Coach Kirk Ferentz has successfully managed to put the program on the map in the past two years, he admits the school's location continues to cause some problems.

"We're not exactly a sexy name," he said. "It's gotten easier, but it's never going to be easy in Iowa."

Ferentz isn't knocking his school – simply stating the facts. As he said, once athletes see the campus, they often express a more optimistic tone.

"It's a wonderful college town," he said. "The only bad thing I can say is you need a winter coat."

And even once players do decide to commit to the Hawkeyes, the team doesn't concern itself with trying to win games in attractive fashion. Winning, as the coach says, doesn't have to be pretty.

"We're sort of like the Bad News Bears," he said. "We're not going to win any beauty contests, so we're going to have to really play hard and smart."

BRIEFLY

Ferentz, a hot commodity among NFL head coaching openings, answered more than 10 questions Monday regarding the possibility of making the jump. Patiently and consistently, Ferentz said he has been contacted by more than one team, but claims he has no current intentions of leaving after the season….As temperatures have climbed into the high 70s during the afternoons, it appears Florida may have an edge for the 11 a.m. kickoff Thursday. The forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 78 degrees. "We might take it for granted because it is warm, but I don't know if it's an advantage or not. We know we're playing an excellent football team that we're going to need to be ready to play." ###


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