Gator News And World Report (11/7/04)

The Gator News and World Report for Sunday, November 7, 2004. Embattled UF team relishes needed win; Gators rebound against Vandy; Ailing defense hangs tough; Fason tallies a thousand; Untested linebacker steps in; Fason's dinner bill may be steep; Gators' Linebackers Outsmart Vanderbilt; Toughness Defines UF's Machen; 'Out of gas' Gators win; Fason credits Zook for reaching milestone; UF's failings hurt Strong the most; Five good Zook replacements and more...

Florida Gator

Embattled UF team relishes needed win
They paraded down to one corner of the stadium, glad-handing the fans who made the trip. As they walked into the locker room, they held their helmets high and wore toothy grins.

Gators rebound against Vandy
NASHVILLE - Throughout all the turmoil and swirling negativity, Ron Zook has continued delivering one simple message to his players: Whatever happens, whatever goes wrong, whatever anyone else says or thinks, just keep playing.

Ailing defense hangs tough
Defending an option offense can be a daunting and befuddling assignment, especially for a defense that's been on its heels and out of sync all season. But the scenario the Gators found themselves in Saturday was downright scary.

Fason tallies a thousand
His historic day didn't get off to a great start. On Florida's third offensive play Saturday against Vanderbilt, Ciatrick Fason fumbled at the Vanderbilt 41 and the Commodores recovered.

Untested linebacker steps in
NASHVILLE - After making the first start of his career, walk-on redshirt freshman Florida linebacker Alvin Butler had only one thing on his mind.

Honor for UF player who died
NASHVILLE - The family of the late Eraste Autin will be honored with the other Gator seniors and their families before Saturday's homecoming game against South Carolina despite an ongoing lawsuit against UF and Shands Hospital at UF.

Quarter by quarter
1st quarter KEY PLAY: With Florida trailing 3-0, a pair of penalties backed the Gators up to their own 8-yard line. Chris Leak dropped back to pass in his own end zone but a Vandy blitz was in his face immediately. Leak was hit by Kevin Joyce and his fumble was recovered by Moses Osemwegie for a touchdown.

Florida saves face
UF overcomes slow start to top Commo-doormats

UF's Bailey, Butler prove worth in first starts at LB
Cory Bailey and Alvin Butler walked off the field together after both starting their first game at linebacker for Florida.

Fason's dinner bill may be steep
NASHVILLE -- A safety tip for anyone who plans on eating out in Gainesville on Thursday night: If you go to Ballyhoo's, expect some competition.

Finally, A Reason To Smile
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - They came to the University of Florida to get an education. In the past two weeks, Florida's players have learned more about life than their scholarships ever promised.

Fason Rushes Into School Record Book
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Completely oblivious about his accomplishment at the moment, Ciatrick Fason was thinking about the team.

Gators' Linebackers Outsmart Vanderbilt
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Vanderbilt players have the reputation of being the smartest in the Southeastern Conference.

Toughness Defines UF's Machen
University of Florida president Bernie Machen shot his inquisitor a look that would shatter a diamond.

'Out of gas' Gators win
After all the off-the-field distractions, Coach Ron Zook said, "You've just got to keep going."

Urban Legend
Coach Urban Meyer is leading the undefeated Utah Utes and isn't talking about whether his future will be with the Gators in Gainesville.

Fason hits 1,000 yards, now will feed linemen
Ciatrick Fason is the 7th back in school history to reach that milestone and now owes his line dinner.

UF Notebook: Gators depleted at linebacker
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The sideline was littered with linebackers wearing only blue warm-up pants and jerseys, revealing a problem far more serious than Florida Coach Ron Zook initially let on.

UF has enough against Vandy
Ciatrick Fason's 170 yards on the ground were a key in helping the Gators continue their dominance of Commodores.

Zook goes to Plan B
Linebacker injuries forced coach Ron Zook to turn to two freshmen and move another player to a foreign position.

1,000-yard rusher
Ciatrick Fason hugged Ron Zook when he heard the news.

Fason credits Zook for reaching milestone
Ciatrick Fason is the fifth UF running back to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a season before 10 games.

Giggling Gators earn rare road win
They exited the field smiling, entered the locker room laughing and boarded the team bus with a bounce in their step — and a long-awaited win under their belts.

UF's failings hurt Strong the most
The worst casualty of the Ron Zook era is Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.

Fason has big day - during and after win
One of the most memorable days of Ciatrick Fason's career ended with a moment he will cherish for the rest of his life.

Defensive subs help in sinking of Commodores
Alvin Butler was eating breakfast Saturday morning when he found out he was starting against Vanderbilt.

Gators overcome bad start to 'smile'
Trailing by 10 midway through the second quarter, Florida faced a stark reality.

REASONS SPURRIER
Now that Steve Spurrier has taken his visor out of the ring for a second tenure as football coach of the Florida Gators, we must delve deeper. Why did the Old Ballcoach decide déja vŸ in Gainesville wasn't the way to go? All the "statements" released reveal nothing. Let's go behind the scenes for the top five reasons Spur-Dog just said no.

A bright spot for the often overlooked Dallas Baker
NASHVILLE -Dallas Baker sustains a philosophy on many issues. Saturday he theorized with his hands, scoring a fourth-quarter insurance touchdown to place Florida ahead 31-17. Baker, who fought off a duo of defenders to snatch the 35-yarder, has fended off stretches of plays and games when the coaches rarely call his number.

Five good Zook replacements
So the Florida Gators still need a head football coach. What's new? After having been spurned in recent days by "the ol' ball coach" in Steve Spurrier and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and then having apparently been flashed the stop sign by Louisville AD Tom Jurich in the case of Bobby Petrino, it appears that Gators' Athletic Director Jeremy Foley has his hands full.

Fason set to eclipse UF marks
Florida junior tailback Ciatrick Fason had no idea he had gone over 1,000 yards rushing for the season until Gators coach Ron Zook put his arms around him in the locker room after Saturday's 34-17 win at Vanderbilt.

Linebacker play brings good times
Florida linebackers coach Bill Miller walked off the field after the Gators' 34-17 win at Vanderbilt on Saturday with a smile on his face. He had good reason to feel good.

Florida Gator Soccer

Lady Vols, Gators meet again at SEC
Tennessee and Florida have turned the SEC women's soccer tournament championship into their own tug-of-war match.

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