Gator News And World Report (12/31/2004)

The Gator News and World Report for Friday, December 31, 2004. Strong knows tonight's results will last longer than a mere interim; Fight to the finish line; Bragging rights on the line in Peach Bowl; Williams lends big assists in win; Win would be Strong evidence; Assistant takes ASU post; Gators, 'Canes look to future; Gators geared up for 2005; Scouting report | UF vs. UM; Draft rumors interest Coker; Florida, Miami left to play for ‘state title' and more...

Florida Gator Football

Strong knows tonight's results will last longer than a mere interim
It was the first press conference of Peach Bowl week, a handful of reporters sitting in a Georgia Dome meeting room as the coach and two players were introduced.

Fight to the finish line
The way they've endured and played on through this emotional and controversial season, the Florida Gators have become a genuine feel-good story. But it doesn't have an ending yet. That will be written tonight, in the final hours of 2004, and the Gators want to make sure they finish it off right.

Bragging rights on the line in Peach Bowl
Charlie Strong looked longingly Thursday at the 3-foot tall trophy that goes to the winner of the Peach Bowl.

The Brock Berlin Timeline
Berlin's career has been well-chronicled throughout its peaks and valleys. So, for his final college game, has put together a Brock Berlin timeline beginning in his prep days as the nation's number one prospect.

Win would be Strong evidence
Victory for Gators in tonight's game would be huge for interim coach.

Assistant takes ASU post
Florida linebackers coach Billy Miller has found a job for the 2005 season, but it won't be with his former boss at Illinois.

An Old Face, A New Place
A Peach Bowl official grabbed the placard from a table Thursday and slipped it into a folder held by University of Florida assistant athletic director Steve McClain.

No. 20 Florida vs. No. 14 Miami
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m., Georgia Dome, Atlanta RECORDS: Florida (7-4, 4-4 SEC), Miami (8-3, 5-3 ACC)

Gators, 'Canes look to future
He tilted his head back to look upward toward the stands, his eyes focused on the stadium's empty seats. Then, Florida wide receiver Andre Caldwell panned once more across the field in front of him.

'Canes run at different tempo
Miami has been known for its balanced offenses, but this season the Hurricanes' running game has sputtered.

Gators' Webb gets into the groove
His hands on his knees, Florida cornerback Dee Webb couldn't stop staring toward his feet. Something seemed wrong, but his stepfather, Ronald Harrison, couldn't figure out what.

Gators geared up for 2005
Florida has a young, talented team that won its final three regular-season games, giving the Gators high hopes for what the future may bring.

25 years later and Miami returns to Peach Bowl
So a quarter-century goes by, and Miami returns to the Peach Bowl, this time against Florida, and what's new?

Berlin in search of a happy ending
Oft-beleaguered quarterback will try to end his college career on a high note tonight against UF.

Scouting report | UF vs. UM
• Miami: Brock Berlin led the Atlantic Coast Conference in total offense, passing yards per game and pass efficiency. He completed 182 of 324 passes for 2,509 yards, 21 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He ranks ninth on UM's career list with 4,928 yards in two seasons.

Sophomore a steadying star
Florida offensive lineman Jonathan Colon thought about the question -- What happened to Chris Leak? -- for a moment and then snapped back.

Draft rumors interest Coker
At the final Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl news conference Thursday, University of Miami coach Larry Coker addressed the issue of players possibly leaving early to enter the NFL draft.

Peach Bowl: In the pits
ATLANTA — In Dan Werner's first coaching stint with the Miami Hurricanes, back in the heady days of Jimmy Johnson, the Peach Bowl wasn't even an option.

Florida, Miami left to play for ‘state title'
Florida linebacker Travis Harris last played in the Georgia Dome as a freshman in 2000, when the Gators beat Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Harris figured it would become an annual trip. ‘‘I really thought we'd be coming back here basically every year,'' he said. ‘‘But it didn't turn out like that for me.''

Roller coaster coming to a halt for coaches
When Joe Wickline was offered a job as the offensive line coach at the end of the 2001 season, it was a dream come true. A former Florida lineman and UF graduate from St. Petersburg, Wickline was finally coming home.

Gators expect Strong finish in Peach Bowl
A little more than two months ago, the University of Miami was 7-0 and still had national title hopes. The University of Florida was 4-3, had just fired coach Ron Zook and its season was unraveling.

Florida assistant heads west to coach in Arizona
Florida linebackers coach Bill Miller, who had several job offers and was being considered by Nick Saban as a possible assistant with the Miami Dolphins, decided Thursday to become the defensive coordinator at Arizona State.

Sports year was simply bizarre
I don't know about you, but as we prepare to move in one year and out the other, I can hardly wait.

Gators hope to impress
When Florida meets Miami in tonight's Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome, the future of Gator football will be about 3,000 miles away in Tempe, Ariz., preparing his old team for the Fiesta Bowl.

Gators are going back to the future - and it's bright
Finally, they have returned. Not to this city or to this bowl, but to this place at the edge of possibility.

Peach Bowl: Last-minute audition
Charlie Strong hasn't prepared a statement. He's not planning to stand on top of a locker and deliver a fire and brimstone speech to get Florida prepared to face Miami in tonight's Peach Bowl.

Florida Lady Gator Basketball

Williams lends big assists in win
Florida's 86-72 win over Charlotte on Thursday night in the State Farm Classic final in the O'Connell Center was Williams' latest chance to shine. The 6-foot guard posted team highs of 20 points and six assists before a crowd of 1,311. Williams hit four of Florida's five 3-pointers and finished 8-for-13 shooting overall.

Florida's Mosby Is Two-Time MVP
Senior Tamia Williams led Florida with 20 points, while Bernice Mosby added 17 en route to being named MVP of the State Farm Classic as the Gators scored a season high in defeating Charlotte 86-72 Thursday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

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