Gator News And World Report (1/1/2005)

Yhe Gator News and World Report for Saturday, January 1, 2005. Special teams a disaster; Hurricanes fil-A Gators; Spurrier, Meyer know they'll soon meet again; Frustrating Finish For UF; UF Didn't Expect To Go Out Like This; Mercifully, UF can turn page toward 2005; Gators wanted Strong finish; Errors of their ways; Miami, Florida unlikely to meet at RJS and more...

Florida Gator Football

Miami gives Florida New Year's hangover
It's 2005, a new year. The misery of 2004 is over. Finally. The No. 20 Gators closed out their tough, long, controversial season with one of their most humbling moments - a shockingly inept and lifeless performance in a 27-10 rout at the hands of No. 14 Miami in the Peach Bowl before a sellout crowd (69,322) and a national television audience.

Special teams a disaster
They wanted a piece because the best way to mess up Miami's offense is to pressure Berlin and put him on his back. Over his UM career, Berlin's biggest struggles have come against the teams that have managed to get in his face and knock him out of his rhythm.

Hurricanes fil-A Gators
Miami rolls to its sixth consecutive victory over Florida in a dominating show.

Special-teams mistakes add to Gators' woes
Florida has played all season without a special teams coordinator, and it showed Friday night in the Gators' 27-10 loss to Miami in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Spurrier, Meyer know they'll soon meet again
Shortly after Urban Meyer became the football coach at the University of Florida, he made a courtesy phone call to former Gators coach Steve Spurrier -- who had been hired by the University of South Carolina two weeks earlier.

Frustrating Finish For UF
Somewhere in Arizona, Urban Meyer cringed. Assuming he could stomach four full quarters, the incoming University of Florida coach saw the team he will inherit bumble its way to a 27-10 Peach Bowl loss Friday that reaffirmed all the reasons Ron Zook was fired Oct. 25.

UF Didn't Expect To Go Out Like This
For a select group of Florida players at the Georgia Dome on Friday night, their collegiate careers ended on a low that was so unexpected just four seasons ago.

'Canes Capitalize On Special Teams
Charlie Strong thought he'd found a relatively simple way to control Miami KR Devin Hester.

'Canes manhandle Gators in Peach Bowl
At least they have excuses. At least they have the future. Playing without a true head coach and a slew of lame-duck assistants, Florida's players quickly realized their attempt to end the season on a high note wasn't going to be easy.

Mercifully, UF can turn page toward 2005
It's over. Finally and thankfully, it's over. It didn't make one iota of difference whether the Gators won or lost the Peach Bowl on Friday night. All that matters is that their whacked-out winter of discontent and dysfunction has been put to rest.

'Canes storm Gators on special teams
Somewhere in Gainesville, Ron Zook was probably yelling at a television set. He probably figured he could have prepared Florida's special teams better for the Peach Bowl. He had been, after all, Florida's special-teams coach in the past.

Notebook: Gators wanted Strong finish
Although Charlie Strong's first game in a head-coaching role was less than flattering Friday, the interim coach's reputation isn't likely to be judged by one game.

Special delivery
The University of Miami proved Friday night it can win without a dominating offense, as long as it has Devin Hester.

An encouraging state of affairs
Funny thing about Miami's Hurricanes. They're hauling a pretty fair number this morning for a team that couldn't make a BCS bowl this season.

Defensive state of mind
After a strong start to the season, Miami's once-vaunted defense was oft maligned during the middle of the 2004 season.

Errors of their ways
There's no truth to the rumor that Urban Meyer called the Florida Gators at halftime of the Peach Bowl to tell them he no longer wanted the job.

Threat, UM's top tackler, misses start
For the first time this season, strong safety Greg Threat did not start for the Hurricanes.

UF's foundation has cracks
They've beaten them in the Orange Bowl, barely. They've beaten them in the Swamp, badly. Friday night, then, was nothing more than the final word on Miami's dominance of the Florida Gators.

Returning to form
The University of Miami didn't win the national championship this season. Or the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

Leak's play leaves questions
The end of Florida quarterback Chris Leak's freshman season was brimming with possibilities.

Hester: Pure magic
If any college sophomore in America could make the NFL on special-teams skills alone, it's Miami's Devin Hester.

Meyer savors final days at Utah
This is about Utah and the Utes. That means it isn't about Florida and the Gators.

Miami's Sloppy Victory Over Florida Was Special
The Miami Hurricanes promised they would not just go through the motions in the Peach Bowl against the Florida Gators.

Peach Bowl: Miami, Florida unlikely to meet at RJS
Tampa's chances of hosting a Miami-Florida matchup might be diminishing. The Hurricanes and Gators are next scheduled to meet in 2008, and talks have been held about playing at Raymond James Stadium.

Peach Bowl: By the numbers
1: Forced fumble by UF's Jarvis Herring, first of his career. 1: Fumble recovery by Channing Crowder, the third of the season, which leads all Gators.

Peach Bowl: UF special teams unlikely sore spot
Florida interim coach Charlie Strong said that if his defense played well the Gators would be able to compete with Miami in the Peach Bowl and his coaching credentials would not suffer.

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