Gator News And World Report (9/18/2005)

The Gator News and World Report for Sunday, September 18, 2005. Swamp rising; Gators defeat UC Irvine to win tournament; Vols dominant on the line; Wuerffel relocates ministry to panhandle; UF defense shines; No. 6 Florida sinks No. 5 Tennessee 16-7 to give coach Urban Meyer win in SEC debut; Gators grind out win over Vols; Gators get view from the top; Gators make biggest statement of the day; Caldwell out for season with broken leg and more...

Florida Gator Football

Swamp rising
All those late-night weight-room workouts, all those mat drills, all those wind sprints in the suffocating summer heat.

Vols dominant on the line
Urban Meyer's Utah team won the line of scrimmage 12-out-12 times in 2004 during a perfect season.

Gators' defenders stand tall
All Erik Ainge could do was scratch his head. On a night when Florida's defense dared Tennessee to throw the ball, the Volunteers still couldn't figure out how to hurt Florida through the air. And that's what irked Ainge. The Volunteers' quarterback felt the opportunity was there for Tennessee to hurt Florida with the pass.

Special night by special teams
Special teams were a concern for Florida heading into its Southeastern Conference opener against Tennessee.

UF defense shines
There still may be some question about whether Urban Meyer's offense will work in the Southeastern Conference.

Kicking game key
A kick gave Tennessee the victory over Florida last year in Knoxville. Things were different Saturday in a loud and steamy Swamp.

UF's McDonald injures knee
Florida's already thin defensive front took a big hit on Saturday night when defensive end Ray McDonald went down with a knee injury early in the second quarter.

No. 6 Florida sinks No. 5 Tennessee 16-7 to give coach Urban Meyer win in SEC debut
Maybe Urban Meyer's defense and special teams should have been getting all the hype. No. 6 Florida held fifth-ranked Tennessee scoreless in the second half, took advantage of three special teams errors and won 16-7 Saturday night to give Meyer a resounding victory in his Southeastern Conference debut.

Defense Swamps Vols
Maybe Urban Meyer is right. Maybe it's not about the offense.

Caldwell Goes Down With Broken Right Leg
What had been a productive night for Andre Caldwell ended with the Florida receiver being carted off the field Saturday with his right leg in an air cast.

UF-Tennessee Game Notes
Former Florida QB Danny Wuerffel finally saw his New Orleans home on television the other day. Five feet of water still stood around the property, and Wuerffel could tell by the picture that it had surged much higher in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Gators grind out win over Vols
Everyone in orange and blue had waited 10 months to celebrate at the end of this night. And when it ended, the scoreboard read Florida 16, Tennessee 7, and the revelry inside Florida Field and across this college town commenced.

Gators get view from the top
You can see Atlanta from here. And if the Florida Gators squint just right, they might even get a glimpse of Pasadena, just beyond the horizon. The view from Gator Nation hasn't looked this good since Steve Spurrier left town.

Gators make biggest statement of the day
The Swamp? Swaggering again. Urban Meyer? Still a genius. That's for now, of course. But what else matters? This wasn't a day for fretting the methods or margins of a victory or wringing hands over long-range hopes. Not here, for sure. Not in Death Valley, either. And not on Chestnut Hill.

Unit serves some notice
The Gators' offense has received much of the attention after the first two games, but Florida's defense showed Saturday that it can step up when called upon.

Caldwell out for season with broken leg
Junior receiver Andre Caldwell, considered one of the top receivers in the SEC, suffered a broken leg Saturday and will require surgery, coach Urban Meyer said.

Game also a recruiting tool for Gators
The Florida Gators won the game against Tennessee, but lost two of their key players to injuries. Junior wide receiver Andre Caldwell broke his right leg returning the opening kickoff of the second half and will have surgery this week. The prognosis for Belle Glade's Ray McDonald, a junior defensive end, is less definite after he injured the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee in the first half.

Defense stars for Gators
His celebrated offense stumbled, his less-than-famous defense shined and a junior walk-on kicker scored most of his team's points.

Commentary: Even in victory, Leak lost
This is beginning to look a lot like one of those square peg/round hole frustrations. Well, maybe not a round hole. But that's only because the spread offense brought to the Florida Gators by new head coach Urban Meyer is supposed to be too fancy for a description so mundane.

Vols fall to Gators, 16-7
The Tennessee Vols will be kicking themselves when they watch the film of their 16-7 loss to Florida. If only they could have kicked the football.

Gator defense bruises Vols
Few baptisms ever come wrapped in such raucous celebrations. First-year Florida coach Urban Meyer emerged from his heart-thumping introduction to Southeastern Conference football thrusting a triumphant fist into the thick night air Saturday in front of a record 90,716 at rocking Florida Field.

Meyer's Gators retake Swamp
Florida's Urban myth took a giant stride on Saturday night toward becoming Urban legend.

Florida locker room: Urban renewal project outbids Fulmer & Co.
Gator fans have noticed a change on campus -- a little "Urban Renewal" has occurred in The Swamp since last football season.

Pearl makes most of his visit to Gator country
Yet to coach even his first game as Tennessee's men's basketball coach, Bruce Pearl says he can't imagine playing a game the magnitude of Saturday night's Tennessee-Florida football showdown just two games into the season.

Leak doesn't drip in winning `the big game'
At Tennessee, a quarterback controversy rages on. At Florida, Chris Leak put an end to his.

Vols singing same old song to poll voters
Tennessee's singing a familiar song, but you might not recognize it unless you know the Four Seasons -- the singing group, not the hotel.

Surprise--It's Gator Defense That Earns Raves
OK, after the Tennessee game, there is no doubt that new University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer has one unit playing extremely well.

Leak's nice career needs to get better
The legend-in-training grabbed the ball on the big 'F' at the middle of Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and spiked it.

Instant Analysis
Why was this the weirdest Tennessee-Florida game since this hot SEC rivalry became a big deal in the early 1990s? Just consider: Florida won with field goals, while Tennessee was too wide-open with its play calling.

Speaks Vol-umes
Florida's spread option was anything but a thing of beauty, but its defense was nearly magnificent in a 16-7 victory over Southeastern Conference division rival Tennessee Saturday night at Florida Field.

Leak's 3rd-down conversions impress coach, teammates
Chris Leak rose from the turf at Florida Field and emphatically raised his arms in the air over and over. The burst of emotion rarely shown by the Gators' usually reserved quarterback came after a 17-yard scramble from the shotgun in the third quarter. It was one of many critical third-down conversions by Leak that helped the third-year starter get his first big win at home Saturday night against Tennessee and made coach Urban Meyer's spread-option offense a success against its first big-time opponent.

Ironic revenge
This time, the controversial play went Florida's way, the Florida defense played like it promised and it was Tennessee that missed the critical field goal.

Gators lose key receiver, lineman to injury
After avoiding serious injuries in the first two games, Florida lost two of its best players Saturday. Former Jefferson High standout Andre Caldwell was returning the second-half kickoff when he was hit and suffered a broken right leg.

Belief is back - with its new pitchman
He is not yet a legend. The IQ still is a few brain waves shy of genius. He doesn't annoy with enough consistency, and has trouble gloating with a proper smirk. On the other hand, that Urban Meyer can carry a tune

Meyer owns Swamp now
Urban Meyer, you've earned your colors. Orange and Blue suits you well. And vice versa. Ever since you signed on to coach the Florida Gators, you've been the man of the hour.

Giving it the old college try
When Channing Crowder played for the University of Florida, the idea of a Gator acting gentlemanly toward a Georgia player on the ground was unfathomable -- and vice versa.

Florida Gator Volleyball

Gators defeat UC Irvine to win tournament
Mary Wise joked earlier this week that she was the only person in Gainesville who was hoping for rain late Saturday afternoon.

Florida Gator Danny Wuerffel

Wuerffel relocates ministry to panhandle
Danny Wuerffel, who won the Heisman Trophy while quarterbacking Florida to the 1996 national championship, was a guest of his alma mater for Saturday's game with Tennessee.

College Football: Wuerffel calling new kind of signals
Standing in an air-conditioned room high atop Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday night prior to No. 6 Florida's SEC-opener against No. 5 Tennessee, former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel tried to find some sense amid the disaster of Hurricane Katrina.

Florida Gator Darrell Jackson

Thriving Jackson loves to come back
Although Darrell Jackson was in a hurry to leave Florida, the Seattle Seahawks receiver is always glad to come home.

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