Gator News And World Report (11/23/2005)

The Gator News and World Report for Wednesday, November 23, 2005. Season, interrupted; Gators take care of their own this holiday; Is this how shufflin' looks?; Gators can atone and set a tone against FSU; A tale of two seasons; Autin still in UF players' thoughts; Film session gets two thumbs up; Florida Looking To Cap Perfect Home Slate; Perspective Piece; Seniors want to win for themselves, Meyer; FSU women seek fast start vs. UF; Pressure is everything for FSU defense and more....

Florida Gator Football

Season, interrupted
His internal motor that football coaches like to talk about is still revving, still running hot, but every time Ray McDonald tries to step on the gas, it coughs, sputters and stalls.

Gators take care of their own this holiday
Many of the Florida football players are going to have a chance to have a traditional Thanksgiving on Thursday - with family and at home.

Music City Bowl taps ACC to fill SEC spot
The Music City Bowl will take a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference instead of a Southeastern Conference squad, because the SEC has only six bowl eligible teams and eight bowl spots to fill.

A tale of two seasons
A quarterback not named Chris Rix, two stud running backs, and a fast, athletic defense that could be one of the better units in school history.

What in the Dickens went awry?
The 2005 season began with great expectations for Florida and Florida State. What it has turned into, however, is a lost season, one in which both teams could be playing in pre-Jan. 1 bowls for the first time since 1990 (FSU in the Blockbuster Bowl) and 1992 (UF in the Gator Bowl).

Autin still in UF players' thoughts
It will be an emotional day for Florida linebacker Todd McCullough on Saturday when the former Bolles School standout walks across Florida Field with his parents as part of Senior Day festivities.

Film session gets two thumbs up
While most of his teammates were trying to get as far away from football as possible, Drew Weatherford spent part of last weekend breaking down game film with one of the top quarterbacks in Florida State history.

Florida Looking To Cap Perfect Home Slate
Even though Florida missed out on its main goal this season (the SEC title), the Gators still have a chance to accomplish something they never did in Ron Zook's three seasons as coach: win every home game.

Florida quarterback Chris Leak opted to return for his senior season after struggling this year in Urban Meyer's spread-option offense.

After seeing occasional playing time as Florida's No. 2 quarterback year ago, Gavin Dickey thought Urban Meyer's offense -- which normally utilizes at least two quarterbacks if not more -- would allow him more playing time, especially on an option play.

Perspective Piece
Some games are important for the tangible achievements that can be gained and the goals that can be fulfilled. Other games are important for little more than psychological reasons and the mere avoidance of a panic mentality among the natives.

Seniors want to win for themselves, Meyer
He's asked about his offense and his quarterback, and will the two ever mesh. He's asked about his offense and the conference, and which will dominate which.

Pressure is everything for FSU defense
Florida has allowed more than three sacks a game. And the Gators gave up five in the 30-22 loss to South Carolina.

UF seeks a tailback, findsthree
Florida coach Urban Meyer's challenge was to find a tailback for the spread-option offense he brought from Utah. The word of choice to describe the target of his search?

FSU's run-down attack
Florida State, searching for its running game as it enters the final game of the regular season, does not need to be reminded how important it is to get on track his week.

Seminoles try to figure out Gators' offense
An evolving offense at Florida has caused Florida State defensive coaches to carefully consider how to counter the Gators' varied style.

Title game can wait; FSU set for UF
His opinion struck a nerve, which was exactly what former Florida coach Steve Spurrier intended.

Gators' Baker probably will play on Saturday
Florida coach Urban Meyer was more optimistic after Tuesday night's practice about the health of one of his key receivers.

Suffering seniors
When he walked off the field after Florida's 56-23 Orange Bowl win against Maryland on Jan. 2, 2002, Todd McCullough never thought what kind of nightmares would come in the next four years.

Florida State defense expects different Gators offense
An evolving offense at Florida has caused Florida State defensive coaches to carefully consider how to counter the No. 19 Gators' varied style.

Seminoles face obstacle Gators know oh, so well
His opinion struck a nerve, which was exactly what former Florida Gators' coach Steve Spurrier intended.

FSU has to regain balance
The shift occurred midway through the Sept. 17 game at Boston College. Florida State's running game was going in the wrong direction, shut down by BC playing seven and even eight men in the box. On nine carries in the half, the Seminoles had picked up 7 yards, and went to the locker room trailing 17-14.

Playing for pride
Jarvis Herring had heard enough. How was UF's vocal leader supposed to stand around while some random UF student bitched about Urban Meyer and another lost football season?

Gators win off field
Lynne Vaughan has good reason to cheer a little louder than most Gators fans - the success of her business rests on hometown victories. Vaughan, in her sixth football season as the director of UF's bookstores, said campus and local stores' sales are heavily influenced by the Gators' performance.

Florida Gator Basketball

Gators can atone and set a tone against FSU
Danielle Santos remembers the disappointment. And she doesn't want to feel it again. Florida State spoiled Florida's season opener a year ago with a 72-62 victory in the O'Connell Center. The win snapped the Gators' 16-game winning streak over the Seminoles and started what would become a disappointing season for Florida.

Basketball makes headlines at 'football school'
The town will be awash in orange and blue this weekend, but the team with the most firepower this time around might be playing on Friday night rather than Saturday afternoon.

Gators' McDonald may be out until next season
The season of Florida Gators junior defensive lineman Ray McDonald seems headed for an early end.

Florida Gators In The NFL

Is this how shufflin' looks?
So maybe the Chicago Bears are for real, a 21st century reincarnation of the Monsters of the Midway. It sure looked that way Sunday when they delivered a 13-3 roundhouse to the NFC South-leading Carolina Panthers. It was such a hard hit that it brought memories of the team that shuffled its way to a Super Bowl victory 20 years ago.

Florida Lady Gator Basketball

FSU women seek fast start vs. UF
Florida State's 16-game losing streak against Florida in women's basketball came to a surprising end last season in Gainesville.

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