Gator News and World Report (1/1/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Sunday, January 1, 2006. Cost of injuries to Gator squad has been devastating in 2005; Last year's woes haven't haunted coordinator; Gators must contend with another stellar Iowa tailback; Senior tackle day caps off emotional last practice; Iowa's Young is growing into his star potential; Meyer establishes Gators tradition with senior tackle; She fought the law, and Tebow won; 2005 Times-Union Super 24; UF's Royal Lives For Kickoffs and more...

Florida Gator Football

Cost of injuries to Gator squad has been devastating in 2005
On one of the happiest nights of the season, a nagging sense of gloom intruded on the festive mood.

Last year's woes haven't haunted coordinator
It was a year ago today that Charlie Strong woke up with a headache and an empty feeling.

Goin' Bowlin'
Great UF bowl moment 1997 Sugar Bowl:There was never a better night for Gators than Florida's 52-20 win over FSU. The win gave UF it's only national championship and avenged an earlier loss in Tallahassee. Danny Wuerffel threw three touchdown passes and ran for another. But it was Terry Jackson who added the punctuation with a 42-yard run in the fourth quarter that ended with his dive into the end zone.

Gators must contend with another stellar Iowa tailback
One of the prevalent themes of this year's Outback Bowl is how different the two teams are from the ones who faced off in this game two years ago.

Senior tackle day caps off emotional last practice
Florida's seniors practiced for the last time as Gators on Saturday afternoon and then went through a farewell ceremony at the end of the workout with their teammates and coaches that Urban Meyer termed "emotional".

Iowa's Young is growing into his star potential
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz had an idea of how good running back Albert Young could become -- he just didn't think he'd have to wait this long to find out that he was correct.

Meyer establishes Gators tradition with senior tackle
For more than an hour after practice ended Saturday, the Florida football team gathered in a tight circle at one end of Pepin Rood Stadium at the University of Tampa.

She fought the law, and Tebow won
Brenda Dickinson didn't rush for a single yard for the Nease football team on its way to a Class 4A state championship, and didn't complete one pass. But when the Panthers pass out accolades for the greatest football season in school history, they ought to send a thank-you card her way.

2005 Times-Union Super 24
The Times-Union Super 24 football team is made up of the top senior college prospects in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. It is chosen by sports writers Chase Goodbread and Jason Schneider in consultation with high school and college coaches.

UF's Royal Lives For Kickoffs
Caller from Pensacola: Could you comment on Bryan Royal? He looked really good on kickoff, and I just wanted to get a quick comment on that guy. I'll hang up and let you talk.

Hawkeyes' Young Tough To Tackle
The good news for Florida in Monday's Outback Bowl is the Gators won't have to face Fred Russell, the little runner who burned them in the 2004 game for 204 all-purpose yards.

Gators eye Iowa
The 16th-ranked Florida Gators have made the short trip to Tampa for what should be a highly-competitive Outback Bowl matchup with the 25th- ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. These two teams met in the Outback Bowl two seasons ago, and Iowa rolled to a 37-17 victory in that tilt.

UF uses bowl to prep for '06
The starters were gone, back on the buses or across the street in the weight room. But Florida practice continued late Thursday afternoon, when coaches with familiar names directed players with unfamiliar ones around a grass field for 30 minutes.

Brown is back, dreams of NFL
Florida senior starting CB Vernell Brown still can recall the punt return against Vanderbilt that almost ended his career.

To stay or to go?
Already a top receiver, Chad Jackson is expected to become a Gators great. That is, if doesn't jump to the NFL first.

Triple what? Meyer's offense missing
Wonder what happened to Urban Meyer's triple option offense? It was a big part of Florida's plans in August, but it seemed to get simplified and all but disappear as the season rolled along, the Gators not relying on it.

Seniors honored in final practice
Coach Urban Meyer made sure the last practice for the Florida Gators' 17 seniors was one to remember. In a ceremony he plans to make a tradition, Meyer had each senior hit a practice dummy Saturday afternoon to conclude the final session before No. 16 UF faces No. 25 Iowa in Monday's Outback Bowl.

Gators' Caldwell coping
Florida Gators wide receiver Andre Caldwell has dusted off his moves and is ready to turn some heads. In a few months, Caldwell should be able to play football, too.

Gators learn lesson: They respect Iowa
Florida safety Jarvis Herring admits the Gators didn't take Iowa seriously two years ago and wound up getting pasted. The senior said that will not be the case again when the teams meet Monday in the Outback Bowl for the second time in three seasons.

Gators intent on different Outback outcome
Offensive genius or not, Urban Meyer's offense is clicking. But the first-year Gator coach, who led Utah to a Bowl Championship Series bowl last year, seems uncomfortable with the praise for himself or his system.

Iowa's Young bowls over opposing players, but not their coaches
When Iowa's football team played in the Outback Bowl two years ago, Fred Russell weaved his way through the Florida defense for 150 rushing yards.

Gators' Brown returns
Florida coach Urban Meyer has referred to senior cornerback Vernell Brown as the "face of Florida football."

Gators' seniors go out with special practice
Florida spent about an hour extra time on the field on Saturday, but the Gators weren't preparing for Monday's Outback Bowl. They were preparing to say goodbye to the seniors.

From adversity comes his motivation
For as long as Vernell Brown can remember, the doubters have been there. When he was playing Pop Warner football, stuffing sand in his shoes and weights in his girdle to make weight. When he was nearing the end of his high school career and recruiters questioned whether he could play Division I-A football. When he arrived at Florida, where it took him years to prove himself - again.

Iowa's Ferentz says kickoff is overdue
Forty-three hours before the opening kickoff, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz declared his team prepared for Monday's Outback Bowl.

Florida Gator Basketball

Kitchen won't go to Florida
Former Raines High basketball standout Derwin Kitchen will not enroll at the University of Florida this month and has re-opened his recruitment. Kitchen told the Times-Union on Saturday that he made the decision a week ago to forgo his plans to join the Gators and coach Billy Donovan, and will go through the recruiting process again between now and April.

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