Gator News and World Report (1/2/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Monday, January 2, 2006. Without a doubt, Brown is the face, heart of team; Six questions with UF kicker Chris Hetland; Florida wants revenge on FSU; Attitude is everything to Gators; Final Exam; Outback Bowl Is No Everest, But It'll Do For Gators; Gators eye Iowa; UF seniors ponder futures; Who Gets the Edge?; Gators' secondary shorthanded; Opinions on spread-option vary; UF's young Moore gets another shot to start at tailback and more....

Florida Gator Football

Without a doubt, Brown is the face, heart of team
Even if he doesn't make a play, doesn't bat away a pass, doesn't make a tackle, it will matter.

Gators say... Today will be better than '04
This time, the Florida Gators say they care. They obviously didn't the last time they were here to face Iowa in the Outback Bowl.

Goin' Bowlin'
Great UF bowl moment 1994 Sugar Bowl:Florida ended West Virginia's unbeaten season with a 41-7 win. The Gators fell behind 7-0, but one of the wildest plays in UF bowl history gave the Gators the lead. Safety Lawrence Wright intercepted a pass at the UF 48 and began weaving his way from sideline to sideline while Florida coaches were screaming at him to run toward the goal. Wright eventually found the end zone and the Gators never looked back.

Six questions with UF kicker Chris Hetland
Q: When coaches call a timeout prior to a potential game-winning field goal, does that work?

Attitude is everything to Gators
All week long, Florida coach Urban Meyer looked for a sign. A lazy jog during a practice drill. A wistful, far-away look in someone's eyes during a meeting. A missed curfew.

This likely will be the key matchup. Young has seven consecutive 100-yard games, including 202 against Northwestern. He's a workhorse who likes to run inside. UF's defensive line must hold up in order for Siler to remain free to make tackles. Siler has 58 tackles, four sacks and seven fumble recoveries.

Final Exam
The question came less than five minutes into Urban Meyer's first news conference as the University of Florida's football coach.

RJS Crew Puts In Overtime
Thanks to the NFL's schedule-makers, the grounds crew at Raymond James Stadium had to paint in a hurry Sunday night.

2nd Chance Pays Off
Clinton Solomon could have given up, gone home to Fort Worth, Texas, and done who knows what. Statistically, many kids who fall into his predicament do quit.

Outback Bowl Is No Everest, But It'll Do For Gators
Today, Florida tries to boldly go where no Zook has gone before, to the winner's circle at the Outback Bowl, which celebrates its 20th anniversary.

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

UF seniors ponder futures
They look back with distress, seeing three head coaches and zero SEC championships. They look ahead with trepidation, wondering if today's Outback Bowl marks the last time they'll play a football game that matters to fans.

Who Gets the Edge?
UF RUSH OFFENSE VS. IOWA RUSH DEFENSE: This is where the game will be won or lost for the Gators. TBs DeShawn Wynn, Markus Manson and Kestahn Moore need to combine for at least 150 rushing yards if the Gators are to win. It also wouldn't hurt if that trio made some big plays in the passing game, too, on shovel passes and screens. In the last six regular-season games -- the last four of which were against bowl-bound teams -- the Hawkeyes gave up 93.8 rushing ypg.

UF's 3 Keys
Simple, but missing from UF's past two bowl games, including a 37-17 loss to Iowa here two years ago. For five weeks, Urban Meyer and his players have promised a better effort. They'll need to deliver to get revenge on the Hawkeyes.

Playing with pride
This time they care. Really. Honest. No kidding. This time the Florida Gators really give a bloomin' onion about the Outback Bowl.

Outback Bowl | Who has the edge?
Iowa: Drew Tate is mobile, and that means he's dangerous, just the kind of QB the Gators hate to face. He has completed 426 of 683 passes (62 percent) and has thrown 40 TDs in his career. He completed 187 of 297 for 2,482 yards and 19 TDs this season.

Gators' secondary shorthanded
Florida's biggest problem today may be in the secondary, where Vernell Brown is still not completely healthy and safety Reggie Nelson is definitely out with broken leg

Opinions on spread-option vary
They were Urban Meyer long before Urban Meyer. Their innovations on offense — Bill Yeoman's triple-option running game and Darrel "Mouse" Davis' spread passing formations — changed college football and set records that may never be broken.

UF's young Moore gets another shot to start at tailback
After a good week of practice, Florida Gators freshman Kestahn Moore will make his third start of the season at tailback in today's Outback Bowl against Iowa.

UF's 3 Keys
PLAY HARD: Simple, but missing from UF's past two bowl games, including a 37-17 loss to Iowa here two years ago. For five weeks, Urban Meyer and his players have promised a better effort. They'll need to deliver to get revenge on the Hawkeyes.

Which way, Gators?
Can Chris Leak - or anyone - run the spread offense in the SEC? How about the defense and running game? Florida can clear up a lot of questions with a victory today.

Humbled Gators thirst for revenge against Hawkeyes
Florida is looking for payback at the Outback. The Gators were embarrassed by Iowa 37-17 in the 2004 Outback Bowl. The defeat hastened the exit of former coach Ron Zook and had players vowing this week to atone for taking the Hawkeyes too lightly

Too close to call
As I write this poolside in Tampa, I now realize that the 2006 Outback Bowl has turned me into a flip-flopper.

Special teams the trump card in even-steven Outback battle
Eleven. That's how many points Louisiana State left on the field because of special teams miscues in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.

Hawkeye rally crowd tops 12,000 in Florida
More than 12,000 Hawkeye fans gathered downtown Sunday night at the Tampa Convention Center for a Hawkeye Huddle rally.

Fast turnaround from NFL to Iowa-Gators
Outback Bowl organizers are scrambling like never before to get Raymond James Stadium ready for today's game between No. 25 Iowa and No. 16 Florida.

Focused Gators are ready
No excuses. The team names are the same. The place is the same. Yet the Florida Gators insist this time things will be different.

Hawks still playing for respect
Just once I'd like to come to one of these January bowl games and not hear about the Iowa football team being less talented than its opponent.

Big Ten sheds grind-'em-out image
The notion that today's Outback Bowl is a classic clash of the Big Ten's power versus the SEC's speed isn't an argument that Chris Spielman is buying.

Iowa's bruisers to meet Florida's playmakers in Tampa
The weeks of sizing up the opposition followed by days of talking up the opposition have produced a subplot for today's Outback Bowl.

Iowa plays Florida today
t didn't quite take planes, trains and automobiles for the Iowa and Florida football teams to reach their final destination, but the journey to today's Outback Bowl has been an excursion neither will forget.

UF seeks bowl reversal
What would a victory in today's Outback Bowl against Iowa mean to the Florida Gators?

Florida Lady Gator Basketball

Florida wants revenge on FSU
How much does tonight's Florida-Florida State game in the O'Connell Center mean to the Gators?

FSU women seek sweep against UF
The Florida State women's basketball team ended its 16-game losing streak to Florida last season and then beat the Gators again in November.

Fightin Gators Top Stories