Gator News and World Report (8/31/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Thursday, August 31, 2006. Big-play blues; DT Harris remains doubtful for opener - and season; UF Looks Back Before Moving Forward; How Gator Nation can rule the world; Spurrier reigns in swamp, again; Taking on No. 7; Walker in the mix at tight end for Rams and more...

Florida Gator Football

Big-play blues
When Andre Caldwell, Florida's fastest and most dangerous offensive player, went down with a broken leg in the third game of the 2005 season, the Gators' big-play potential seemed to get carted off with him. Florida became a small-play offense — lots of 10- and 12-yard gains but none of those game-changing home runs everyone had been expecting.

DT Harris remains doubtful for opener - and season
Senior Steven Harris has practiced throughout the preseason and is listed as the No. 2 defensive tackle behind Joe Cohen, but his playing status for the opener - and the remainder of the season - remains in doubt.

Recruiting update
FLORIDA:Defensive end target Richetti Jones of Dallas Lincoln called off his scheduled news conference on Sunday afternoon and now probably will hold off on making a decision for a while.

SEC Is Loaded With Contenders
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville strode to the stage last month at Southeastern Conference media day and offered scribes a special thank you for anointing the Tigers the darlings of the conference this season.

UF Looks Back Before Moving Forward
As the images of champions past danced on the screen in front of him earlier this month, University of Florida safety Tony Joiner could only imagine how it must have felt to win a Southeastern Conference or national title.

How Gator Nation can rule the world
If you are not a member of Gator Nation, this may sound a little terrifying. It will feel somewhat like "Stepford Gators," living together happily in a preordained world of orange and blue.

From Utah to UF, Gators get more help
ornerback Ryan Smith missed his old coaches. Miserable at Utah last fall, he watched former Utes coach Urban Meyer and cornerbacks coach Chuck Heater try to solve the Southeastern Conference at Florida. He couldn't shake the thought of how things had gone since they left Salt Lake City.

Hoping to offset rules changes designed to reduce the number of plays during Southeastern Conference games, the Gators anticipate emphasizing their hurry-up offense.

Spurrier reigns in swamp, again
The black hat - or in this case, the visor - always fit Steve Spurrier well. But Saturday, college football's favorite villain will be a hero in an enemy stadium. The one he nicknamed and transformed into one of the best home-field advantages in the nation.

Nothing like SEC football
Welcome to Year Five of the Sun Herald's no-holds-barred look at Southeastern Conference football.

Mississippi's Big 3 are ready to tee it up
Football season kicks into an entirely different gear tonight. South Mississippi high schools opened their season on Aug. 25, with the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina rapidly approaching.

Taking on No. 7
When Southern Miss travels to No. 7 Florida for the season opener Saturday, the Golden Eagles will have a distinct South Mississippi flavor on the playing surface at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Pocket change
The sun had yet to appear as the crowd gathered at the gates of Memorial Stadium at 7, a half-hour before the controlled scrimmage that would give loyal Texas Longhorns fans their only chance of the preseason to see the two quarterbacks contending for the starting job.

Meyer still mum on Harris' playing status
On Monday, Florida defensive tackle Steven Harris expressed doubts over whether head coach Urban Meyer would let him play in the season opener against Southern Missisissippi, or any game this season for that matter.

Walker in the mix at tight end for Rams
Aaron Walker will get one last chance to impress the St. Louis coaching staff tonight when the Rams visit the Miami Dolphins in the final preseason game.

Free T-shirts commemorate wrong year
As an avid Gators football fan, UF student Steve Galantis knew his beloved team never scored any touchdowns in the year 26.

UF to counter new rule
Hoping to offset a rule change that will reduce the number of plays during Southeastern Conference games, the Gators anticipate emphasizing their hurry-up offense.

College Football
It should be an entertaining race between Florida and Georgia. The Gators have quarterback Chris Leak back to run Urban Meyer's spread offense. Georgia is rebuilding after losing QB D.J. Shockley and a raft of defensive starters but has the talent to once again win 10 games.

Florida Gator Basketball

NBA dreams should wait for talent to be developed in college
Florida built a national championship roster around three recruiting classes that netted just one McDonald's All-American.

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