Gator News and World Report (9/3/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Sunday, September 3, 2006. UF offense should give foes fits; Orange & blue standard; Primary results for secondary; Harvin makes impact; Coaches sideline Thomas for game; Nice recovery; Freshman receiver Harvin makes history in debut; A promising start: Gators roll to 34-7 victory; Stumbling out of gate; 'A lot of the big plays came off of our mistakes and more

Florida Gator Football

UF offense should give foes fits
In their quest to wrap alligator arms around the ever elusive Big Play, the Florida Gators made some headway Saturday night.

Orange & blue standard
Starting defensive tackle Marcus Thomas did not play in the season opener Saturday against visiting Southern Mississippi, the result of a decision by coach Urban Meyer.

Good start for Gators
On a day the University of Florida honored its football past, the present took awhile to get going.

Primary results for secondary
It was just one game. But Florida senior defensive back Reggie Lewis believes Florida's secondary delivered a loud message on Saturday night in The Swamp.

Scoring in the spotlight
Flashbulbs popped, and the capacity crowd at Florida Field chanted. It wasn't for the pregame ceremony honoring the 1996 national champions, though. Florida fans went nuts because Tim Tebow trotted on the field just seconds before the third quarter ended in the Gators' 34-7 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday night.

Harvin makes impact
Tim Tebow's Florida debut was more hotly anticipated, but Percy Harvin's impact was more sudden Saturday night.

A decade later, Ike's spin still special
You don't have to explain yourself when you ask former Florida receiver Ike Hilliard about "the play." He knows exactly what you're talking about.

Coaches sideline Thomas for game
Senior defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, a former Mandarin High School standout, didn't play in Florida's 34-7 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday night because of disciplinary reasons.

Potential Aside, Gators Roll Past Southern Miss
The scoreboard Saturday looked as it did the last time Urban Meyer jogged off Florida Field following the playing of the University of Florida's alma mater and fight song.

Meyer Mum On Suspensions
Florida coach Urban Meyer hinted that DT Steven Harris might be suspended for Saturday's game against Southern Mississippi, but Meyer never mentioned anything about DT Marcus Thomas.

Nice recovery
The scoreboard come 9 p.m. Saturday at Florida Field said everything was fine. The box score backed it up in almost every way.

Happy new year!
If he didn't know before, Urban Meyer now has up-close-and-personal insight into the amplitude of Steve Spurrier's aura and influence.

Freshman receiver Harvin makes history in debut
On the evening's first snap, Percy Harvin made Florida history. On its second, he caught his first pass. On the third, he made his first costly mistake.

UF overcomes slow start
The Gators showed that several problems from last season are persisting, but a stellar defensive effort and a big game from receiver Dallas Baker lifted Florida.

Tebow scores in debut
In his much-anticipated debut, freshman QB Tim Tebow entered the game in the third quarter and soon ran for a 1-yard touchdown.

Spurrier loves Gators fans
There's nothing like having the 'Ol Ball Coach in The Swamp, which is what Steve Spurrier dubbed Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Ol' Ballcoach welcomed back
Steve Spurrier doesn't coach here anymore, but he still rules the Swamp. This is a fact of life for Urban Meyer, who admits to being pretty smitten himself with the outrageous offensive shows that Spurrier's teams once visited on Florida opponents.

A promising start: Gators roll to 34-7 victory
Coach Urban Meyer had suffered in silence last season, wondering where Florida's next first down might come from. The long-awaited sounds Meyer heard on his headset Saturday night told him this season might be different.

Gators clip Eagles
Many people expected the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to go down to Gainesville on Saturday, take their beating from the Florida football team and crawl out of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium like a starving man in the desert.

Stumbling out of gate
For most of the first three quarters of Saturday's season opener, the Florida Gators looked vulnerable.

Ex-Provine star Young gets off to fast start
Southern Miss quarterback Jeremy Young wasted little time getting comfortable under center Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium against No. 7 Florida.

Eagles assist in their own demise
Martavius Prince is a bottom-line kind of guy. So, playing hard but not playing well just doesn't mean a whole lot to Southern Miss' defensive tackle.

Fletcher gives Eagles something to cheer
Years from now, not many folks may remember the particulars or even be sure of the final score of Saturday's season-opening football game between Southern Miss and No. 7 Florida.

'A lot of the big plays came off of our mistakes'
Overall: "We helped a good football team tonight. We made too many mistakes. The interceptions hurt us in the second half. Our man defense didn't do a good enough job against their receivers."

Don't read too much into opener
As Tim Tebow walked up under center a yard away from his first touchdown, the scene was surreal on a surreal opening day to the 2006 football season.

Harvin shakes off nerves, shines during his first outing
Percy Harvin made Florida history before even getting his hands on the ball.

Gators in good hands
Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin are destined to be Florida's stars of the future at quarterback and wide receiver.

Chris Leak threw three touchdown passes as No. 7 Florida overcame an early deficit to knock off Southern Miss 34-7 Saturday before a Ben Hill Griffin Stadium crowd of 90,043.

Tebow, Spurrier steal the spotlight
The Florida Gators are no different from most football programs, where the line forms behind the coach and the quarterback.

Gators unleash barrage of offensive weapons
On a night when Florida honored the past, it was appropriate that someone old and someone new proved crucial in Florida's 34-7 win against Southern Miss.

Gator fans cheer Spurrier
A little more than two hours before the kickoff of Saturday's season opener, Florida honored its 1996 national championship team as part of the 100-year anniversary of Gator football, before a packed house across the street inside the O'Connell Center.

Strong finish lifts UF
How to describe Florida's 34-7 opening win against Southern Mississippi?

Florida Gator Basketball

UF hoops starts strong in Canada
Lee Humphrey led five players in double figures with 14, as the UF men's basketball team took its exhibition opener over Brock University, 107-51, on Saturday night.

Fightin Gators Top Stories