Gator News and World Report (10/2/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Tuesday, October 2, 2006. Meyer credits seniors with the Gators' focus; Gators' Wynn Is Questionable For LSU Matchup; UF enters make-or-break stretch; Revenge sweet in Swamp; Gator Gala raises $6.1 million for athletic scholars and more...

Florida Gator Football

Meyer credits seniors with the Gators' focus
Now that No. 5 Florida has gotten past Alabama to move to 5-0, the television analysts and college football experts have started weighing in on the next three games on the schedule and projecting where UF might be at the end of October.

Reggie Nelson's time has come
Reggie Nelson was sick this week. He had a cold that made it tough to breathe, especially after running 70 yards in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.

UF toughs it out for 5-0 record
There was some talk earlier in the week about payback. But payback does not come easy in the Southeastern Conference. Sometimes it doesn't come at all.

Gators flip switch in 2nd half
n that blowout loss in Tuscaloosa, Ala., a year ago, the Florida Gators desperately needed someone to come up with some plays on offense. The problem was UF didn't have many options. Andre Caldwell had broken his leg a few weeks earlier and Jemalle Cornelius sprained his ankle in the first half against Alabama.

Smith is thankful for Gators... and vice versa
Ryan Smith sat down before a pack of reporters Saturday night when suddenly, the cell phone is his backpack started ringing.

'Ring of Honor' on display
Florida inducted the first four members of its Gator Football Ring of Honor before Saturday's game with Alabama.

Tailback troubles
Urban Meyer said after Florida's 21-20 win at Tennessee two weeks ago that he finally found a running back. On Saturday, Meyer may have lost him.

Robinson: Playing against officials
On the pass interference call that set up Dallas Baker's fourth-quarter touchdown: "I thought it was a bad call. Unfortunately, playing on the road, you're playing not only against the crowd but against the officials."

Wynn questionable for LSU game
Florida survived the first part of its four-game gauntlet, but the Gators may be without their best running back for the second part. DeShawn Wynn is questionable for Saturday's home game against LSU after suffering a twisted knee against Alabama last Saturday. He underwent an MRI on Sunday, and UF coach Urban Meyer said he would release the results of the test today.

Gators' Wynn Is Questionable For LSU Matchup
As if Urban Meyer didn't have enough to worry about with No. 9 LSU visiting this week, the University of Florida coach may have to find a new starting tailback this week.

Wake, Rattle And Roll
To everyone in the stands at Florida Field and to those watching at home, the first 23 minutes of Saturday's Florida-Alabama matchup had to feel like a repeat performance of the 2005 Tuscaloosa Massacre.

One down, three to go for Gators
Florida kicked off an arduous four-game midseason stretch Saturday by beating Alabama 28-13 at Florida Field. The Gators fell behind 10-0, their second double-digit deficit in Southeastern Conference play, before charging back behind QB Chris Leak. He was 14-of-20 for 174 yards and two second-half touchdowns. UF's defense shined as well, sacking QB John Parker Wilson three times and picking him off three times. CB Ryan Smith intercepted two of the passes, and FS Reggie Nelson returned the other 70 yards for a game-clinching touchdown with 4:19 left. Alabama has lost four of its past five SEC games, dating to last season.

Nelson-led defense is difference
If defense is fueled by emotion, Reggie Nelson could have run all the way home to Melbourne.

Smith shows appreciation with a big game for UF
Even now, Ryan Smith still steals a second with Florida Coach Urban Meyer to tell him how he feels. "Sometimes," Meyer said Saturday night, "he just looks at me and says thanks."

Gators stem the tide
From the sideline Saturday, Florida linebacker Brandon Siler watched his team grab its first lead of a game more than 42 minutes old.

Start early, finish strong
The Gators need to start quickly against their next three SEC rivals, but they first must find a replacement for leading rusher DeShawn Wynn.

Making a stand
The Gators erased a 10-0 deficit behind two fourth-quarter interceptions and a fumble recovery to exact a measure of revenge against Alabama.

Tebow's talent can't be ignored for much longer
Tim Tebow is the elephant in The Swamp. He's the 6-3, 230-pound elephant of a quarterback that 90,000 cheer for and chant for and point to and make signs for but his coach rarely acknowledges.

UF enters make-or-break stretch
This time last season, the Florida Gators hit rock bottom. Back-to-back losses derailed a promising season and ended with coach Urban Meyer in tears after a 21-17 loss at LSU.

Revenge sweet in Swamp
Looking back, Florida coach Urban Meyer knows the lesson had to be learned - painful and humbling as it was. Last season, Alabama delivered Meyer a quality education and the most-lopsided loss - a 31-3 humiliation - of his career as a head coach. A year later, the pupil showed that he'd since learned the ways of the SEC during Saturday's 28-13 payback in The Swamp.

Florida's secondary shines in victory
When cornerback Ryan Smith looked for a school to transfer to going into this season, few Division I teams knew his name.

Shula says increase in repetitions needed for offense
University of Alabama football coach Mike Shula, whose team has scored eight offensive touchdowns in its last eight SEC games, said Sunday that the Crimson Tide might devote even more practice time to its "red zone" offense this week.

Alabama's goals on the brink
Alabama's top goal of going unbeaten is shot and some of its other primary objectives -- winning the SEC and winning the Western Division -- are on the brink of extinction.

LSU adjusts lineup for Gators match
LSU starting left guard Will Arnold's status for Saturday's 2:30 p.m. CBS game at Florida is up in the air.

Second half slide dooms Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide was sensing another blowout after grabbing an early lead, but a second half slide propelled the Florida Gators to a 28-13 win Saturday at Ben Hill-Griffin Stadium.

Gator Gala raises $6.1 million for athletic scholars
At a cost of $50,000 per table, hundreds of UF friends and alumni celebrated the university and Gator sports at a lavish gala Friday night that raked in $6.1 million.

Pick-y defense bails out Gators
Coach Urban Meyer learned the ways of the Southeastern Conference after last season's Alabama disaster.

Smith, Nelson steal spotlight with key interceptions
While the Gators struggled to come up with a lot of big plays on offense Saturday, their defensive backfield provided plenty of sparks.

Wynn could be out again
For two weeks, DeShawn Wynn looked like the tailback Florida had been missing for the past five years. But in the second half of Saturday's 28-13 win against Alabama, the Gators were sent searching once again.

Russell returns to Swamp as different quarterback
Formal introductions between JaMarcus Russell and The Speed of the Game took place Oct. 9, 2004, in Gainesville, Fla. Russell will return Saturday.

Florida Gator Lady Soccer

Tennessee holds off Florida, 2-1
Before Sunday's Florida-Tennessee soccer match, the Gators had been undefeated in the SEC and the Volunteers had been winless. That all changed late Sunday.

Florida Gator Volleyball

Gators knock off Vols to take lead in SEC East
ust a freshman, Elyse Cusack doesn't have any firsthand experience of the Florida-Tennessee volleyball rivalry. But on Sunday, she put her own stamp on it.

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