Gator News and World Report (11/19/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Sunday, November 19, 2006. Youth is served on UF Senior Day; Humphrey-led Gators sizzle; Formidable freshman class; Florida coaches remember Bo; Finally, penalty-free TD return; Gators ring up easy victory; James finally breaks one, ending Florida drought;

Florida Gator Football

Youth is served on UF Senior Day
On the same day they gave a Swamp farewell to 21 seniors, the Florida Gators gave us a glimpse of their future.

Higgins is Florida's version of 'Rudy'
It wasn't quite Rudy, but it was close. There probably won't be any movie rights but it was no less inspirational. Tim Higgins sat in the meeting room where he spent so many hours knowing he wasn't going to play answering questions Saturday about playing. On Senior Day, nobody expected to be talking to this senior.

Formidable freshman class
This was Senior Day at The Swamp. But we all knew what this was going to become not too long after those seniors ran into the arms of their families in a pregame ceremony.

Hanging with Mr. Cooper
Riley Cooper was vomiting all over Florida Field on Saturday. It wasn't due to an illness. Or even exhaustion. Florida's freshman wide receiver was queasy because of his nerves.

Florida coaches remember Bo
When legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler died Friday morning, it impacted staffs as far south as Florida.

Finally, penalty-free TD return
Brandon James fielded the punt and began slicing and weaving his way up the field past Western Carolina defenders.

Coach: UF can win national title
Running back, Darius Fudge # On what it felt like to go over 1,000 yards rushing for the season in this game: "This season with all our losses there were a lot of ups and downs and I was fighting every game to get every yard, that's why I cherished every yard, because each one was so hard to get."

Gators ring up easy victory
Ah, the good old days. The offense going up and down the field. Receivers running wide open. The offensive line opening up huge holes. The scoreboard flashing like a pinball machine.

James finally breaks one, ending Florida drought
Freshman from St. Augustine gets first punt-return TD for Gators since 2000.

Baker suffers leg injury
One of the worst possible things that could happen Saturday afternoon did: Florida had a starter sustain a serious injury. Senior wideout Dallas Baker, the Gators' leading receiver (49 catches, 488 yards), suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left leg on the first play of third-ranked Florida's 62-0 home victory over Western Carolina.

Higgins Provides A 'Rudy' Moment
Make a commercial out of this one, MasterCard. Cost to bring Division I-AA Western Carolina to Florida Field on Saturday for a 62-0 whipping: $425,000.

Cooper Earns Redemption
After Riley Cooper's first collegiate catch — and his first collegiate touchdown –- slipped through his fingers during Saturday's first quarter, the University of Florida freshman receiver thought he might be sick.

RUNAWAY GATORS
At the start, celebration dominated the day. There were 21 Florida seniors to salute, representatives from a fan-voted all-century team to laud, and woeful Western Carolina in town to assure the Gators a 10th victory this regular season.

Gators put fresh faces on dominating victory
Seven of Florida's nine touchdowns against hapless Western Carolina were from true freshmen, including three on catches by Riley Cooper.

Confident Humphrey dumps slump
Lee Humphrey doesn't sweat his slumps anymore. Neither does Florida coach Billy Donovan. Both know the answer.

Future flashes before UF's eyes
The final steps of Brandon James' first career touchdown were the toughest. A sinking feeling followed the freshman return specialist during the final 30 yards.

Florida's 'Rudy' finally gets his opportunity
Tim Higgins watched the movie Rudy a few times last week to get ready for Saturday's game against Western Carolina.

Florida Gator Basketball

Humphrey-led Gators sizzle
Florida senior guard Lee Humphrey wasn't overly concerned about his 3-for-12 start from 3-point range this season. "I've been through worse slumps," Humphrey said.

Facing long shot, UF finds touch
Tennessee-Chattanooga focused its defense on stopping Al Horford and Joakim Noah. Lee Humphrey and the rest of Florida's perimeter players made the Mocs pay. The senior guard from Tennessee broke out of a shooting slump with five 3-pointers, leading the top-ranked Gators to a 93-44 victory in front of 11,964 at the O'Connell Center Saturday night.

Basketball: Gators get the message, beat Tennessee-Chattanooga 93-44
One time was enough for Florida point guard Taurean Green and his teammates. Coach Billy Donovan's chewing out ringing in their ears, the top-ranked Gators bounced back from Thursday's second-half letdown with merciless determination.

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