Gator News and World Report (11/30/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Thursday, November 30, 2006. SEC Championship: What it means; McCray hurting as tourney starts; Brewer out at least 2 weeks; SEC Championship Game facts, stats and storylines; Hetland fails to meet Meyer's goals; Smith all revved up for SEC title game; Noah clear of mono, Donovan says; Arkansas innovator, not UF's Mullen, earns raves and more....

Florida Gator Football

SEC Championship: What it means ...
To the coaches Florida: Obviously, Urban Meyer and his staff would step a little further away from the Steve Spurrier shadow with a ring in Year Two. But there are financial rewards as well. Meyer receives a $37,500 bonus for making the game and another $37,500 if he wins. His assistant coaches get 10 percent of their salaries for making it to Atlanta and another 20 percent if they beat Arkansas. A coach like Dan Mullen, for example, will get $45,000 total bonuses if UF wins. In all, Florida will pay out almost $500,000 in bonuses to the coaches if the Gators win the conference.

Florida is depth shy
Long after Florida's veteran players turned the Western Carolina game over to the freshmen and redshirt freshmen, junior starter Carlton Medder was still on the field grinding away at right offensive tackle.

Wynn, Harvin back at practice
Worries about Florida's running game heading into the Southeastern Conference Championship game were alleviated a bit with the return of two players to practice.

Razorbacks out to erase last week's memories
Arkansas is still recovering from last week's excruciating loss. The state, that is. Whether the team is still dwelling on it is another matter. Arkansas played well in its 31-26 loss to LSU, but after 10 straight wins, the eighth-ranked Razorbacks were undone by their poor passing.

SEC Championship Game facts, stats and storylines
For the seventh time in its history, UF will be playing in the Georgia Dome. In the previous games, Florida owns a 4-2 record. In fact, UF will be playing in a dome for the first time since the 2004 Peach Bowl held inside the Georgia Dome. Overall, the Gators are 7-7 in domed stadiums (4-2 in the Georgia Dome, 3-3 in the New Orleans Superdome, 0-1 in the Carrier Dome, 0-1 in the Astrodome).

Hetland fails to meet Meyer's goals
The people Chris Hetland runs into on campus are always polite. They smile, give him a pat on the shoulder and say nice things.

Smith all revved up for SEC title game
How big is the Southeastern Conference championship game? Well, one Florida player has been to a Bowl Championship Series game - and according to him, Saturday's contest against Arkansas is bigger.

Changing Dynamics
The author of "The Hurry-Up, No-Huddle: An Offensive Philosophy" made a bold statement to kick off Chapter One.

Arkansas innovator, not UF's Mullen, earns raves
The numbers say this: In 12 games with Gus Malzahn as offensive coordinator, Arkansas is 10-2 for a winning percentage of .833.

UF might pass on field goals
Forget the in-house, field-goal kicking competition at Florida this week. The Gators might drop the three-point option all together. Coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday that UF is close to abandoning field goals and going for more fourth-down conversions in opponents' territory.

Arkansas' McFadden running down his dream
Running back Darren McFadden made it to Arkansas -- as he always knew he would -- and has led the Razorbacks to within a win over Florida of their first SEC title.

Kerwin Bell brings the lessons of UF to his Trinity Catholic players
Twenty-two years ago, Kerwin Bell received no scholarship offer but became a mustachioed walk-on wonder at Florida. He smashed conference passing records and led the Gators to their first No. 1 ranking and a first-place finish in the Southeastern Conference.

No remedy yet for kicking woes
Its kicking game ineffective all season, the University of Florida might not attempt any field goals Saturday. Senior Chris Hetland has gone 3-for-12 on field-goal attempts with a long of 29 yards.

Florida Gator Basketball

Noah should play Sunday vs. FSU
With forward Corey Brewer already out, Florida received better news on the status of one of its ailing starters Wednesday.

Brewer out at least 2 weeks
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. At least that's how it's advertised. Unless, of course, you are a member of the national championship Florida basketball team and come back from Las Vegas with a case of mononucleosis. Then it's in the headlines.

Noah clear of mono, Donovan says
The Florida basketball team apparently won't be crippled by a mononucleosis epidemic. Gators coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday that tests revealed that Joakim Noah is suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection, not the mono that has sidelined Corey Brewer for at least two weeks.

Noah Has Upper Respiratory Infection
Florida's fears that Joakim Noah might have

Florida Gator Volleyball

McCray hurting as tourney starts
Amber McCray is well adept at overcoming injuries. Two years ago, some thought McCray's volleyball career was over when she suffered a devastating knee injury. McCray not only returned to the court, she came back stronger, evidenced by the first-team All-SEC honor she received Tuesday.

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