Lots to do at Orange and Blue

ESPN College GameDay, a player autograph session, a photo opportunity with the Heisman and national championship trophies and a formal unveiling of Tim Tebow's Heisman Trophy stadium sign are among several attractions at the 2008 Orange and Blue Debut.

Kickoff for the annual spring game is set for 1:07 p.m. on ESPN. A number of Urban Meyer fan friendly initiatives are scheduled throughout the day, allowing fans and UF students to participate in the festivities.

"We have the best fan base in all of collegiate athletics," Meyer said. "Our football program continues to look for ways to give back to our student body and our fans. We want to truly show our appreciation for the Gator Nation and look forward to sharing this special day with our fans."

College GameDay will air live from Section 20 of the Northwest corner of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium from 11 a.m. to noon on ESPN2 and from noon to 1 p.m. on ESPN. The show and game coverage will be hosted by Chris Fowler with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. Erin Andrews will join them to report from the sidelines during the game.

At 9:30 a.m., Gate 7 of the stadium will open and the first 2,000 fans through will receive a free coupon for a hot dog during the game. Fans have the opportunity to take a picture with the 2007 Heisman Trophy and the 2006 BCS National Championship Trophy from 9:30 a.m. through the third quarter at the North End Zone concourse.

Florida starting players will sign autographs at the North End Zone concourse from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The University Athletic Association will supply posters for player autographs and cannot allow outside items to be brought in to the event due to NCAA compliance issues.

All other gates to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium open at 10:30 a.m. The Great Gator Yard Sale at the North End Zone Gator Sportshop opens at 9 a.m. and will remain open through the end of the game.

University of Florida students will be a part of the festivities as well. From 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., a student flag football game takes place on Florida Field featuring intramural all-star teams. Assistant coaches Kenny Carter and Dan McCarney serve as head coaches for the two squads.

Student skill contests get underway in the minutes prior to kickoff. One male and one female for each of the four contests have been selected from a raffle drawing. Participants will have the opportunity to either catch a kickoff from kicker Caleb Sturgis, kick a field goal against kicker Jonathan Phillips, catch a punt from punter Chas Henry or catch a pass from quarterback Tim Tebow.

The Fastest Gator On Campus, a contest in the 40-yard dash, follows with the five finalists who qualified at Thursday's semifinals. Those participants have the chance to race against wide receivers Louis Murphy and Deonte Thompson and running back Chris Rainey.

At halftime, there will be a formal unveiling of Tebow's Heisman Trophy sign in the South End Zone of the stadium.

2008 Orange and Blue Debut Times of Interest Saturday, April 12

  • 9 a.m. Great Gator Yard Sale Opens At North End Zone Gator Sportshop
  • 9:30 a.m. Gate 7 Opens To Fans
  • 9:30 a.m.-3rd Quarter Picture Availability With 2007 Heisman Trophy and 2006 BCS National Championship Trophy (North End Zone Concourse)
  • 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Player Autograph Session (North End Zone Concourse)
  • 10:30 a.m. All Gates Open To Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ESPN College GameDay Live From Northeast Corner Of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Student Flag Football Game
  • 12:40 p.m. Student Skills Contest, Fastest Gator On Campus
  • 1:07 p.m. Orange and Blue Debut Kickoff (ESPN)
  • Halftime Unveiling of Stadium Sign Recognizing Tim Tebow's 2007 Heisman Trophy

    Courtesy UF Sports Information


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