Notebook: Antwine out Saturday


Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Florida’s football team will be without sophomore defensive lineman Brandon Antwine Saturday against Georgia after being hospitalized with a serious lower back muscle injury, UF coach Urban Meyer said after Tuesday’s practice.

Antwine, who missed the Kentucky game because of his back injury, was hospitalized after the injury worsened, Meyer said.

“He’s been in the hospital for a little bit,” Meyer said. “It’s a lower back muscular (injury). I think he’s getting out today (Tuesday). It’s been a painful week for him. It’s very painful, but it’s not a structural issue.”

There is no timetable for Antwine’s return to practice.

Antwine also missed games earlier this season against Tennessee and at Mississippi because of a hyper-extended elbow. He earned his first career start against Troy at nose tackle and has four total tackles this season.

Special rivalry

Saturday marks the 75th time the Florida-Georgia game will be held in Jacksonville, but with UF winning 15 of the last 17 against the Bulldogs, it’s easy to think the game has been played only in Gainesville.

“It’s different,” Meyer said. I can’t say it’s better (than playing in Gainesville). This is one of my favorite games to coach in. I’ve watched it for many years and it’s awesome. I tell people there are certain things you can’t miss in college football. If you’re a college football fan you need to come watch the Florida-Georgia game.”

Meyer is also aware that the game carries great significance outside of the college football world and is alive and well at the pro football level.

“It’s a great rivalry and I’m sure there’s many more Gators across the country and also in a lot of NFL locker rooms,” he said. “I hear from them all quite often.”

Similar quarterback

UF will have yet another tough quarterback to face in Georgia’s Matthew Stafford and Meyer says what his team saw in Lexington, Ky., should be similar to what it sees this week.

“I think Stafford’s got one of the strongest arms I’ve ever seen, but I also think that Woodson’s one of the best anticipation quarterbacks I’ve ever seen,” Meyer said. “I think they’re a cut of the same mold. (They’re) not necessarily runners, but (they’re) very good in the pocket and they’re very accurate strong-arm throwers.”

Etc.

After having successful surgeries Monday, sophomore receiver Riley Cooper (broken finger) and freshman safety Major Wright (broken thumb) were at meetings Tuesday, but were held out of practice. “They were both in here today,” Meyer said. “Both of their surgeries were very good, very thorough. I guess I’m an optimist and maybe we’ll see them later in this week.” … Fifth-year senior receiver Andre Caldwell was held out of most of practice because of a sore back, but that it is nothing serious. However, Meyer says Caldwell’s knee is still not 100 percent healthy. “I still don’t think he’s there yet, but he keeps saying he’s close,” he said. “He’s getting real close.”

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