Notebook: Marco Wilson out for season, Lemons to transfer

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Florida defensive back Marco Wilson (3) is walked off the field after an injury Saturday against Kentucky at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

The father of Florida cornerback Marco Wilson says his son has a torn knee ligament and will miss the rest of the season.

Gators coach Dan Mullen said after the 27-16 loss to Kentucky that Wilson would have more tests Sunday to determine the extent of his left knee injury. He injured it early in the first quarter.

But Chad Wilson updated his son’s status on Twitter, saying “Thx for all the inquiries and concern. Unfortunately Marco has torn his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.”

Wilson is a sophomore from Fort Lauderdale who started 11 games last season, finishing with 34 tackles and 10 pass breakups. His father played at Miami (1992-94).

— Mark Long, Associated Press

Lemons announces intention to transfer

Kentucky broke the 31-game winning streak and stunned Florida fans at home, but it wasn’t the only hit the program would take before the night was over.

Sophomore running back Adarius Lemons posted a note on his Twitter account declaring his intention to transfer from the program. Lemons, who participated on special teams but didn’t have any carries against the Wildcats, said he intends to “find a school I can help to my best ability and actually use my talent.” Lemons previously tweeted and deleted an intention to transfer as a freshman in 2017.

Jefferson remains suspended

The Gators were once again without a familiar face Saturday night.

Florida senior defensive lineman Cece Jefferson remained suspended for Florida’s matchup with Kentucky due to an academic issue.

Jefferson is expected to return to the field Sept. 15 to face Colorado State, a UF source told The Sun. Florida suspended seven players, including Jefferson and sophomore wide receiver Kadarius Toney prior to kick-off of UF’s 53-6 win over Charleston Southern last week. Five of the seven previously suspended players went through warm-ups with the team prior to kick-off. Walk-on James Washington remained out with an undisclosed ailment.

Toney, meanwhile, made his 2018 debut midway through the second quarter and made an instant impact. The speedy sophomore hauled in his first target of the night for 16 yards to move Florida deep into Wildcats territory. Franks would give the Gators their first lead of the game on the next play, hitting tight end Moral Stephens over the middle for an 18-yard touchdown, the first score of Stephens’ UF career.

Sloan returns as Ms. Two Bits

Following Cris Collinsworth’s return to The Swamp as Mr. Two Bits against Charleston Southern, the Gators welcomed a former NCAA champion back to Gainesville to play the role Saturday.

Bridget Sloan, a former 31-time All-American gymnast at UF from 2012-2016, took the field prior to Florida’s battle with Kentucky as just the fourth “Ms. Two Bits” since UF introduced celebrities in the tradition in 2013. Sloan, the first gymnast to serve in the role, made sure to leave the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium crowd with a performance to remember. After completing her duties, Sloan wrapped the gig up with a back handspring before leaving the fans with a passionate Gator chomp.

Kentucky line controls first half

Florida’s run-blocking left much to be desired in the season-opener, and Saturday’s battle with Kentucky was expected to be a step forward for the Gators. Yet it was the Wildcats’ offensive line getting the push.

Kentucky’s offense, led by dynamic running back Benny Snell Jr. and quarterback Terry Wilson, gashed the Gators for 161 yards in the first half. Wilson’s speed caused Florida’s front seven issues from the opening kick as he turned in 64 rushing yards on seven carries to keep the Wildcats within striking distance. And Snell, regarded by many as one of the conference’s top offensive talents, was his typically dominant self, rushing for 85 yards on just eight carries in the first two quarters. Snell had an opportunity to put the Wildcats in front prior to the halftime break. The junior took the handoff and dashed 44 yards down the sideline into Florida territory before sophomore defensive back CJ Henderson would make the touchdown-saving tackle. Henderson would haul in his fifth career interception just four plays later to preserve Florida’s narrow 10-7 lead heading into the break.

UF honors 1993 team

Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel hit Chris Doering for what would be the game-winning touchdown, preserving Florida’s double-digit win streak over Kentucky in the process. Wuerffel would go on to win a Heisman Trophy, Doering would play seven seasons in the NFL, and Kentucky? Well, it’s been 25 years and the Wildcats arrived in Gainesville still searching for a victory over UF. The 1993 Gators were honored after the first quarter Saturday on the field named for their head football coach, Steve Spurrier, in recognition of the 25th anniversary of Florida’s 1993 SEC Championship team. The Head Ball Coach himself was in tow for the festivities with a slew of former Gators from the ‘93 team for, drawing a raucous applause from the Florida fans in attendance.

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. Its always good to see and hear the HBC. Im stunned…the Florida Gators were just man handled by the Kentucky Wildcats in football. That just shows how far this program has fallen. I think UK is average and is nothing more than a 7-5 team. If you are an average high school football player that plays offensive line, please come to the U of F. We sure could use you.

  2. I am surprised that all of the running backs do not transfer. Two years ago Scarlett was a good back, the same with Davis last year. While Perine has never been spectacular he has been solid. He could get you those tough 3 yards. This is the same OL as last year. They were supposed to be stronger and tougher, but they are worse now than last year. There is a difference in being physically strong and mentally tough. This OL lacks that mental toughness. The DL is not any better. No pressure on the QB, no penetration, poor tackling and bad angles by the DE’s. This could be a 4-8 year.

    • George73. The OL is not as bad as last year. Not much better, but they are better. But the LG, Johnson, is worse and should no longer be a starter. And Heggie needs to get in shape and move into the center position. My desired OL:
      LT – Ivery (who is better this year but far from the 5-star recruit projections)
      LG – Jordan (adequate player with no one ready to replace him unfortunately)
      OC – Heggie (Florida needs a big center who can communicate well with the other lineman. That would be Heggie, not Buchanan or McCoy).
      RG – Bleich (big and strong, even if he is an inexperienced freshman. Johnson plays worse than an inexperienced freshman, as a senior)
      RT – Taylor (who is playing very well and got frustrated last night with Johnson’s poor play)

      And since this team is not going anywhere this year and will be lucky to win six games, I start playing Jones or Trask at QB. Franks clearly is not the answer at QB. And that failure to see a wide open primary receiver in Davis on a critical two point conversation says all you need to know about his vision and mental make up as a SEC caliber QB (NOT).

      But I still believe Mullen will get the job done eventually. But not with the makeup of this current roster.

  3. Coach Mullen needs to send in a complaint to the league office of that play where Marco got hurt on. The db should’ve been flagged for a penalty as he continued to push Marco into the turf well after the play ended. The awkward way he went down and then the dude pushing down on him exacerbated the injury and I’m sure was the cause of it. On the replay the ref is standing right there and did nothing. There were way too many calls that were not called against UK and way too many pass plays called. I thought I was watching a replay from the Mac years as the offense was downright putrid and horrible. back to predictable play calling and continued bad reads from Franks. He is NOT a good runner, IMO. He lopes and looks like he’s scared to actually run. You would think a dude as big as he is would want to just run dudes over but he looks timid. Season looks like another long one to endure…

  4. Coach better hit the recruiting trail hard. Got to find some players that are willing to put out. I thought it was a shame the way both lines got shoved around. Maybe put the new guys and in a year or two they will pan out. Not giving up yet, but would really like to see some progress. GO GATORS.