The Sunday Blog: Turkey Week

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks, left, celebrates with tight end C'yontai Lewis after scoring a touchdown Saturday against Idaho at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators won 63-10 over the Vandals. [Lauren Bacho/Staff Photographer]

The Sunday Blog comes at you after a Saturday that could not have been much better for a lot of different reasons.

* It was a bit of an irrelevant stat but in the press box we were noticing. Maybe we even jinxed Florida. But as the Gators crept toward 400 passing yards in Saturday’s game against Idaho, I even checked with Florida sports information department on the last time UF had a 400-yard passing game. The answer — as I suspected — was the 2010 Sugar Bowl which was Tim Tebow’s last game. And the third quarter ended and Florida was at 396 and it looked like a lock. And then they completed one more pass for three yards the rest of the game. Oh well, it was still the biggest passing game for UF in eight years.

* Is there a banner we can stick in the ground or something? Vanderbilt’s stunning win over Ole Miss not only kept the Commodores’ bowl hopes alive, it clinched the season series for the East against the West in the SEC. This seems to be a story that is being overlooked, but the East is now 8-5 against the West with one to go.

* Here are a couple of stats for you — Mississippi State finished its home season without giving up a rushing touchdown. And the Bulldogs only gave up three passing touchdowns all season, one of them coming from Kadarius Toney on a double pass. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Tennessee, which has had five losses this year by 25 points or more for the first time in school history. Somewhere Butch Jones is saying, “I never did THAT.”

* It’s Turkey Week, so there are games throughout a crazy weekend. Here is your four-pack:

Oklahoma at West Virginia, Friday, 8 p.m., ESPN

Michigan at Ohio State, Saturday, noon, Fox

South Carolina at Clemson, Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN

LSU at Texas A&M, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network


  1. Insights for Florida vs. F.S.U. game. The Noles’ bowl hopes, literally, depend on Florida State beating Florida on Saturday, Nov. 24th in Tally. So the ‘Noles will be more than ready for U.F.! And in-state rivalries generate more emotions and adrenaline than most college football games. So the Gators better get ready for this game… PERIOD! Because Florida Football can still have ”a 10 win season” (with an F.S.U win in Tally, and bowl win) and give Coach Mullen a helluva’ a 1st year as Florida’s new Head Coach. And there’s the recruiting advantages, too, for beating the ‘Noles.
    Respectfully, a U.C.F. mention, the Knights nearly handed Cinci as bad a loss as the Florida Gators & Tebow did in his final game in the 2010 Sugar Bowl. And let’s start playing more smaller schools from around here, Hogtown, instead of teams like Idaho & North Texas, etc… Like say, Lane Kiffin’s F.A.U., or Kerwin Bell’s Valdosta State, etc.. Go Gators! Chomp the ‘Noles!

  2. So if Tosu loses to Michigan this week, will it be Meyer’s signal to move on? Or if UM loses, does Harbaugh decide to go back to the NFL?
    And can we finally beat that team out west?!?! C’mon Gators, no slow start this week. No busted coverages giving them easy scores! Beat em in every phase of the game!!

  3. Florida is now faced with an opportunity like no other in its history. With the semi-holes looming on the horizon, and UCF (aka national champions in their own city) having only USF left to play, the Gators are in a position to secure a New Years Day Bowl game, and face said UCF team. And the stage will be set. Florida has an opportunity to beat the holes, go to a bowl game and beat UCF, and become the premier team in the state of Florida. Not to mention the 10 win season and a recruiting bonus that will come with it.
    But for right now, enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends. Remember all that we have to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

  4. The Peach Bowl against UCF would be the State of Florida Super Bowl. Can you imagine the hype! BUT first we need a solid whipping of the Holes. Lose to them and we all will be suffering a tremendous nightmare for weeks. I’m cautiously believing Dan will not allow an emotional let down.

  5. I watched UCF last night after getting home. They are a legit top 5 football team with an almost unstoppable offense and a very aggressive and consistent and fundamentally good defense. I would expect they would be heavily favored over Florida in a bowl game. If Michigan loses to OSU and Bama beat Georgia and UCF beats USF (and why wouldn’t they?), then I believe UCF should get into the four-team playoff this year. Let them go head to head with Bama, as that is what they want really badly. And I think they would challenge Bama in the game.

    • I’ll admit that UCF is good, but a legit Top 5 team? And would challenge Bama? Take a look at their schedule (and it’s a pretty pathetic schedule and ranked anywhere from 72nd – 80th after last night) and show one stout defense they’ve played all year. Not sure how much UCF football you’ve watched this year but if last night was your only sampling it’s a pretty small sample to use. If UCF played any of the Top 5 teams they would be solid underdogs in every one of those games. I think it’s a stretch to say UCF would be heavily favored against Florida. Favored? Maybe. Heavily? Nope. Their defense has been gouged for a lot of points. History shows that great defense will shut down great offense every time. The Big 12 proves that every single year. As long as you’re in the AAC conference you’ll always be an also ran. It’s one thing to play one good game in a bowl. But the true test is playing an entire season in a big boy conference. Nice season but there is no way they should be in the Playoff discussion.

      • You are absolutely right, UCF has a nice team and a good run but to say they are a playoff team is beyond ignorant, absolutely asinine. Anyone can beat a good team once, but to win consistently in a big boy conference is a totally different animal. That’s UCF’s problem and that’s why they don’t belong in a four team playoff

        • CO. That was a ignorant, absolutely asinine post reply. Not my opinion. Just wanted you to feel your type of post response for a change of pace. And I did not say UCF was a playoff team. I gave a scenario where they would deserve to be a playoff team. I said they looked like a top 5 team last night with a great offense (against a top 10 defense in Cincy) and a very good defense. But, like the poster said above, it was the only game I have seen the Knights play this year. And I apologize for giving my ignorant, asinine opinion. And I hope you again feel better for passing on your harsh judgment on a sports blog. If not, maybe use more insulting adjectives next time.

          • Just curious, but what is it like with CO Jones living rent free inside your head day and night, Tampa? You could just as easily ignore his opinion, rather than drill through the machinations required to have him “feel (his) type of post response for a change of pace”.

  6. To me FSU beating Boston college is like us struggling vs champ or vandy..
    Idaho be was fun but we will need to play better than any game in November to beat FSU. After that i would not consider us to be favored in any new years bowl game absent defensive improvement but hopefully we can get better in the next coupleke of games.

  7. As I stated on Nov. 15th, I still believe we will play OSU. I believe that the persons that are responsible for selecting the match-ups will go with a stronger team to play UCF. Just like those persons that selected Michigan to play is in bowl games knowing we didn’t have an offense. They want to give OSU another shot at us because we have made OSU our Bi!(% in football bowl games. I was stationed at Ft. Irwin, California, and all I heard was how much OSU was going to beat our GATORS by. All I would say to all of those haters was “OSU has not seen a defense like ours.” I wanted to go watch the game in Arizona, but I couldn’t get the time off. The cheapest ticket was $1400.00 as well. But anyway we held OSU to under 100 yards of total offense after Ted Ginn started the game off with a run back for a TD. None of those big mouthed haters wanted to run into me after that game…LMAO. I stayed humble and I was respectful when telling them that I told you that they hadn’t see a defense like ours. Ah the memories. Then shortly after that, I was watching e**n and that skank Beetle (yes I spelled it intentionally that way), had ice sculptures in front of her and she smashed the GATORS because she is an OSU hater. Ever since then I only watch that station for college sports. Enough of the past – alright GATORS make this an authentic Thanksgiving and beat those Semiho’s! GO GATORS!!!

  8. Gator Ed, for those OSU fans that can’t recall (or won’t recall) that beatdown in the National championship football game, they can watch the reruns from about 3 months later when the Gator basketball team smothered the OSO Greg Oden led basketball team in the Final 4 Championship game. Not sure which is, sweeter, the fact that our b’ball team’s back to back championships also earned UF the distinction of being the ONLY school to date to hold the NCAA champ titles in both football and men’s basketball in the same year, or the fact that UF crunched tOSU in BOTH of the championships. Either way, it’s a sweet memory for Gator Nation.

      • Sparky, yes, I know the timeline. We beat UCLA in the March 2006 Basketball Finals, then the OSU football team in January of 2007 championship game and then the OSU basketball team in the Finals in March of 2007, about 3 months after that wonderful football game. That was truly a high point for being a Gator fan.

  9. DanF. The Florida defensive line (Ray McDonald and company) is still tackling the OSU QB from that championship game. And Cory Brewer is still stealing and dunking the balk from the championship basketball game vs. OSU.

  10. Emory Jones impressed. He deserves a fair shot at earning the starting job next year. Decision-making is key (for him or Franks). That first pass to Pitts (the drop) was perfect – he picked out and threw to single coverage (well covered) and gave his receiver a chance. That was pretty much a 35 yd hand off. The receiver has got to help his qb there. RB might be the Gators deepest position. None of these guys is a flat out stud (ala Fred Taylor), but they are all REALLY good. It’s a shame there is only (1) football to carry at a time. I’d like to see more of Pierce. But it’s hard to take carries away from Scarlett and Perine.

    The Gators need to have their lunch pail and work ethic with them this week in Tally. It’s been WAY too long since they beat the Noles. But they can’t just show up and win. A close loss would suck. But if they don’t take it seriously, it could be an ugly, embarrassing loss to down and out rival. Go Gators.

  11. I’m probably wrong but I thought I saw their defender get his hand in the way of the pass to Pitts and slightly deflect it. How did you guys see it?
    I think Jones is only going to get better with time and reps. It’s going to be exciting. We will have 3 pretty good quarterbacks saddled up for the bowl game. Trask will also be back. I really like the way Trask thows with touch on the ball like Danny did.