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September 23, 2011

The Silver Lining: 9/23 Orange & Blue News

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MORE FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING: Five former Gator players weigh in on the football season | Recruiting Whispers: Gators leading for five-star | Four-star Jenkins has two on top | Rivals100 Gator fan loved Florida visit | A View from the Sideline: Football Tidbits | Following the Future: Week 4 Scout's Eye View - Breaking down big plays from the UF-UT Game

In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.

Leaving Omaha with their College World Series dreams crushed, the Gators baseball team will hoping to work their way back to the big dance once again in 2012. On Thursday, the University of Florida announced the team's 56-game schedule, which includes a three-game road trip to Miami (FL), a home-home-neutral site series with Florida State and contests against other in-state opponents including Bethune-Cookman, Central Florida, Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, North Florida and South Florida. UF will also take on Cal State Fullerton in non-conference action to start the season, beginning a schedule that head coach Kevin O'Sullivan deems as "very challenging" and one that "should hopefully prepare us for another postseason run."

In an effort to help wide receiver Percy Harvin see the field more than he has over the course of the Minnesota Vikings' first two games, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave recently told reporters after a team practice that he will be insuring Harvin's "dynamic ability" is used as much as possible going forward. Harvin, who missed practice on Thursday due what head coach Leslie Frazier called a "stomach illness," is reportedly over the serious migraines that plagued him most of his life. He claims he has not experienced one since the end of the 2010 season and is as healthy as he has ever been. With Minnesota's offense struggling through the first two games of 2011, Harvin's playmaking ability may be just what the doctor ordered for the Vikings.

Not only has she participated in five Olympic Games and captured 12 medals (four gold, four silver, four bronze) while doing so, but former Florida swimmer Dara Torres is looking to do the seemingly impossible and compete in the 2012 London Olympics if she can get herself back into form. The 44-year-old sprinter, who won a silver medal in all three events she competed in during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, recently told the Associated Press that she is psyched to be getting back into top physical shape after having knee surgery and taking 16 months off from swimming. "I thought I would get it quick," she said. "I only took a year off - from '92 to '99, I took seven years off. I'm thinking, 'This can't be that bad.' But it was a tough year last year. I didn't feel like myself when I was training. I just had to keep the confidence." Already having competed in more Olympics than any other American female swimmer, Torres again hopes to prove that age is only a number.

Injuries are tough to deal with for NFL players, but two former Gators may be getting the breaks they have so desperately desired because teammates went down last week. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Andre Caldwell - who had fallen behind some big names during his time with the team - will be moving into the starting slot receiver role with Cincinnati after Jordan Shipley tore his ACL last weekend. Similarly, Buffalo Bills pass catcher David Nelson will take over the same job for his team after both Roscoe Parish and Marcus Easley suffered season-ending injuries. Caldwell and Nelson each scored a touchdown at the tail end of their respective team's game on Sunday (Nelson's was a game-winner), and each now has an opportunity to really make a name for himself going forward.

Not a fact known during the course of the game, it appears as if Tennessee running back Tauren Poole was actually injured when the Vols squared off with the Gators last Saturday. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Poole got hurt after his first carry (a 10-yard rush for a first down) after he "was hit one way, his back went the other way and his head started spinning in a completely different direction." OK. Poole told the paper he stayed in the game because the team needed him but in retrospect he realized that if he is not healthy enough to play he needs to tell his coach that as soon as possible so a healthy substitute can be put in.

Gators fans got a treat last Saturday when four F-16 fighter jets flew over Ben Hill Griffin Stadium before the game began. Ocala.com found out that the cost of the flyover was not paid by the school because the activity counted as part of the 482nd Fighter Squadron's standard training budget. "The fuel they use and the time they spend to do the flyovers, they would have done it anyway," said spokesman Ian Carrier. "They just would have done it somewhere else." He also told the website that they get "way more positive feedback" than complains about "wasting money" and that flyovers and the like also help as recruiting tools.


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