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November 23, 2011
The Silver Lining: 11/23 Orange & Blue News
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MORE FLORIDA FOOTBALL: Updated weekend visitor list | Scout's Eye View: Breaking down big plays | UF-FSU - 10 Questions | Tuesday Notebook: Weis around for the long haul | Fisher wary of Florida | Tuesday Notebook - Demps has a decision to make | FSU is Florida's chance at redemption | View from the pressbox - Football tidbits
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.
L acking everything but a confirmation at this point, the rumors of Urban Meyer accepting the Ohio State coaching job are continuing to swirl and may begin affecting Florida, too. According to a report from WKMG-TV passed along by FOX Sports, Meyer is considering plucking linebackers/special teams coach D.J. Durkin and strength & conditioning coach Mickey Marotti from the Gators' staff to become defensive coordinator and director of football operations, respectively, for the Buckeyes. Meyer again denied having accepted the deal on Wednesday, but The New York Times reported that he will simply use the Thanksgiving holiday to talk it over with his family and investigate what sanctions the NCAA might levy on OSU.
In the NFL this past week, former Florida players participating in league action could have comprised their own version of top plays. In addition to Tim Tebow's game-winning, 20-yard rushing touchdown on Thursday, five other Gators scored on Sunday. Andre Caldwell, Percy Harvin, Riley Cooper and Jabar Gaffney all caught touchdowns, while Rex Grossman accounted for three (two passing, one rushing) in a losing effort to Dallas. Caldwell and Cooper both earned starts for their respective squads due to A.J. Green and Jeremy Maclin being injured and unable to play. Also notable, Major Wright had an interception in his third-straight game after not having any in his young two-year career.
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N ow a candidate for a vacant Florida state House of Representatives seat, Dane Eagle's past incident at the University of Florida was recalled recently on the campaign trail. Eagle, while at a party, had a half-full keg thrown at him by Gators linebacker Taurean Charles, who was subsequently thrown off the team back in 2004. Eagle at the time was knocked unconscious and had his nose broken in the brawl but was never forced to have surgery (it remains crooked to this day). "Unfortunately in college you run into situations like that, where you're in the wrong place at the wrong time," Eagle told the Palm Beach Post this past Tuesday. "It definitely was a very peculiar situation. I remember it was on ESPN SportsCenter. It was all over the place. It was funny. It doesn't even cross my mind these days, it was so long ago. It was just a little blip in history. I have a nice little scar on my lip."
Instead of knocking him out of the running, the two missed field goals by Caleb Sturigs on Saturday did not sway voters from naming him one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award (nation's best kicker) on Monday. Sturgis is 21-of-25 on field goal attempts (long: 55) this year and a perfect 27-for-27 on extra points. No Florida player has ever won the Groza Award, but Sturgis's mentor Judd Davis was named a finalist back in 1993. Should Sturgis win, it would be the second-straight year that a member of the Gators' special teams has picked up national honors. Chas Henry won the Ray Guy Award (nation's best punter) in 2011 and was nominated for it one year earlier as well.
N ever a "true" running back, Harvin got plenty of carries while playing for Florida and has seen a few each game (when healthy) while with the Minnesota Vikings. As long as starter Adrian Peterson is sidelined with an ankle injury, Harvin is expected to see more and more time in the backfield, head coach Leslie Frazier said Tuesday. "One of the things coming out of the bye, we wanted to come up with more ways to get Percy the football," Frazier said. "The fact that Adrian wasn't in the ball game created more opportunities for Percy."
Gators women's basketball is off to a nice start this season, winning three-straight games including a 72-58 decision over ranked Florida State after losing the season opener by three points to Michigan. Junior forward Jennifer George, who is shooting 65 percent from the field, is leading all players with 13 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. She, along with redshirt senior guard Jordan Jones, are attempting to push Florida toward new heights in head coach Amanda Butler's fourth year in charge of the program.