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In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gator Boy, as he likes to be called, played a great game over the weekend. Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden registered two interceptions on Sunday including one that he returned 29 yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Haden, his team still fell 41-20 to the Cincinnati Bengals, which were assisted in a big way by a pair of former Florida players. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap picked up a sack and four quarterback hits, and safety Reggie Nelson grabbed an interception of his own along with nine tackles. Dunlap and Nelson have been quite a dynamic duo for the Bengals this season and have combined twice this season to force (Dunlap) and recover (Nelson) turnovers.
Apparently the injury bug has successfully jumped from the football program to the basketball team and is now infecting players who were not hobbled entering the 2013-14 season. On Saturday, head coach Billy Donovan noted that a pair of guards - junior Eli Carter (ankle) and sophomore Dillon Graham (hips) - were both hobbled and potential redshirt candidates. Just two days later, Donovan said Graham has decided to have surgery to relieve pain caused by bone spurs in his hips and will take a redshirt. Carter played in Monday night's game but once again looked like a shell of his former self. To cap the evening off, freshman point guard Kasey Hill suffered a high-ankle sprain that could keep him out for a month. Junior forward Will Yeguete also still looks tentative coming back from knee surgery. There is a long way to go in the season, but Florida has already faced its fair share of adversity in the early going.
Think serious season-ending injuries are limited to the big-money men's programs? Think again. Last Sunday, while competing in the finals of the 2013 SEC Tournament, No. 6 Gators soccer lost junior midfielder Havana Solaun midway through the match to a torn ACL. Florida went on to fall 2-1 to Texas A&M and is now hoping to build some momentum in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and follow through in their season's mission despite her absence. UF earned a 2-0 opening-round victory over Jacksonville on Saturday and is now set to face Duke on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in second-round action. Despite its immense success within the SEC, Gators soccer has only won a single national championship and is hoping to reach the Promised Land this year for the first time since 1998.
One of the toughest players in the history of the game of football, former Florida defensive end Jack Youngblood told the New York Post over the weekend that he believes players these days are getting soft. He noted that he would do whatever it took to play - as evidenced by his decision to step on the field during Super Bowl XIV with a fractured fibula. "Go play. It's not about you. It's about your football team," he said. "That's what the best players do."
Rookie tight end Jordan Reed suffered a concussion during the Washington Redskins' game on Sunday and finished the game with just one catch for 12 yards. He will have to go through the league's concussion protocol tests before being cleared to play. There is a legitimate chance he will be forced to miss Washington's Week 12 game. Held out of action over the weekend were Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey (kidney/gallbladder illness) and San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald (high-ankle sprain). Both are expected to return to the field this week.
So far the highest-rated recruit in the history of Florida women's basketball is performing quite well for the Gators. Ronnie Williams is averaging 10.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and has already registered a team-high eight blocks on the season. However, despite shooting .581 from the field (second-best on the team), Williams has not yet started a game and is only playing 19.0 minutes per contest, fewest on the team.