By ANTONYA ENGLISH and JILL MARTIN
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 20, 2002
GAINESVILLE -- Florida senior Taylor Jacobs became the 16th receiver in school history with 50 or more receptions in a season.
Jacobs is the fourth Gator with 50 or more eight games into the season, joining Carlos Alvarez (1969), Richard Trapp (1967) and Jabar Gaffney (2001).
The Gators have had at least one 50-catch receiver during the past 13 seasons, the only SEC team to do so. Entering Saturday, Jacobs was ninth in the nation in receiving yards per game with 113.57.
Senior running back Earnest Graham also moved up the Gator charts. With his 1-yard touchdown run with 12:55 left in the second quarter, Graham moved into fourth in rushing touchdowns, tying Neal Anderson (1982-85) with 30.
JOHNSON OUT: For the first time in 32 games (and his career), senior safety Todd Johnson did not start. Johnson, who bruised his thigh last week against LSU, dressed but did not practice this week and said he expected to be ready to play.
But Johnson did not dress, and Lester Norwood started.
LINEUP SHUFFLE: The offensive line had several changes during the game. Senior David Jorgensen started at center, and redshirt freshman Mike Degory, who normally plays center, started at right guard.
Degory has had a sore back for most of the season, and coach Ron Zook said playing guard is easier on his back. The two alternated at center during the first quarter.
Freshman Randy Hand played in his second game this season, this time in relief of tackle Jonathan Colon, who left early in the second quarter with back trouble. Junior kicker Brent Talcott took over on extra points from Matt Leach and hit two during the first half.
Leach, meanwhile, hit a career-long 48-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half to give the Gators a 17-7 lead. He made a 38-yarder and 20-yarder during the third.
SNELL'S CONTRIBUTIONS: After missing time with a sprained back, Tampa native Shannon Snell started at left guard. Snell played sparingly last week against LSU, but his presence was felt early Saturday when he recovered Graham's fumble on the opening drive.
The Gators scored a touchdown shortly after.
LEAK ON CAMPUS: Charlotte (N.C.) Independence's Chris Leak, considered by many recruiting analysts as the nation's best high school quarterback, was on campus for an official visit Saturday.
Leak said in his weekly diary on ESPN.com that Florida is his first official visit.
A NEW GATOR: Florida got its fifth recruit for 2003 late Friday night, when punter-safety Eric Wilbur of Winter Park Trinity Prep orally committed.
Wilburn chose the Gators over Notre Dame, Miami and Central Florida.
The commitment is not binding.