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Leak owns completions record now
By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published September 24, 2006
GAINESVILLE - With his 11-yard completion to senior receiver Jemalle Cornelius with 1:32 remaining in the first half, Florida senior quarterback Chris Leak took another step into the record books.
The completion was Leak's 723rd of his career, moving him into first place on the school's all-time career completions list. By the end of the night, he pushed that number to 733. Leak moved ahead of Shane Matthews, who completed 722 passes from 1989-92.
With his 267 passing yards Saturday, Leak vaulted two players and into second place in career passing yards (9,337), ahead of Matthews (9,287) and Rex Grossman (9,164; 2000-02). Danny Wuerffel (1993-96) had 10,875.
BOATENG OUT: Florida's loaded receiving corps has been temporarily depleted by one.
Sophomore receiver Nyan Boateng had surgery this week and is expected to miss four to five weeks. Boateng suffered damage to his right ankle earlier in the week.
The Brooklyn native played in the first two games but had not caught a pass this season.
HETLAND'S KICKING WOES: In Florida's first two games, kicker Chris Hetland didn't get any work at all. In its last two, he probably wishes he hadn't been called on. To say Hetland has struggled would be an understatement. The fifth-year senior missed two field goals against Tennessee on Sept. 16. On Saturday night, his first extra point attempt was blocked by Curtis Pulley, the third of Pulley's career. Then late in the second quarter, Hetland had another extra point blocked by Sean Murphy.
Harvin is BACK: Freshman receiver Percy Harvin was back in the lineup after injuring his right ankle last week, so coach Urban Meyer was cautious. Harvin practiced sparingly all week, and he had one carry for 2 yards in his only action Saturday.
"I kind of had a feeling when I heard high ankle sprain that it was going to be like this," Meyer said. "We could have pushed him more, but we decided not to. I'm told he'll be 100 percent against Alabama."
Work in Progress: Entering the season, the Gators' offensive line was considered potentially its weakest area. But through the first four games, offensive coordinator Dan Mullen believes the line has held its own but continues to be a work in progress. Entering the game, Leak had been sacked just four times (although he was sacked three times Saturday) and the Gators' rushing game has improved with the line's blocking.
"They've really jelled together as a unit, and that's as important as talent," Mullen said.
LEVEL HEADS? After its big win over Tennessee last week, the biggest concern for UF seemed to be whether the Gators would be able to resist looking past Kentucky to its upcoming stretch against Alabama, LSU and Auburn.
Meyer said that was the least of his concerns.
"I don't think it's hard to keep a team up," he said. "I think if you have ignorant players or players that don't buy into what a coach says to you, then I think you might have an issue."
Meyer may have misjudged; the Gators trailed in the first half before rallying for a 12-7 halftime lead.
Injury: Defensive tackle Clint McMillan left in the first quarter with a sprained ankle.