St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

UF keys to victory...


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 18, 2000

1. CREATE TURNOVERS: Florida's defense has forced 34 turnovers this season, best in the nation, leading to 183 points. And it's a good thing. The Gators do not play dominating defense in the traditional sense. They give up yards by the bushel and an alarming number of third-down conversions, but they always manage to bail themselves out with a turnover, sack or red-zone stand.

2. RUN IT SOME: The Gators have trouble running in big games. Two years ago, Florida rushed 20 times for 17 yards against an FSU defense that dropped eight players into pass coverage. It was a pitiful display. UF passes to set up the run but must have at least the threat of a ground attack to keep the Seminoles' aggressive defense honest.

3. PROTECT WHAT'S-HIS-NAME: Quarterbacks Jesse Palmer and Rex Grossman both will play, but no matter who is in the pocket the Gators must give him time to throw. Protection starts with the offensive line, but tight ends and running backs must be clear on their assignments, also. And while we're at it, the shotgun snaps need to be accurate, too.

4. LOOK FOR LITO: Sophomore cornerback Lito Sheppard likely will play three ways -- defense, punt/kick return and as a gadget man on offense. His knack for making big plays defies explanation. He has four interceptions, two punt returns for touchdowns and a 47-yard reception. He made one big play in each of UF's key victories against Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.

5. BE COOL: Florida has found a variety of ways to lose -- and tie -- games during a 14-year winless streak at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Gators rely on several young players who must block out the overwhelming atmosphere and the pressure of FSU's 51-game home unbeaten streak. Game-time temperatures in the 40s should help.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Hubert Mizell
  • Tonight's game will settle several scores

  • UF at FSU
  • Unrivaled
  • No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 4 Florida
  • Seminoles' last loss to Gators a motivator
  • Who has the edge?
  • Something special's in the air
  • Seminoles are superior, but Gators have fighting chance
  • Extra points
  • Here is a look back at the 1990s
  • Times top 5 college football rivalries
  • UF keys to victory...
  • FSU keys to victory...

  • College football
  • USF battles emotion
  • College football briefs
  • Oregon's Civil War draws attention
  • Huskies quiet on title hopes
  • Playoffs on line in Classic

  • Bucs
  • Lynch says he'll be ready to play
  • Bucs 'backers display strength in numbers

  • Lightning/NHL
  • Weekes, ex-Leafs star for Lightning
  • Ludzik pleased with road trip to hometown
  • NHL briefs

  • College basketball
  • Dupay starts strong
  • Seminole faces battery charge

  • Outdoors
  • Good family fun -- with speed
  • APBA Offshore World Championships
  • Sunfish champion retains title
  • Captain's corner

  • Motorsports
  • The ride's just starting

  • Et cetera
  • College sports roundup
  • Sports briefs
  • Striving to reach women runners

  • Preps
  • Pinellas prep football roundup
  • Hillsborough prep football roundup
  • North Suncoast prep football roundup
  • Knight secures place in history
  • Poor early swim a wakeup call

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts