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Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015

Joey Johnston

Tribune Staff

Gators’ recipe for success? Just add offense

- Last season, the Gators were the nation’s 15th-best defense, but their offense was ranked an unthinkable 96th out of 128 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Now the Gators are ahead of schedule — and showi...

Emotional day for Mike Alstott as he enters Bucs’ Ring of Honor


— When the banner was unraveled along the Raymond James Stadium east-side concourse — revealing 40 Alstott — former Bucs running back M...

Gators put sports world on notice, upset No. 3 Ole Miss

- Suddenly, the No. 25-ranked Gators are back in the national conversation. If Saturday night’s ultra-convincing 38-10 upset victory against the No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels is any indication, they might be there to stay.

Bulls come up short again in search for signature win


— For a while, the University of South Florida Bulls seemed primed for a signature victory. For a while, USF was tantalizingly close.

Memphis will play tough, but Bulls have something to prove

- Heading into tonight’s American Athletic Conference opener at Raymond James Stadium, USF (1-2) desperately needs momentum. Facing the high-flying Memphis Tigers (4-0) might not seem the ideal prescription for success...

Freshman Callaway gives Gators a big-time playmaker

- Just four games into his Gators career, freshman wide receiver Antonio Callaway already has achieved legendary status.

Don’t laugh: USF punter Ciabatti is a key weapon

- Arguably, he is USF’s best player. It might seem like a backhanded compliment, but the skills of senior Mattias Ciabatti carry the same game-altering impact as an electrifying Marlon Mack run or a bone-jarring Jamie ...

One for the ages: Gators pull off comeback against Tennessee


— It was fourth-and-forever. The University of Florida Gators were finished, all but beaten on Saturday night. Then it happened.

Florida-Tennessee game lacks luster, but it still matters to Gators

- There was a time when Vols-Gators meant a battle of top-five programs, a leg up for SEC superiority, perhaps even a boost toward a national championship. That time is not now.

Injuries, losses adding up at UCF


Just a few weeks ago, life was good for the University of Central Florida’s football program. Actually, it was great.

With Vols next, Gators QB plans remain a mystery

- Despite his decision to stick with a two-QB system, UF coach Jim McElwain insists there’s no controversy.

USF lets big chance get away in 35-17 Maryland loss


— Battered, bruised and bewildered, the University of South Florida Bulls will welcome their bye week.

To win at Maryland, Bulls must finish as strong as it starts

- USF can capture its first victory against the Big Ten and grab a road triumph against a brand-name program.

FSU has seen enough of Boston College to understand danger


Since leaving the independent ranks, the Florida State Seminoles have been in a league of their own.

Ex-Plant High QB Ely thankful for Toledo success after tough times

- Last season, after sitting out a year following his transfer from Alabama, Phillip Ely was off to a flying start as Toledo’s starting quarterback. It was his time. Then, suddenly, it wasn’t.

In Gud they trust: Lineman critical to USF’s offensive success

- USF senior Brynjar Gudmundsson likes being a center, his new high-profile spot and fourth starting position on USF’s offensive line since he debuted in 2012. He just doesn’t want to become the center of attent...

UF’s McElwain regrets profanity-laced sideline tirade

- University of Florida coach Jim McElwain scolded running back Kelvin Taylor on the sideline for drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on his throat-slashing gesture, drawing criticism on social media. He moved to defus...

Bulls hang with Noles before Dalvin Cook takes control


— For the University of South Florida Bulls, it wasn’t half-bad. But it wasn’t nearly enough.

USF at Florida State: Bulls long to regain reputation as upset machine

- It seems like ancient history now, but Bulls coach Willie Taggart acknowledges his program must recapture that attitude from the Jim Leavitt era. A massive opportunity is at 11:30 a.m. today against No. 11 FSU on ESPN.

USF AD Harlan: Ban not the way to teach students


— When University of South Florida athletic director Mark Harlan learned Monday afternoon that football coach Willie Taggart had prohibited his players from visiting Ybor City &...

As FSU awaits USF, Quinton Flowers’ toughness can’t be questioned

- In what is expected to be a frenetic, intimidating, ridiculously humid atmosphere, USF sophomore Quinton Flowers will make his third college start on Saturday afternoon.

USF AD urges players to make ‘smart decisions’ after former lineman’s death

- After the stabbing death of former defensive lineman Elkino Watson early Sunday morning, University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart has made Ybor City “off limits’’ for his players.

Former USF player stabbed to death in Ybor City

- Elkino Watson, a former USF defensive lineman, was stabbed to death outside an Ybor City nightclub early Sunday. He was the first in his family to attend college and made a lasting impression on coaches and teammates.

Flowers accounts for 3 touchdowns as USF rolls over FAMU in opener

- It only took one play to witness the potential of sophomore quarterback Quinton Flowers, who was 12 of 16 for 141 yards, while accounting for three touchdowns and 204 total yards.

State colleges: Fresh faces, new season bring pressure, expectactions

- USF will feature a new offense, new defense and new quarterback, with a head coach with something to prove beginning tonight against FAMU. Florida, FSU and Miami have plenty of anxiety, as well, going into their season open...

USF defense maximizing athleticism


— Although there was plenty of focus on the University of South Florida’s new up-tempo spread offense on Saturday night against Florida A&M, it was also the debut of ...

Miami Hurricanes hoping to do big things


For University of Miami coach Al Golden, the numbers are sobering.

UCF coach’s approach helps Knights become established program


One decade ago, the University of Central Florida football program was going nowhere. Coach George O’Leary was coming off his first season, an 0-11 effort, after inheriting a losing streak that would stretch to 20...

Seminoles enter season as underdogs with something to prove

- History. It's a familiar concept for Florida State University's football program, which makes a habit of registering jaw-dropping milestones.

Tired of losing, USF hungers for first bowl game since 2010

- It’s a bowl-or-bust season. Third-year coach Willie Taggart is fighting to keep his job, and the Bulls are close to turning the corner. Reality begins Saturday night when USF faces Florida A&M to begin a rigorous 12-...

Ex-Jefferson star Garcia a cautionary tale for aspiring players

- The Stephen Garcia story didn’t unfold as many people had expected, but the former Jefferson High star is hoping for one more opportunity to play in the NFL.

USF notes: Two key defenders suspended for first two games


— The University of South Florida Bulls will be without two key defensive playmakers for this season’s first two games.

USF names Quinton Flowers as starting QB

- Sophomore Quinton Flowers, who started one game and attempted only 20 passes in his first season, was named Monday as USF's starting quarterback.

USF Bulls notes: QB competition still too close to call


Following Saturday morning’s scrimmage that closed fall training camp for the University of South Florida, Bulls coach Willie Taggart said the quarterback race between sen...