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October 9, 2012

View from the press box: Football tidbits



There's only so much one can see when watching the Gators play on television. That's why Inside the Gators is returning its "View from the Press Box" feature for 2012 - a look at things that might have gone unnoticed during the broadcast. Here's what we saw Saturday:

* More than two hours before kickoff, a large group of recruits gathered at midfield to talk, take pictures and greet each other. At previous home games, commits Nick Washington and Ahmad Fulwood had hung out at midfield, but this group was much larger.

* Backup quarterbacks Tyler Murphy and Jacoby Brissett were out on the field early warming up with a few wide receivers.

* Injured defensive back Cody Riggs is still wearing a walking boot. For the first time this season, Buck linebacker Ronald Powell was on crutches. It was later announced that Powell recently had a "revision" done to his injured knee.

* West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer 2014 wide receiver Johnnie Dixon was completely decked out in Gators gear.

* Florida Governor Rick Scott was on the sidelines along with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Jindal's young son will have to wear a Gators jersey as a result of a friendly bet the two men made.

* A number of former Florida players were on the sidelines, including Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson, former offensive lineman Carl Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Ahmad Black and former UF running back Kestahn Moore.

* Florida defensive back De'Ante Saunders was talking trash to LSU players as they took the field during warm-ups.

* In previous weeks, cornerback Marcus Roberson had been the player teammates held up when breaking the pregame huddle. Saturday, that player was Andre Debose (which normally signifies who the returner will be).

* Florida's pregame entrance seems to get more and more rowdy each week. This time, a number of players shook hands with recruits and their parents while waiting to take the field.

* Both sidelines were amped for the opening kickoff. Debose was seen sprinting up and down the sidelines, more focused and into the game than he has been at any point this season, while a number of players, including Dominique Easley danced and jumped around.

* Gators 2013 basketball commit Chris Walker was on the sidelines along with Julius Randle - the nation's No. 1 2013 basketball prospect.

* Five-star Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County defensive tackle Montravius Adams stood by Florida's tunnel when the Gators took the field before heading upstairs for the remainder of the game.

* Tight ends coach Derek Lewis had his hand heavily wrapped in a bandage. It would later come out that Lewis broke his hand punching a white board before the game.

* LSU took the field first and was booed loudly. The boos and LSU band somewhat drowned out Florida's traditional "Only Gators get out alive" entrance. Florida seemed to wait longer than usual to take the field.

* Florida's track team was recognized during the game and received a loud ovation from the crowd.

* Offensive line coach Tim Davis had a long, one-on-one conversation with freshman tackle D.J. Humphries at the start of the second quarter. Humphries played in some jumbo packages but wasn't called on to relieve starting tackle Xavier Nixon.

* Defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson was electric on the sidelines the entire game and was Florida's most spirited coach all game, even more-so than Will Muschamp, who has been more in control on the sidelines this season.

* Saunders went into the locker room with about 1:30 left in the second quarter. Junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins had a noticeable limp long after he left the game with his hamstring injury. Rivals100 safety Marcell Harris did not sit in the recruit section at the game.

* During halftime, all past and present Florida athletes who participated or coached at the 2012 Summer Olympics were recognized. Swimmer Ryan Lochte was announced last and got the loudest reaction and spent much of the game taking pictures with fans.

* Fans were booing LSU players when they went down with injuries in the second half. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd said after the game that he thought Tigers players were faking injuries because they were tired.

* Freshman running back Matt Jones did not play and spent a majority of the game sitting on the bench by himself.

* Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was seen inspiring/coaching/motivating linemen Dominique Easley and Damien Jacobs right before Florida's big defensive stand late in the fourth quarter.

* There was talk that he would be ready for LSU, but offensive linemen Matt Patchan didn't make it in the game and spent most of his time on the sidelines with walk-on lineman Cole Gilliam.

* Strength Coach Jeff Dillman was very animated on the sidelines and into pumping up the crowd around him.

* As soon as the game ended, a number of players including freshman Buck linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. sprinted for the students section and jumped into the stands.


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