Week 7: No. 22 Florida Gators vs. MSU Bulldogs

By Adam Silverstein
October 15, 2010

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 76°F, clear skies
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST)

Sirius/XM: 219/199
Online Video: N/A
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Dan Mullen
Record: 4-2 (2-2) Record: 4-2 (1-2)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -9; O/U 46


» Florida leads the all-time series 33-18-2 against Mississippi State, holding a 19-7-1 advantage in Gainesville. The Gators have won back-to-back games in the series, defeating the Bulldogs 35-9 in 2005 and 29-19 in Starkville, MS, last season.
» UF is 63-20-2 all-time in homecoming games and have won 21-straight on this occasion including 14 consecutive contests against conference opponents.
» Florida continues to lead the nation with 13 interceptions. Five have been returned for more than 30 yards – three for touchdowns.
» The Gators had gone 14-for-14 in the red zone over the previous two games with 13 touchdowns and a field goal. Against Alabama and LSU, UF went 4-8 in the same area. As a team they are now 21-for-27 in the red zone in 2010 with 19 touchdowns.
» Florida under Meyer is 40-0 when holding an opponent under 16 points, 29-2 when shutting an opponent out in the fourth quarter, 37-3 when holding an opponent to 35 percent or less on third down, 37-2 when giving up two or less big plays (15-yard run/25-yard pass) and 31-3 when the Gators defense scores or creates three turnovers.
» The Bulldogs are out-scoring opponents 58-17 in the first quarter while the Gators are being outscored 14-16 in the same period.
» Mississippi State has won three straight games for only the second time since 2000 and are looking for their first four-game winning streak since starting 8-0 in 1999. Florida is hoping to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 1999.
» MSU has only allowed seven touchdowns in 19 opponent trips to the red zone.
» The Bulldogs out-rank the Gators in four primary statistical averages going into the contest. Mississippi State is 72nd in passing yards (205), 24th in rushing yards (211.8), 45th in points scored (31.7) and 22nd in points against (17.5) compared to Florida being 87th in passing yards (183), 75th in rushing yards (140.7), 48th in points scored (31.0) and 37th in points against (20.2). Both lost to their common opponent, LSU, though MSU fell 29-7 on the road while UF lost 33-29 at home.
» Mississippi State’s Mullen was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida from 2005-08. Also on the staff at the same time was Bulldogs offensive line coach/running game coordinator John Hevsey. Mullen had coached under Meyer since 2001 (Bowling Green, Utah) before taking his first head coaching job and was also a graduate assistant at Syracuse where he worked with Gators offensive coordinator and OL coach Steve Addazio. The trio worked together from 1999-2000 at Notre Dame.
» Florida running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Stan Drayton coached at Mississippi State in 2004; Bulldogs’ head strength coach Matt Balis was on the Gators’ staff from 2005-06 and left with Mullen.
» No. 22 is the lowest Florida has been ranked in Meyer’s tenure. The Gators have been listed in every poll since he took over the team in 2005.


» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who had thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception dating back to 2009, now has a 6-4 TD/INT ratio this season after throwing another pick last week. He has completed 105-of-169 passes (62.1 percent) for 1,056 yards and has a passer rating of 121.6.
» Redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose…who has led UF in all-purpose yards each of the last two weeks posting 75 against Alabama and 163 against LSU including an 88-yard kickoff return touchdown.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton…who set a school record and SEC freshman record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky. He has nine scores on the season, has played five positions and may see more time behind center with the team wanting to run the ball better out of the option.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who has led the Gators in rushing in every game this season with totals of 98, 139, 73, 57 and 47 yards. He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry this year and is the nation’s active RB leader in yards per touch since 2008 (7.3).
» Redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson…who is averaging almost 60 yards per game this season. As Brantley’s primary pass catcher, 18 of Thompson’s 23 receptions this year have been for first downs.
» Redshirt senior WR Carl Moore…who continues to be clutch for the Gators each week. Eleven of Moore’s last 12 catches have been for first downs including two against Tennessee, four against Kentucky, two against Alabama and three against LSU.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted eight balls this season but has been held without a pick for back-to-back contests. Senior safety Ahmad Black (three), redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown (three) and junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins (two) and are leading the way for the unit. Brown returned one for a touchdown last week, and Black is tops on the team with 50 tackles on the year while also being the conference’s active leader in interceptions (11) and interception return yards (233).
» Redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins…who is coming on strong for the Gators with 35 tackles on the season. He intercepted his first pass last week against LSU, returning it 47 yards and setting up a touchdown for the offense, and had a career-high and team-leading eight tackles against Kentucky earlier in the year.
» Senior punter Chas Henry…who is the end-all be-all of Florida’s kicking game now that he has taken over for junior Caleb Sturgis (back) as the team’s field goal kicker. Henry missed two field goals on one drive (the first was negated by a penalty) last week after scoring all of his team’s points on two field goals against Alabama.

» Junior RB Vick Ballard…who has already scored 12 touchdowns this year and has reached the end zone in every game while leading the SEC with a total of 72 points and 11 rushing scores. Ballard also has 58 carries for 418 yards (7.2 average) and three receptions for 50 yards.
» Junior QB Chris Relf…who leads his team in passing and rushing attempts. Relf completes 59.3 percent of his passes and has thrown for 675 yards and five touchdowns along with three interceptions. He has also rushed 65 times for 295 yards and a score.
» Sophomore WR Chad Bumphis…who has a team-high 32 receptions for 431 yards and four touchdowns on the season as MSU’s primary pass catcher.
» Senior LBs Chris White and K.J. Wright…who have been huge defensive playmakers for the Bulldogs. White leads the team with 7.5 tackles for loss and 46 total tackles, while Wright has 42 total tackles and seven pass break-ups (tops in the SEC).

Active – Redshirt junior QB John Brantley (ribs, thumb, shoulder), redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson (concussion), redshirt freshman right guard Jon Halapio (finger)
Questionable – Junior RB Jeff Demps (foot), sophomore RB Mike Gillislee (foot), freshman safety Matt Elam (concussion)

Redshirt sophomore LT Matt Patchan (broken wrist), senior CB Moses Jenkins (hyperextended elbow), redshirt senior DT Brandon Antwine (shoulder), junior kicker Caleb Sturgis (back), sophomore linebacker Dee Finley (fractured collarbone), freshmen WRs Quinton Dunbar and Chris Dunkley (hamstrings)


The Gators are not set to be heavily featured in during ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU (hosted by Erin Andrews) and continuing from 10 a.m. until noon on ESPN. From what we hear ESPN is not planning to specifically talk about Florida other than during a “State of Florida” segment and when the analysts pick games at the end of the program.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. Miss. State Bulldogs preview after the jump!

No. 22/22 Florida Gators vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Preview

The No. 22/22 Florida Gators (4-2, 2-2 SEC) hope to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 1999 as they host a now-familiar foe in the Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-2, 1-2 SEC) on homecoming weekend at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

After losing back-to-back games for the first time since 2007, Florida plans to respond by winning their 22nd consecutive homecoming game (and 15th against a Southeastern Conference opponent). Mississippi State, on the other hand, heads into Gainesville on a three-game winning streak hoping to win four in a row for the first time since 1999.

Gators redshirt junior starting quarterback John Brantley is looking to rebound after throwing four interceptions and only one touchdown in his last three games while the entire Florida team hopes star playmaker junior running back Jeff Demps can get on the field after missing the LSU game with a sprained foot. The Gators will also count on a trio of wide receivers to make some big plays Saturday including redshirt junior Deonte Thompson, redshirt senior Carl Moore and redshirt freshman Andre Debose.

Head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will likely make a concerted effort to get sophomore WR Omarius Hines and freshman QB Trey Burton on the field in order to better open up the playbook.

Defensively Florida hopes its unit can come together after giving up 31 and 33 points to Alabama and LSU, respectively, over the last two weeks. The Gators lead the nation with 13 interceptions this season but the defensive front seven will be tasked with containing Bulldogs RB Vick Ballard on the ground. It will also have to stop QB Chris Relf who can exploit Florida with both his legs and his arm.

The Gators’ offensive line will have to step up Saturday if it hopes to contain pressure from blitzes courtesy of the Bulldogs’ pair of stud linebackers in Chris White and K.J. Wright. The duo has combined for 88 tackles on the season, and White leads his team with 7.5 tackles for loss this year.

Also looking for a rebound effort is senior punter Chas Henry who shanked two field goals against LSU after scoring all of Florida’s points on two kicks against Alabama. Henry is filling in for junior kicker Caleb Sturgis who remains out with a back injury.

Saturday’s game is also a reunion for the two head coaches as Meyer and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen have known each other for quite some time. Mullen worked under Meyer from 2001-08 at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida before taking the MSU job and the two were on the same staff at Notre Dame from 1999-2000. Meyer won the first head-to-head contest last season with a 29-19 victory on the road in Starkville, MS, but Mullen hopes to even the series in a game that also marks a personal homecoming.

Catch the Gators’ seventh game of the season live on television on ESPNU, via the radio or through OGGOA‘s live updates on Twitter.


  1. John S. says:

    Mullen game planned the hell out of us last year, and we were lucky to get out of there. I have a terrible feeling about this one.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    UF wins but its going to be close : UF 27 MissSt 20

  3. Escambia94 says:

    There is no way the offensive play calling can continue down the same path against Mullen. Crappy execution must be contagious, because even our vaunted defense has taken a beating the past couple weeks. UF will be lucky to pull out a close one.

    Final score: 3-2. Chas Henry is the offensive MVP, and Pouncey shoots a snap into the endzone for a safety.

  4. 305gator says:

    i see Debose taring up that defense! Go Gators get back on track!

  5. Gatorbuc15 says:

    UF-34 MSU-14


  6. ConnGator says:

    I think we will see quite different playcalling tonight. More jet sweeps, passes to RBs, deep throws.

    Florida 32 MSU 13

  7. GatorsFanLA says:

    Go Gators!!

  8. Luke says:

    I think we’ll see better play calling today and I’m hoping we break 40 today… Be aggressive! B E aggressive!

  9. liveoak87 says:

    as much as every one (including me) want to see some deep balls thrown. untill the o-line start to actuallly block someone, that will never happen.

  10. J.Labas says:

    Can’t seem to find this game on TV. All info says ESPNU-!!

  11. Luke says:

    This. Is. Painful.

  12. liveoak87 says:

    channel 208 on direct tv

  13. FISH-GATOR-59 says:

    WOW… were are officially worse than Miss. ST

  14. JW says:

    We lost to a team that refused to pass!!

  15. Mr2Bits says:

    Well, we are now 4 and 3 on the year and Zooker is looking better. I hoped for less than 5 losses after last weeks loss but it looks worse than tha right nowt. I wont say anything about the offense and how bad Adazzio is again this week with his play calling and will just bite my tongue. SC lost tonight and we still have a chance at ATL….lets rebuilt, grow and move on!

  16. brlgator says:

    Our o line has been really disappointing addazio should focus his efforts there. Also deonte killed us. 4 drops 3 of them woulda been 1st downs and of those led to a pick

  17. travis ritch says:

    meyer needs to sack up and make some serious changes.

  18. HardToKillGtr says:

    Gator blood in the water.

  19. Oscar says:

    Can’t wait to read Addazio’s comments on this one. The offense sure is doing great Addazio, your players are playing better than at any time in their college careers. Seven…. SEVEN points at home?

  20. john says:

    ATL talk is delusional at this point

  21. SaraGator says:

    Wow, very disappointed in Deonte Thompson! How many passes did he drop????

  22. Luke says:

    It’s time to let Burton take 99% of the snaps with the first team offense and name him starter. If that doesn’t provide the spark nothing will. Brantley doesn’t fit the system and we’re sure not making the system fit him…

  23. Daniel M. says:

    They wouldn’t pass and we still couldn’t stop them. We held them to ten but the “bend but don’t break” defense was painful to watch.

    The offense? The Oline flat SUCKS! You listening Urban.

    I can’t believe I drove 250 miles for THAT shitfest. That was just bad.

    I won’t be attending any more Gator games as long as Add’z is the OC. That’s a promise.

  24. jason says:

    addazio has got to go. firesteveaddazio.com

  25. Escambia94 says:

    How can we fire Addazio? We thought you could not win with the Addazio five play, and MSU ran 24 dives in a row at us successfully!

    I agree–promote Burton to starter and make him throw on occasion. Shuffle our playmakers around, bench the underperformers (Moody, D. Thompson). On defense, you can’t blame Addazio. Is there a fire-teryl-austin.com? No. How do we fix the D after we fire Addazio? Is Loeffler the answer for OC? Only if he also pushes execution and accountability.

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