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Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Powell’

No. 34: Florida

Florida’s depth chart at the end of last season featured 37 freshmen and sophomores, which tied the Gators with Tennessee for the most in the SEC. Will Muschamp played 51 first- and second-year players altogether, the second-highest total in program history; Urban Meyer played 55 such underclassmen in 2007. Florida had nine scholarship seniors on the roster, the program’s third-fewest since 1951. Entering the season, Florida’s 148 returning starts were the third-fewest in the SEC. The 37 returning starts on defense ranked last in the conference. These are your excuses for a seven-win season, the program’s lowest single-season total since 1989. But this is Florida, home of the Gators, home of the three national titles, home of feverish expectations – excuses have no place in Gainesville.

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    Florida’s Line Depth Takes a Major Hit

    The game started to slow down for Ronald Powell during bowl workouts late last fall. His technique had improved, according to Will Muschamp. The game had slowed down. “I told him the other day I thought he had his best practice since we’ve been here,” Muschamp said in December. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn echoed that point, saying that during the regular season, Powell was one of several young defenders who tended to “over-think” his defensive responsibilities. But during bowl preparations, Powell was “terrific.” And the good signs continued during the spring, with Muschamp calling Powell the Gators’ most consistently productive lineman; in another positive development, Muschamp had only good things to say about Powell’s effort.

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      The Year in Review: Florida (7-6, 3-5)

      Taking stock of Florida’s offense in two points:

      1. The Gators went 5-3 when holding opponent to 21 points or less. From 1990, Steve Spurrier’s first season, through 2010, Urban Meyer’s last, Florida lost only six games when allowing 21 points or less. Only one of those losses came under Spurrier. In 1998, the Gators lost to Tennessee, 20-17, in overtime. Another two came under Ron Zook: 17-14 to Mississippi in 2002 and 20-17 to the Rebels a year later. There would have been more, but Zook was relieved of his duties after the 2004 season.

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        No. 30: Florida

        The thrill wasn’t quite gone, but the fire was. Urban Meyer could have remained Florida’s coach in perpetuity: that’s what a pair of national titles in three seasons will do for a coach’s job security. So what happened? Quite simply, Meyer couldn’t reconcile his love for the game — his burning desire to win, win, win — with the lack of energy that plagued his final season, an 8-5 finish that saw him as hands-off as he’d ever been in his sterling coaching career. Looking for the fire that drove Meyer to such early heights with the Gators, the program went for a coach with a seemingly limitless reserve of get-up-and-go. There’s a reason Will Muschamp’s coaching philosophy can be summed up in a single onomatopoeia: boom.

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          The Countdown

          A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.