Saturday April 10, 2010Blue Team Wins Orange & Blue Debut, 27-24, Saturday
A total of 51,500 Gator fans came out to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday as the Gators wrapped up the spring practice schedule and previewed the 2010 football squad at the annual Orange & Blue Debut. The Blue team defeated the Orange team, 27-24, to claim its third win in the last five years, after last winning in 2008.
Gator quarterbacks, redshirt junior John Brantley (Ocala, Fla.) and freshman Trey Burton (Venice, Fla.), showcased their talents as Brantley led the Blue squad, the designated first team, and Burton led the Orange squad, the designated second team. Redshirt freshman Jordan Reed (New London, Conn.) chipped in on the passing efforts of both the Orange and Blue teams, while also checking in at tight end in the contest.
Brantley finished the day with a new Orange and Blue Debut record, completing 78 percent of his passes (.789), after hitting 15-of-19 Saturday for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Burton rallied for 12-of-18, 120 yards and one touchdown through the air, while leading all Florida rushers with 123 yards on 10 carries for two touchdowns. Reed finished the afternoon 3-of-5 through the air for 80 yards and one passing score. Both Burton and Reed threw an interception each.
Junior kicker Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.) connected on 5-of-5 extra points, while hitting three field-goals from 42, 52 and 37 yards, respectively, but also missed his first 52-yard attempt in the first field-goal sequence at the 5:37 mark in the first quarter. Junior kicker Zachary Brust (Jacksonville, Fla.) connected on his first PAT as a Gator, splitting the uprights at 5:49 in the fourth and final quarter.
Redshirt senior wide receiver Carl Moore (Roseville, Calif.) led all wide receivers with five receptions for 102 yards and one touchdown, representing the Blue team in the spring game debut.
The Blue team jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after Brantley previewed his passing abilities, connecting first with redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson (Belle Glade, Fla.) for a 47-yard advance on the first play of the game, eventually allowing sophomore running back Mike Gillislee (DeLand, Fla.) to punch a one-yarder into the endzone.
After freshman cornerback Joshua Shaw (Palmdale, Calif.) picked off a Burton pass on the Orange team’s first possession and returned the rock 31 yards, the Blue team went up 14-0 at the 5:37 mark in the first quarter when Brantley hooked up with Moore on a 14-yard touchdown pass, and Sturgis tacked on the extra point.
Burton put the first points on the board for the Orange squad on a five-yard touchdown run on the team’s second possession. After halting the Blue’s ensuing possession, Burton kicked off the next drive for the Orange team with a new Orange and Blue Debut record 76-yard run to set up a 20-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Omarius Hines (Corsicana, Texas) to knot the score at 14 all with 4:30 remaining in the half.
Gator fans got to witness senior punter Chas Henry’s (Dallas, Ga.) leg as the Blue team punted with 2:40 to go in the half. With junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins (Pahokee, Fla.) back to receive, Henry booted a 42-yarder downfield, turning possession back to the Orange Gators.
Sturgis split the uprights on a 37-yard field-goal success with 50 seconds in the half to give the Orange team a 17-14 advantage heading into the locker room.
Opening the second half with possession of the ball, the Blue team drove down field to regain the lead after Brantley hit redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. (Hollywood, Fla.) with four-yard toss to go up, 21-17, with 3:35 in the third quarter after the extra point.
Henry closed out the third quarter for the Orange team with another 42-yard punt, this time to redshirt junior athlete Chris Rainey (Lakeland, Fla.).
The Blue team took over to kick off the final quarter of the Orange and Blue Debut, but redshirt sophomore linebacker Scott Peek (Tampa, Fla.) halted the Blue efforts, picking off Reed for a 25-yard interception return.
Burton capitalized on the change in possession, punching in a nine-yard touchdown run to give the Orange team a 24-21 advantage with 5:49 left in the game. Brust kicked his first extra point as a Gator to complete the drive for the Orange squad.
As the clock wound down, the Blue team was quick to rally for the win, immediately striking with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Reed to redshirt sophomore wide receiver T.J. Lawrence (Lakeland, Fla.) to go ahead by three, 27-23, for the win as redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Glen Watson (Pensacola, Fla.) blocked a Henry extra point attempt following the score.
Florida will open the 2010 regular season Sat., Sept. 4, when it hosts Miami (Ohio) at home. For more info on Gator Football, visit www.GatorZone.com/football.