Andre Debose

Late Jeff Driskel interception costs Florida as Gators snap defeat from jaws of victory

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Jeff Driskel was perfect in the fourth quarter – until he wasn’t. And his one moment of imperfection cost Florida as the Gators blew a late 24-20 lead to fall to LSU 30-27 at the Swamp on Saturday night.

Trailing 20-17 entering the final frame after Leonard Fournette‘s second rushing touchdown of the game at the 3:42 mark of the third quarter, Driskel hit five of his first six passes of the fourth quarter for 118 yards, including an 11-yarder to Demarcus Robinson to put the Gators up 24-20 with 6:10 to play, and a 73-yarder, again to Robinson, to move the ball to the LSU two after the Bayou Bengals had reclaimed the lead at 27-24 on an Anthony Jennings scoring strike to Travin Dural (which he happened to catch while battling pass interference).

With the clock nearing the tw0-minute mark, Brandon Powell rushed for one yard on first-and-goal, and Driskel carried for no gain on second-and-goal. With the ball on the one-yard line, Driskel found an open Tevin Westbrook in the end zone, but the pass clanged off his hands and fell incomplete. The Gators settled for a Francisco Velez field goal to tie the game at 27-27 with 1:49 to play.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Gators reclaimed the ball at their own 42 with 54 seconds to play. Driskel hit Brandon Powell out of the backfield on consecutive plays for 13 yards (making him 7-of-9 for 131 yards with a touchdown and a drop in the quarter….good, right?), Driskel forced a ball into coverage, and Rickey Jefferson snagged it for LSU and returned the ball 23 yards to the Florida 36.

Because of the Westbrook drop, a tie game meant LSU could play conservative knowing worst-case scenario meant overtime – instead of a touchdown do-or-die situation – and that they did. One Terrance Magee run and an incomplete pass set Colby Delahoussaye up for the 50-yard game-winning field goal with three seconds to play.

The win dropped Florida to a painful 3-2 on the season and 2-2 in SEC play, while LSU improves to 5-2 and avoids its first 0-3 SEC start since 1999.

Driskel completed 14-of-25 passes for 183 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while carrying the Gators’ ground attack with 21 rushes for 71 yards. While Driskel dominated the stat sheet, Andre Debose was Florida’s best offensive player with two punt returns that totaled 115 yards, one for 62-yard touchdown that opened the scoring and a 53-yarder that set up Driskel’s touchdown pass.

Florida played most of the games without star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, and lost wide receiver Latroy Pittman to a scary hit that saw him carted off the field.

Jennings played the whole way at quarterback for LSU, hitting on 10-of-21 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Fournette posted his best game as a collegian with 27 rushes for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Florida will host Missouri next week, while LSU returns home to face Kentucky.

Florida using everything but Jeff Driskel’s arm to lead LSU 17-14 at the half

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Florida is attempting to beat LSU while using Jeff Driskel as a running back who sometimes throws and not the other way around, so far its working.

Driskel has completed six of his 10 passes for 44 yards with an interception, but has rushed 12 times for 59 yards and a nine-yard touchdown through one half as the Gators lead the Bayou Bengals 17-14 at the half.

Neither of these teams are known for their ability through the air and so far they’ve lived up to the, uh, hype. Sophomore Anthony Jennings has played the entire half and made Driskel look like Danny Wuerffel, hitting two of his seven passes for 13 yards.

Freshman Leonard Fournette has led the way for LSU with 14 carries for 85 yards and a 12-yard touchdown dash. The rest of the LSU offense has 55 yards combined.

For Florida, the combination of Driskel and Andre Debose have been the entirety of the offense. Debose opened the scoring with a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown to open the scoring with 8:52 to play in the first quarter.

Florida had a 17-7 lead until Kenny Hilliard punched in a one-yard score with 4:16 to go in the second quarter.

These clubs have posted 16 combined first downs and converted four of 14 third downs with 289 yards of total offense.

LSU will receive the ball to open the second half.

All-SEC First Team led by eight from Alabama

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Alabama was picked by the media as the conference favorite in 2014 for good reason. The amount of talent on Alabama’s roster is in a class of its own, which is put on display by the preseason all-SEC teams released on th final day of SEC Media Week. Alabama led the conference with eight players on the All-SEC First Team.

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper received the most voting points of any offensive player in the media poll, with 282 points. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall was named to the first team with 241 points. Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon received 281 points for the top spot on the first team offense, but Georgia running back Todd Gurley received 280 points to receive first team honors as well.

Two defensive players from Alabama also received the highest voting totals for the defensive first team. Defensive back Landon Collins received 274 points, followed by linebacker Trey DePriest (253). Christion Jones received first team honors for special teams, giving Alabama eight total first team All-SEC players.

Here is the full breakdown of the preseason All-SEC teams, courtesy of TideSports.com;

2014 PRE-SEASON MEDIA DAYS ALL-SEC TEAM

(Total points earned in parenthesis)

OFFENSE

First-Team
QB Nick Marshall, Auburn (241)

RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama (281)
RB Todd Gurley, Georgia (280)

WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (282)

WR Sammie Coates, Auburn (207)

TE O.J. Howard, Alabama (188)

OL La’el Collins, LSU (231)

OL Arie Kouandjio, Alabama (188)

OL Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss (183)

OL Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M (174)

C Reese Dismukes, Auburn (226)

Second-Team

QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (118)

RB Mike Davis, South Carolina (240)

RB Alex Collins, Arkansas (126)

WR Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (182)

WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia (71)

TE C.J. Uzomah, Auburn (141)

OL A.J. Cann, South Carolina (166)

OL Vadal Alexander, LSU (112)

OL Alex Kozan, Auburn (112)

OL Corey Robinson, South Carolina (107)

C Ryan Kelly, Alabama (126)

Third-Team

QB Bo Wallace, Ole Miss (94)

RB Corey Grant, Auburn (52)

RB Keith Marshall, Georgia (44)

WR Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State (67)

WR Marquez North, Tennessee (66)

TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas (72)

OL Austin Shepherd, Alabama (106)

OL Chad Slade, Auburn (101)

OL John Theus, Georgia (96)

OL Chaz Green, Florida (94)

C Evan Boehm, Missouri (77)

DEFENSE

First-Team

DL Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (239)

DL Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida (212)

DL A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama (208)

DL Gabe Wright, Auburn (192)

LB Trey DePriest, Alabama (253)

LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (186)

LB Ramik Wilson, Georgia (147)

DB Landon Collins, Alabama (274)

DB Vernon Hargreaves, III, Florida (243)

DB Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss (210)

DB Deshazor Everett, Texas A&M (183)

Second-Team

DL Trey Flowers, Arkansas (181)

DL Chris Jones, Mississippi State (150)

DL Alvin “Bud” Dupree, Kentucky (134)

DL Markus Golden, Missouri (125)

LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State (143)

LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia (137)

LB Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (116)

DB Robenson Therezie, Auburn (144)

DB Tre’Davious White, LSU (141)

DB Damian Swann, Georgia (127)

DB Tony Conner, Ole Miss (116)

Third-Team

DL Ray Drew, Georgia (102)

DL Montravius Adams, Auburn (94)

DL Carl Lawson, Auburn (87)

DL Jermauria Rasco, LSU (79)

LB Kwon Alexander, LSU (112)

LB Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn (82)

LB Serderius Bryant, Ole Miss (76)

DB Jon Mincy, Auburn (99)

DB Corey Thompson, LSU (86)

DB Rashard Robinson, LSU (84)

DB Brison Williams, South Carolina (81)

SPECIALISTS

First-Team

P Drew Kaser, Texas A&M (221)

PK Marshall Morgan, Georgia (224)

RS Christion Jones, Alabama (262)

AP Christion Jones, Alabama (130)

Second-Team

P Sam Irwin-Hill, Arkansas (136)

PK Colby Delahoussaye, LSU (142)

RS Andre Debose, Florida (97)

AP Terrence Magee, LSU (111)

Third-Team
P Jamie Keehn, LSU (81)

PK Andrew Baggett, Missouri (103)

RS Marcus Murphy, Missouri (72)

AP Trey Williams, Texas A&M (89)

Update: GPD clarifies incident involving UF’s Andre DeBose

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Earlier this month, Andre DeBose was granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Exactly two weeks later, the Florida wide receiver celebrated the extra year by doing what any normal person would: throwing a human being through a window.  Allegedly.

The Gainesville Television Network is reporting that DeBose was involved in some type of altercation Saturday night.  While the details are few and far between, the television station reported that DeBose tossed an individual through a window during the course of the altercation.

The Gainesville Police Department confirmed to GTN that there was an incident, but did note that DeBose was not arrested.  It’s unclear if DeBose or anyone else allegedly involved could face charges down the road.

UF has not commented publicly on the situation.

During summer camp last August, Debose tore an ACL and did not see the field in 2013.  Additionally, Debose missed his entire true freshman season in 2009 due to an injury he suffered running high school track.  The two missed seasons led to the NCAA approving a sixth season for the player.

A five-star member of UF’s 2009 recruiting class, Debose was rated as the No. 2 receiver in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 21 player at any position.  Debose appeared in 31 games and made eight starts from 2010-12.  He has 29 career catches for 543 yards and four touchdowns.  His most productive season as a receiver came in 2011 (16-432-4).

Debose has done the majority of his damage on special teams as his four career kickoff returns for touchdowns are a school record and tied for the most in SEC history.

(Tip O the Cap: Orlando Sentinel)

UPDATED 2:22 p.m. ET: And this is precisely why we use — or overuse in some cases — the words “allegedly” and “reportedly.”

Shortly after we posted the original story above, the Gainesville Police Department released a statement addressing the situation involving DeBose.  The key portion of the release appeared at the very bottom.

Note: Information originally released in a Sunday Morning “GPD Media Weekend Snapshot” email sent to local media reported that Debose was an aggressor, but this information was incorrect.

The GPD also detailed in the release the events that led up to officers being called to a local residence.  Suffice to say, all parties involved are very lucky that there were no injuries… or deaths.

Below is the GPD’s statement, in its entirety.

Gainesville, FLA – At 6:30pm Saturday, officers responded to an armed confrontation involving at least 2 subjects in the front yard of the house that were reportedly armed with a handgun and a rifle.  

When officers arrived, they found an SUV parked in front of the house with numerous bullet holes and shell casings in the road.  One subject retreated into the house but came out and was secured within moments.  Investigation determined that John Mark Honeycutt W/M 7/1/90, Andre Debose B/M 9/12/90, Victor Watkins II B/M 12/20/89 and Kristan Lipham W/F were eating together in the house.  

Debose and Watkins got into an argument resulting in Watson pushing Debose into a window.   The glass broke, but Debose was not injured.  This angered Honeycutt who retrieved a handgun and threatened Watkins with it.  However, Watkins immediately took the handgun from Honeycutt and then discharged several rounds into the ground outside the house.  

Honeycutt now retrieved the rifle and fired several rounds into Watkins’s SUV and into the ground in front of the house.  All parties were transported to CID where GPD detectives conducted interviews.  After an extensive investigation, detectives arrested Honeycutt for Aggravated Assault.  All other parties were released.

UPDATED 2:59 p.m. ET: The Gainesville Police Department has taken a somewhat unprecedented step by issuing yet another statement addressing the initial discrepancy involving DeBose while also directing an apology to the player for the initial, incorrect information.

Again, the complete statement from the GPD appears below.

Social media is both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, important information can be relayed to millions of people in a fraction of a second.

On the other hand, incorrect information can spread like wildfire.

This morning, as I read our end-of-shift reports, I copied and pasted the incident summary that included information about Florida Gators WR Andre Debose and sent it to my local media contacts as I do each and every day.  Unfortunately, the initial information released was incorrect.

The initial summary read that Mr. Debose, during an argument, threw another person into a window.  In fact, the names in the summary were transposed, and I did not catch the error before sending it to my local media contacts.  I did not catch the error until the wildfire had started, and now I am trying to help put that wildfire out.

Mr. Debose was actually the one pushed into the glass, and in fact tried to break this altercation up multiple times during the incident.  

To Mr. Debose: I apologize that my error put your name and reputation in jeopardy, no matter how briefly.  I take full responsibility for this error, and hope that the stories printed and published will correct your name and reputation.  Furthermore, I am extremely proud that you intervened in this incident and likely prevented anyone from being injured or killed.

-Officer Ben Tobias, PIO
Gainesville Police Spokesperson

Gators’ Andre Debose gets a sixth season

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As expected, Andre Debose will extend his playing career at Florida for one more season.

The Gators confirmed via Twitter Wednesday night that the NCAA approved the wide receiver’s medical hardship waiver.  As a result, Debose has received a sixth season of eligibility and will play for the Gators in 2014.

The case for Debose to receive the extension waiver was essentially a no-brainer.  During summer camp last August, Debose tore an ACL and did not see the field in 2013.  Additionally, Debose missed his entire true freshman season in 2009 due to an injury he suffered running high school track.

A five-star member of UF’s recruiting class that year, Debose was rated as the No. 2 receiver in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 21 player at any position.

Debose appeared in 31 games and made eight starts from 2010-12.  He has 29 career catches for 543 yards and four touchdowns.  His most productive season as a receiver came in 2011 (16-432-4).

Debose has done the majority of his damage on special teams as his four career kickoff returns for touchdowns are a school record and tied for the most in SEC history.