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Chomping at Bits: Young Gators gained valuable experience down the stretch

Injuries forced several underclassmen into action.

SEC Championship - Alabama v Florida Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

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Florida’s young players saw a lot of action late in the season: With numerous injuries on both sides of the ball, several young players were called into action during the Gators’ tough season-ending slate. (Alex Peterman, Florida Gators)

Turnovers and mistakes were a factor in loss: Austin Appleby threw three interceptions, including a pick-six. Alabama also returned a blocked Gator punt for a touchdown. The Crimson Tide are not the type of team that Florida could afford to make mistakes against. (Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun; Ryan Young, SEC Country; Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel)

Florida has work left to do: Jim McElwain wants the Gators to close the gap with Alabama. (Scott Carter, Florida Gators)

Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier visit Jarrett Stidham: The two went to Texas to visit Stidham yesterday. Auburn is the favorite to land the former 5-star transfer quarterback from Baylor, who is currently playing at a junior college. Other Florida coaches were out visiting prospects as well. (Zach Abolverdi, SEC Country; Graham Hall, Gainesville Sun)

Gators and Hawkeyes to meet in Tampa for the third time: Florida will play Iowa in the Outback Bowl on January 2nd. The Gators and Hawkeyes previously met in the 2003 and 2005 Outback Bowls. Tickets go on sale today. Jim McElwain says this game is one that Florida has to win. (Scott Carter, Florida Gators; Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel; Zach Abolverdi, SEC Country)

Jim McElwain and Nick Saban defend Doug Nussmeier: This article is from Friday, but McElwain and Saban both commented on Nussmeier’s work prior to the SEC Championship Game. Both noted that Nussmeier is doing the best with what he has to work with. (Alex Peterman, Florida Gators)

Jim McElwain on quarterbacks for bowl game: McElwain noted Luke Del Rio’s uncertain playing status, Austin Appleby’s familiarity with Iowa from his time at Purdue, and was asked about the possibility of starting Feleipe Franks. (Ryan Young, SEC Country; Graham Hall, Gainesville Sun)

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