Chomping at Bits comes stocked with the best Florida Gators links and news we can find, and some other stuff. Got a link you think we should check out? Email us at AlligatorArmy@gmail.com, subject line CAB, or find us on Twitter at@AlligatorArmy or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AlligatorArmy.
Freshman pitcher Kelly Barnhill helps lead Florida to win over UCF: Barnhill gave up just one run in five innings of work as the No. 2 Gators beat the Knights 3-1. She struck out six batters in the first three innings, not giving up a hit until the fourth. Florida is unbeaten in its 26 non-conference games this season. The Gators travel to Ole Miss this weekend. (Matt Brannon, Independent Florida Alligator; Will Pantages, Florida Gators)
Orange & Blue Debut:
Information on Gator Walk, the fireworks show after the game, experience upgrades available for purchase, Gator Fan Fest, and the Swamp Wing Cook-Off. The Orange & Blue Debut will be televised live on the SEC Network tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. (Florida Gators)
Defensive line will be the backbone of the Florida defense: The Gators are deep on the defensive line and the unit has been singled out by coaches and players for its performance in spring. Though Florida will need to replace Jonathan Bullard and Alex McCalister, they have the players to do so. Caleb Brantley, CeCe Jefferson, Bryan Cox, Jr., Joey Ivie, Taven Bryan, Jordan Sherit, and Khairi Clark all return and young players like Keivonnis Davis and Jabari Zuniga earned praise during bowl practices and spring. (Edgar Thompson, Orlando Sentinel)
Gators have deeper offensive line: Florida fans are well aware of the lack of offensive line depth that the Gators have been faced with in recent years. Last spring there were only six scholarship linemen available but there are 13 bodies on the roster now. 2015 saw an inconsistent offensive line group which struggled because of inexperience and lack of depth. The Gators had to start three true freshman on the offensive line against Michigan in their bowl game, it was the first time in offensive line coach Mike Summers' 36 year coaching career that he had started three freshmen. Summers and McElwain note the benefit of the extra available bodies as it has allowed the whole team to be able to practice differently. (Zach Abolverdi, SEC Country)
Secondary looks to replace key players: Vernon Hargreaves III, Brian Poole, and Keanu Neal are gone but Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson, and Marcus Maye return to lead the group. Junior Duke Dawson appears to be poised to take Brian Poole's position at nickel. Depth could be an issue. Marcell Harris and Nick Washington will be counted on at safety and freshmen McArthur Burnett and Chauncey Gardner figure to also see playing time. (Ethan Bauer, Independent Florida Alligator)
Pressure is on kicker Eddy Piniero: Piniero famously has never kicked a field goal in a game before. Tomorrow's Orange & Blue Debut will be his first opportunity to attempt to kick a field goal in a game setting. Special teams coordinator Greg Nord and Jim McElwain discuss Piniero's demeanor and talent. Also, that sentence about Austin Hardin leaving 30 points on the field with missed kicks last year - ouch. (Zach Abolverdi, SEC Country)
Florida women's track and field runs record breaking 4x400-meter relay: The Gators set a school record in the 4x400-meter relay and recorded the tenth-fastest time in collegiate history. It was just the fourth time under three minutes and 27 seconds prior to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. (Zach Dirlam, Florida Gators)
A look at why every Gator quarterback since Tim Tebow has struggled: This year Florida will start their ninth different starting quarterback since Tim Tebow left after the 2009 season. The article highlights recruiting misses, undeveloped talent, miscast athletes, plenty of coaching turnover, transfers, and a little bad luck as contributing factors to the Gators' lack of success at the quarterback position. (Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times)
Speaking of former Florida quarterbacks...
Former Florida quarterback Will Grier transferring to West Virginia: Grier will sit out the 2016 season, per NCAA transfer rules, and is still serving his suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. (Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun; Travis Haney, ESPN)
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