Florida beats cold-shooting Boston College 90-70

Keyontae Johnson had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead Florida to a 90-70 victory over Boston College in the Legends Classic

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Keyontae Johnson had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead Florida to a 90-70 victory over Boston College in the Legends Classic on Thursday night.

Florida (2-0) won both its games at the Mohegan Sun Arena after having games against Massachusetts-Lowell, Virginia and Oklahoma canceled. The Gators beat Army 76-69 on Wednesday night.

Johnson, who earned All-SEC honors while averaging 14 points and 7.1 rebounds last season, made 10 of 13 shots and collected his 13th career double-double.

Tre Mann had 15 of his 17 points in the first half and finished with a career-best six assists for the Gators, who shot 56.5% from the floor. Scottie Lewis added 14 points and Noah Locke had 12.

Rich Kelly scored 13 points to lead Boston College (1-3). Wynston Tabbs added 12 points and CJ Felder had 11. The Eagles were 22 of 53 from the floor (41.%), including 16 missed 3-point attempts. They also missed 11 free throws (18 of 29).

Boston College has played all its games at Mohegan Sun Arena. Its scheduled home game against Rhode Island on Friday was canceled.

The Gators opened on an 22-11 run, capped by Anthony Duruji’s dunk, and built a 49-29 halftime lead. Johnson’s jumper made it a 31-point Gator lead with eight minutes remaining.


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Boston College men’s basketball team routed by Florida in ‘Bubbleville’ finale

The Boston College men’s basketball team might be ready to burst out of the bubble.

a group of people standing on a basketball court: Florida's Keyontae Johnson, skying over BC's Steffon Mitchell, scored a game-high 24 points.

© Jessica Hill
Florida’s Keyontae Johnson, skying over BC’s Steffon Mitchell, scored a game-high 24 points.

Three days after a furious second-half rally came up short against St. John’s, the Eagles were out of sorts from the get-go against Florida in a 90-70 loss at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., in the Roman Legends Classic Thursday night.

It was the final performance in so-called “Bubbleville” for Boston College, which went 1-3, its lone win over Rhode Island Nov. 26.

“The off-floor togetherness of our team has got to spread to on the floor,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “The teams that we’re playing, you can’t have lulls.”

For the Gators (2-0), it was their second game in as many days following a string of cancellations to begin their season. Following a 76-69 win over Army, Florida never trailed against BC after a Keyontae Johnson 3-pointer with 16:35 left in the first half put his team ahead, 8-6.

Johnson, who led the Gators in scoring a season ago as a sophomore, recorded a double-double with a game-high 24 points (on 10-of-13 shooting) and 12 rebounds as Florida built a lead as large as 31 points in the second half.

“Last night, it was our first game so everyone had nervous energy,” Johnson said. “Today, we just locked in and played defense how we were supposed to.”

The Gators limited the Eagles to 41.5 percent shooting and shot 56.5 percent from the floor.

Rich Kelly paced the Eagles with 13 points. Wynston Tabbs scored 12 points and CJ Felder had 11.

Making his debut for BC, James Karnik had 7 points in 18 minutes. The 6-foot-9-inch senior transfer from Lehigh was granted eligibility from the NCAA Thursday morning.

It was the Gators’ third win in as many tries against the Eagles, and it was the first meeting between the schools since 1994.

BC is off to Minnesota for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, where it will face the Golden Gophers (3-0) for the second time in the last three seasons.

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Tennessee facing one of college football’s best offenses in Florida showdown

Tennessee Volunteers

2-5 OVERALL | 2-5 SEC (5th EAST)


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Boston College vs. Florida, Preview & Prediction

Boston College (1-2) will tip off tonight against Florida (0-0) in the Roman Legends Tipoff at Mohegan Sun. For the Gators, this is a season in which they are expected to rebound after a disappointing season in 2019-’20. This is the third meeting between the two schools, UF winning both previous matchups, the most recent coming in 1994 in the Elite Eight. 

Time: 9:30 pm
Where: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut
Radio: WEEI 850
Current Line: Pick ’em
ESPN Matchup Predictor: Florida has a 69.1% chance of winning this game.

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Listen: In our recent podcast, we talked to Graham Marsh of All Gators about the Florida basketball team, and he gave us an inside look at what to expect. Listen here.

Player To Watch: Scottie Lewis

The former McDonald’s All American is back for his second season with Florida after deciding to forego on the NBA Draft. Lewis averaged 8.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game as a freshman, shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three. He has room to improve, but a very high ceiling that could end with an NBA lottery pick. In the season opener against Army yesterday he had only eight points. Against a team like Boston College who has struggled so far on defense, this could be a huge game for Lewis. 

Keys to the Game

1.  Score in the 80’s. I could put “improve defensively” here but until I see it consistently it doesn’t seem realistic. This team might have a better shot of winning games if they put up points, which is something they can do. Score points, keep the offense aggressive and they could have a shot. 

2. Find the right shot. Jim Christian talked after the St. John’s loss that BC was way too sloppy and wasn’t taking shots when they should have. This is something that can be fixed. Maybe it’s early season rust with a lot of new parts, but if BC can hit their offensive stride it will prevent the long stretches of poor play. 

3. Get Makai Ashton Langford going. Just from an eyeball test the Eagles seem to play much better when MAL is driving the ball and providing the energy on both sides of the ball. Get him started early and let him dictate the game. 

AJ’s Fearless Prediction: While UF is not ranked right now, don’t sleep on them. If the Gators can get their offense going, and play with speed they could potentially be a really tough matchup for the Eagles. I think this will be another close one though, with BC and the Gators trading leads throughout the game, maybe with another rough patch for the Eagles and a comeback. However, I think UF has a little too much firepower and take it in the end. Florida 81 Boston College 76

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College football picks, odds for SEC in Week 14: Alabama romps past LSU, Florida smashes Tennessee

This is usually the week we’re all sitting back and preparing for one of the greatest spectacles in college football: the SEC Championship Game. COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, and in this case, that means we have to wait a few weeks before the winners of the East and West divisions tee it up in Atlanta. There’s still plenty of intrigue swirling around the SEC, though.

Top-ranked Alabama will head to Baton Rouge to take on an LSU team that’s a shell of its former self. Quarterback Mac Jones, wide receiver DeVonta Smith and running back Najee Harris all have Heisman Trophy hopes, and big performances on Saturday night could go a long way toward fulfilling those dreams. 

It isn’t the only rivalry in the conference, though, as No. 6 Florida will travel to Knoxville to take on a down-trodden Tennessee team that desperately needs some good news.

This week’s SEC Smothered and Covered takes a look around the conference and makes picks against the spread. 

Appetizer: Alabama back to the norm

I’m old enough to remember when we were all concerned about Alabama’s defense being a liability, not a strength. It was way back in October after it got torched to the tune of 7.52 yards per play and 647 total yards by Lane Kiffin and the high-octane Ole Miss Rebels. That was one week after Texas A&M rattled off 5.84 yards per play. 

Things have changed. 

The Crimson Tide gave up just 3.84 yards per play in November, one of only three SEC teams to give up less than 4 yards per play. They also led the conference in opponent red zone touchdown percentage in November at 33.3%. In addition, Alabama gave up just 20 plays of 10 or more yards in November — second fewest in the SEC.

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Alabama is the most complete team in college football again, and it isn’t even close. 

Main course: What to make of Texas A&M

Aggie fans get really mad when their team appears behind Florida in any kind of ranking since they beat the Gators earlier in the season. I get it. Heads-up results matter … but so does trajectory. 

Texas A&M has been buoyed by an incredible defense and stout running game with Isaiah Spiller to put it in contention for the College Football Playoff.

The problem is quarterback Kellen Mond. It’s hard to look beyond that 11-for-34 performance against a woefully bad LSU pass defense since we’ve seen inconsistency from Mond in the past. No, the committee shouldn’t factor in performances from previous seasons. Maybe those individuals won’t. But that’s a separate discussion than the one normal folks like us are having, and isn’t really relevant regarding the mid-season CFP Rankings. After all, those exist for programming the sport down the stretch. They’re not set in stone. 

Everybody who follows the sport knows that Texas A&M beat Florida. Sure, the Gators defense was beat up a bit,

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Barry University Commits to Cover Full Tuition for Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Recipients and Announces Upcoming Drive-in Tour

MIAMI, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Florida’s top achieving high school graduates can soon take advantage of the personalized educational experience and world-class instruction offered at Barry University, without worrying about tuition.  The university today announced its commitment to meet full tuition for full-time first-year Barry students who earn the Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholarship, beginning Fall 2021.

While it is typically regarded as a scholarship for public Florida institutions, Barry has long accepted the value of the state lottery-funded Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program Academic Scholars and Medallion Scholars awards. Today’s commitment will fill the gap between the value of the scholarship and Barry tuition for incoming first-year Florida Academic Scholarship recipients.

Award earners will receive Barry-funded scholarships and grants which, combined with the Florida Academic Scholarship and other federal and state-funded grants, will meet 100% of tuition.  The financial aid package is renewable each academic year a student receives the Florida Academic Scholarship and enrolls full-time in an undergraduate program of study.

“At Barry, we seek to maximize affordability for all students,” said Roxanna Cruz, Barry University Associate Vice President for Enrollment. “Through this initiative, we are proud to do so for high-achieving Florida students seeking an individualized education, hands-on experiential learning, and access to the incredible benefits of a Barry degree.”

And, for any interested students who want a closer look at Barry while adhering to health and safety guidelines, the university has reimagined the traditional tour and is hosting an exciting and engaging drive-in event on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 10am-12pm.

Students and their families can visit the beautiful campus and learn about the endless possibilities a Barry education brings, all from the comfort of their car. Each stop will offer insight into life at Barry and fun giveaways for future Buccaneers. Reservations, and masks, are required. For more information visit barry.edu/drive-in-tour.

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Florida Gators Remain No. 6 in College Football Playoff Rankings

For the second week in a row, the Florida Gators are ranked at No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings. The top seven teams did not move in the second installment of the 2020 rankings.

Below, you can find the top 25 in its entirety.

1, Alabama (8-0)

2. Notre Dame (9-0)

3. Clemson (8-1)

4. Ohio State (4-0)

5. Texas A&M (6-1)

6. Florida (7-1)

7. Cincinnati (8-0)

8. Georgia (6-2)

9. Iowa State (7-2)

10 Miami (7-1)

11. Oklahoma (6-2)

12. Indiana (5-1)

13. Brigham Young (9-0)

14. Northwestern (5-1)

15. Oklahoma State (6-2)

16. Wisconsin (2-1)

17. North Carolina (6-3)

18. Coastal Carolina (9-0)

19. Iowa (4-2)

20. Southern California (3-0)

21. Marshall (7-0)

22. Washington (3-0)

23. Oregon (3-1)

24. Tulsa (5-1)

25. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-1)

In total, four teams can be found from the SEC within the top 25, in fact, within the top 10: Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, and Georgia.

A win over Tennessee this weekend would lock the Gators into a spot for Dec. 19’s SEC Championship Game, likely to be against Alabama which can clinch the SEC West with a win over LSU on Saturday. Florida has no remaining East games left, and while the Crimson Tide will see divisional opponent Arkansas on Dec. 12, Alabama has the head-to-head advantage over Texas A&M if the two programs end with identical West records.

It’s this simple: If Florida wins out, including in Atlanta against the Crimson Tide, the Gators will make the College Football Playoff for the first time.

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Florida remains at No. 6 in latest College Football Playoff rankings

Florida remained at No. 6 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings revealed Tuesday evening.

The top seven teams in the rankings stood pat this week with Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State among the top four spots.

The Gators (7-1) find themselves in an all-too-familiar spot behind Texas A&M as the Aggies continue their hold on the fifth spot.

Playoff chairman Gary Barta said Texas A&M remained ahead of Florida, in part, due to their head-to-head meeting. The Aggies upset the Gators, 41-38 on Oct. 10.

“When you go through all those criteria, at the end of the day I would say there was a lot of back and forth,” Barta said. “… At the end of the day, Texas A&M, with all those other criteria, Texas A&M did beat Florida. That ends up tipping it over to Texas A&M’s side.”

A&M drew some consideration among the playoff selection committee members for the No. 4 spot this week.

“We don’t ever go through and take an official vote. What I can tell you is there was discussion in the room about putting both Ohio State and Texas A&M in that fourth slot,” said Barta. “… Great discussion, but Ohio State came in at No. 4 and Texas A&M at No. 5.”

Notre Dame (9-0) remained at No. 2 with the Fighting Irish already have clinched a spot in the ACC Championship after the league announced it would evaluate the title contenders over nine conference games.

Clemson (8-1) was No. 3 with the Tigers looking to secure a spot in the ACC title game with a win over Virginia Tech this weekend.

Ohio State (4-0) retained the fourth spot this week despite having to cancel its game against Illinois Saturday due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the program. The Buckeyes returned to the practice field Tuesday with the intent of playing Michigan State this weekend.

If Ohio State loses another game to a cancellation, the Buckeyes may not be eligible for the Big Ten Championship Game per the league’s minimum requirements.

“This year it’s fair to say there are additional challenges, there is a discrepancy sometimes between a team that plays eight or nine games, a team that’s played three or four games,” said Barta. “Frankly, it’s a problem. It’s a problem that is nobody’s fault. It was created by the pandemic.

“It is a challenge and a problem to evaluate a team that’s played three games and try to evaluate them side-by-side with a team that’s played nine games. We’re doing it, it is doable. But it clearly becomes one of the pieces of the puzzle, one of the evaluation criteria as we looked at it so far, I’m sure as we go forward.”

Cincinnati (8-0) stood pat at No. 7 after the Bearcats lost a game last week to COVID concerns.

Perhaps the biggest surprise this week was Iowa State (7-2) which moved up four spots after defeating Texas, 23-20 last Friday.

This is the

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College football: Oklahoma State, Florida and Indiana win

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Dezmon Jackson rushed for career highs of 235 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 21 Oklahoma State bounced back from a disappointing loss to rival Oklahoma to beat Texas Tech 50-44 on Saturday.

Jackson had 36 carries in part because the top two backs, Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown, did not play. The Cowboys still ran for a season-high 317 yards.

Hubbard was out with a right ankle injury. The redshirt junior was introduced with the seniors on Senior Day. He walked onto the field during a pregame ceremony wearing his jersey without pads and a medical boot on the injured leg. Brown also has been fighting through injuries.

Spencer Sanders passed for 222 yards and ran for 78, and Tylan Wallace caught seven passes for 129 yards and a score for Oklahoma State (6-2, 5-2 Big 12), which remained in the running for a spot in the Big 12 title game.

Alan Bowman passed for 384 yards and three touchdowns, Erik Ezukanma caught seven passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns, and SaRodorick Thompson ran for 133 yards and two scores for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders (3-6, 2-6) gained 639 yards, but Oklahoma State made up for it with a safety, an onside kick return for a touchdown, and an interception return for a score.

No. 6 Florida 34, Kentucky 10

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kyle Trask connected with Kyle Pitts for three touchdowns, including a 56-yarder in which the star tight end ran away from a cornerback as Florida overcame a sluggish start in the Swamp.

Trask has 34 TD passes this season, moving him past 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and into a tie for third on the school’s single-season list. Only Danny Wuerffel (39 in 1996, 35 in 1995) is ahead of him. Rex Grossman also threw 34 in 2001.

Trask and the Gators (7-1), though, is they can clinch the East Division with a victory at Tennessee next week. The Wildcats (3-6) kept Florida’s high-scoring offense in check for the first half, thanks partly to a fumble and a dropped third-down pass.

No. 12 Indiana 27, Maryland 11

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Stevie Scott III ran for three touchdowns and No. 12 Indiana had three interceptions, three sacks and a game-changing safety the win over Maryland (2-2). Freshman Tim Baldwin Jr. ran for a season-high 106 yards for the Hoosiers (5-1), who have won four straight at home.

Penn State 27, Michigan 17

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Sean Clifford threw for 163 yards and scored one of Penn State’s three rushing touchdowns, and the Nittany Lions finally broke their winless skid to start the season.

Keyvone Lee and Will Levis also ran for TDs, and Penn State (1-5, 1-5 Big Ten) never trailed in this matchup of proud programs that have struggled mightily in this pandemic-shortened season. Hassan Haskins ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns for Michigan, but the Wolverines (2-4, 2-4) never found much of a consistent rhythm offensively.

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College football roundup: No. 6 Florida turns it on to beat Kentucky

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts scores a touchdown during the Gators’ 34-10 win over Kentucky on Saturday in Gainsville, Fla. Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via AP

GAINSVILLE, Fla. — Kyle Trask found Kyle Pitts for three touchdowns, including a 56-yarder in which the star tight end ran away from a cornerback, and Florida overcame a sluggish start to beat Kentucky 34-10 Saturday in the Swamp.

It was Pitts’ first game since suffering a concussion and breaking his nose on a vicious hit against Georgia. Trask wasted little time reconnecting with his favorite and most talented target.

Trask has 34 TD passes this season, moving him past 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and into a tie for third on the school’s single-season list. Only Danny Wuerffel (39 in 1996, 35 in 1995) is ahead of him. Rex Grossman also threw 34 in 2001.

Trask did break one of Wuerffel’s records Saturday. He became the first player in school history with at least three TD passes in eight consecutive games, topping Wuerffel’s mark of seven set in 1996.

Trask is on pace to pass Wuerffel for TDs, too, and it could happen in his final two regular-season games. More importantly for Trask and the Gators (7-1), though, is they can clinch the East Division with a victory at Tennessee next week.

The Gators will want to avoid another lackluster start in that one. The Wildcats (3-6) kept Florida’s high-scoring offense in check for the first half, thanks partly to a fumble and a dropped third-down pass.

MISSOURI 41, VANDERBILT 0: Sarah Fuller made history, but her barrier-breaking kickoff was the only highlight for Vanderbilt as the Tigers (4-3) dominated the Commodores (0-8) in Columbia, Missouri.

Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 conference football game when she kicked off to start the second half. Fuller delivered a low kick that bounced to the 35-yard line, where Missouri pounced on it. She never got the chance to attempt a PAT or field goal, as the Tigers rarely allowed the Commodores to cross midfield in the Southeastern Conference game.

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