Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gators, Meyer Chomps a Bitter Kiffin in Intense Rivalry

He has been very talkative, uttering bitter remarks while threatening, disrespecting, and boldly accusing Florida’s coach Urban Meyer of illegal recruiting.

Common sense, though, informed us that Tennessee’s first-year coach Lane Kiffin was facing a rigid challenge, particularly after upsetting, downgrading, and claiming the defending champs were not on his radar.

Kiffin spoke too lowly of the Gators, forgetting they’re a team with tremendous experience and prominent players who are worthy of advancing to the pro level. For years now, Florida and Tennessee has clashed in bloody wars, but none of them have been quite this fierce or hostile.

The difference in this intriguing matchup is that the Gators were seeking to fiercely bite the Volunteers for revenge in Kiffin’s meeting with the archrivals. In previous seasons, they’ve brutally humiliated, pulverized, and Gator Chomped the kids from Rocky Top, making them long suffer agony and painful failures.

Long-term suffering has reduced spirit in Tennessee, as titles have exhilarated devoted fans at the Swamp, where they embrace the vigorous and energetic powerhouse of the Southern Eastern Conference. But Kiffin, apparently, didn’t think before he made regrettable remarks, inspiring a successful coach and hard-fighting champs.

Remember early in the year at his introduction speech, when he impetuously pronounced the coming end to a four-game losing streak against Florida? Remember when he boldly spoke without reflecting back on their noteworthy season, and saying he honestly sensed he could guide the Vols to a stunning and memorable win for the ages?

Remember when he failed to react in a classy manner, and said he was “looking forward to...singing ‘Rocky Top’ all night after we beat Florida next year. It will be a blast”? He never got enough from being judgmental and outspoken about an athletic team with much experience.

And he added to the silly comments when he informed fans Meyer violated rules by phoning prospect Nukes Richardson, while he was officially visiting Tennessee. That was a huge blunder that Kiffin regrets now, changing his words in a press conference a few days ago, but it was much too late for cleaning up insulting statements.

At Gainesville, fans were motivated for a Saturday matinee and a bitter rivalry that continues developing bad blood. After all, the Gators have fangs and smack talk just propels a powerful team to attack an undefined team.

But in the near future, the Vols might have enough talent for contending against Florida. One thing Kiffin does well is recruit talented classes, but has yet to prove that he can recruit and guide a skillful team within a power conference, or even defeat his archenemy Meyer.

In the biggest game of Kiffin’s coaching career, he paid the consequence, he suffered a loss and he walked off helpless after the Florida’s stingy defense and efficient offense silenced and thwarted the Vols.

There were no joyful celebrations, nor were there any upsets in a hostile environment after a resentful Tim Tebow exposed abnormal characteristics in his personality earlier this week. Can you believe Tebow harshly criticized the Vols? Well, believe it.

Since we are accustomed to Tebow’s generous and religious beliefs, it was a rarity hearing trash talk from the humble senior quarterback. But on a shaky afternoon, he backed up his dirty talk, and as usual, played with tremendous sportsmanship while respecting his archrivals.

Even though, there’s some animosity between two unsettled coaches, Meyer and Kiffin exchanged brief handshakes after Florida coasted to a 23-13 victory.

As a result, the Gators are favorites to win another national title, returning the Heisman quarterback and practically an entire defense. Still, a multitude of the populace is convinced winning glorious titles are over, and that an unknown team will claim possession of the crystal ball. Teams are finally making it clear by challenging the Gators that they're no longer intimidated or invincible.

As most anticipated a Gator Chomping demolition, the Gators beat the Vols by 10. With plenty of games remaining, the Gators are anything but flawless. Instead they’re looking vulnerable and have plenty of deficiencies worth rectifying if they’re expecting to win another national title.

Give Tennessee’s defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin credit for throwing unknown schemes at Tebow, which forced him to commit two critical turnovers as the Vols took advantage, scoring 10 points.

A rare fourth-quarter fumble by Tennessee’s explosive tailback, Montario Hardesty, led to a touchdown. The Vols threw an interception to Dennis Rogan, paying for rushing the pass to avoid a sack.

But it’s enough to make us wonder, if the Gators will defend its title or if some unexpected school upset them later in the season.

Most of all, the Gators are benefiting from Brandon James, who’s arguably the fastest kick-returner in the conference. He returned three kickoffs for a staggering 97 yards.

But more so, their strong and experienced defensive corps presented misery for the third straight year.

Their potent defense harassed Tennessee's quarterback, Jonathan Crompton, who can probably use a few hours in a warm spa. Being pressured, he was limited and forced a devastating pass in the fourth quarter for an interception caught by Florida’s Ahmad Black, smearing an improbable miracle.

After a lackluster performance, Meyers might prefer retooling the offense and making vital adjustments for upcoming games. Receiver Deonte Thompson missed the game with a hamstring injury and running back Jeff Demps played with a 101-degree fever.

Additionally, the Gators are attempting a repeat without Percy Harvin, and his absence has changed Florida’s offensive complexion and chances of retaining a title.

But now the top-ranked Gators have thrown out the hype, ousted their rivals and bitterly extended its streak to 13 consecutive wins over the Vols. In a case of "the lesser of two evils", the stronger stumbling offense survived a bloody afternoon. And it appeared Florida’s talent was too much to handle in the final quarter.

Meanwhile, the Gators don’t chomp as well as they used to, and they don’t attack as well either. One year makes a difference, as they aren’t nearly as powerful. As for the Kiff, next time he might think before he speaks. And if he has nothing nice to say, then he might not say anything.