receiver Robinson suspended for game
Demarcus Robinson’s transformation is clearly still a work in progress.
Three weeks after Florida coach Jim McElwain said the junior wide receiver had “probably come farther than any guy in our program,” Robinson was suspended for the fourth time in his Gators career Saturday.
“He made a choice and will not play in [Saturday’s] game,” Florida said in a statement released roughly 75 minutes before kickoff against Florida State.
Robinson, who leads UF with 47 receptions, missed the FSU game for violating undisclosed team rules. The junior was also suspended twice as a freshman and once last season.
He leads the team in receptions and targets, but Robinson failed to record a catch in last weekend’s scare against Florida Atlantic, and the 6-1, 204-pounder also has been benched multiple times in 2015.
Robinson was expected to build on a promising sophomore season (53 receptions, 810 yards and seven touchdowns), but he has taken a backseat to freshman sensation Antonio Callaway under McElwain.
Callaway, a star at Booker T. Washington, was shaken up late in the first half on an 11-yard reception.
Florida senior defensive tackle Jon Bullard wasn’t going to miss the chance to play one final time in The Swamp. The standout lineman, who was ruled doubtful this week with a right knee injury sustained in the win over FAU, started his 24th consecutive game Saturday.
The senior was one of 11 regulars listed on Florida’s pregame injury report but recorded his team-leading 14 1/2 tackle for loss in the first half.
Junior defensive tackle Joey Ivie (leg) also returned to action after missing four of five games, and injured left tackle David Sharpe (foot), left guard Martez Ivey (shoulder) and slot receiver Brandon Powell (foot) overcame various injuries to start.
TIDE ON HORIZON
With No. 2 Alabama’s 29-13 win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, the Crimson Tide officially clinched the SEC West and will take on the Gators on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta (4 p.m., CBS).
Florida and Alabama played in back-to-back conference title games in 2008 and 2009, and the matchup features a showdown between former colleagues, with McElwain serving as Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator from 2008 to 2011.
THIS AND THAT
▪ The Gators tallied just 122 yards in the first half, punting six times and going 3 of 10 on third down.
▪ Bullard was one of 16 seniors recognized in a pregame ceremony, but senior linebacker Antonio Morrison, UF’s leading tackler, opted to skip the festivities to “focus on the game,” according to Gatorzone.com.
▪ With starter Cam Dillard banged up, senior guard Trip Thurman started at center for the first time this season.
▪ The announced attendance was 90,916 — a new school record.
▪ NFL scouts from the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts were in attendance.
▪ UF president Kent Fuchs served as the honorary Mr. Two Bits on Saturday.
▪ Former Gators tailback Fred Taylor was honored as UF’s SEC Living Legend and drew a huge ovation.