It is being reported that Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis aggravated a back injury that has hobbled him this year. Sturgis could be out up to 8 weeks and will miss tomorrow’s clash with the Crimson Tide. Sturgis, a junior who was named on the preaseason Lou Groza award watch list (best kicker award), has missed a pair of field goal this season but also made a 44 yarder against Tennessee. Last year Sturgis was a reliable kicker capable of making clutch kicks like the game winner over Arkansas. Punter Chas Henry will be handling field goals in Sturgis’ place and freshman Brad Phillips will kickoff. This is a minor blow for the Gators who must now essentially go with an untested kicker in a huge game, where a field goal might make all the difference. My previous prediction of a Gator win by a field goal is in serious doubt now, but I’ll stand by it regardless.
On a related note, starting RB Jeff Demps is “probable” for Saturday according to Meyer, but has yet to fully practice this week. Demps is crucial in the return game and as a big play threat in the backfield. His speed is unique (NCAA 100 meter champion). He will be sorely missed if he cannot go, but I think he will at least give it a try on Saturday. Demps injured his foot during the Tennesse game and then again in last week’s tussle with Kentucky.
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Written by The Gator Great