The Football Insider: September 19, 2008

When the Florida Gators send out their special teams Saturday at Neyland Stadium it might be like sneaking up behind Phil Fulmer and whispering “Spurrier.” Everybody knows how Steve Spurrier has been in Fulmer’s head for years but considering what Florida’s special teams have done to him in Meyer’s three years with the Gators, it might have the same effect.

The Gators beat Tennessee 17-16 in 2005 in Gainesville thanks to a blocked field goal. In 2006 in Knoxville, Brandon James terrorized the Vols with his punt returns and last season in Gainesville, James torched the Vols for an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown.

It isn’t just James that makes the Vols’ special teams coaches nervous. The Gators have already blocked one punt this year and the threat of their pressure from the outside resulted in a first quarter shank against Miami that led to Florida’s first touchdown of the game.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.