YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

College Football Week 5 | In the Spotlight

Two Quarterbacks Too Many for Gators

October 04, 1998

Florida Coach Steve Spurrier has seen enough.

The two-headed Gator quarterback that is Doug Johnson and Jesse Palmer will cease to exist in the Swamp at Gainesville, Fla., or anywhere Spurrier's team travels.

After Florida defeated Alabama, 16-10, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Spurrier said Johnson and Palmer will battle it out in practice this week for the right to work solo against Louisiana State next week.

One other thing: He also said the Gators don't play like champions anymore.

What happened to all the fun in the Fun 'n' Gun?

"Coach said, 'I'm sick and tired of this alternating and I'm sure you are, too,' " said Palmer, who completed 10 of 19 passes for 169 yards and hooked up with Travis McGriff on a 32-yard scoring pass in the second quarter.

Johnson completed 10 of 20 passes for 189 yards and had a pass intercepted.

On six trips inside the Alabama 12-yard line, Florida could not score a touchdown. The Gators turned the ball over three times and settled for three short field goals.

"Every team on our schedule can kick the . . . out of us if we keep playing like we are right now," Palmer said.


Air Force has never had much of a problem blocking kicks under Coach Fisher DeBerry.

Returning them for touchdowns is another story.

The Falcons, who have blocked 46 punts and field-goal attempts in the '90s, went 13 years and 162 games without returning a punt or kickoff for a touchdown.

That streak ended Saturday when Matt Farmer scored on a 55-yard punt return in the Falcons' 56-14 Western Athletic Conference victory over New Mexico.

"Coach DeBerry's been harping on that all week about how we haven't made a big play on special teams as far as return-wise," Farmer said. "I had a feeling about today. I don't know what it was.

"Maybe since he was harping on it all week, I was thinking it might happen."


San Jose State became the first school from California to travel to Charlottesville, Va., to play Virginia.

It was a game arranged only last year when No. 10 Virginia was looking for another game to fill out its schedule.

San Jose State Coach Dave Baldwin wasn't thrilled about the cross-country trip. But a few days before the game, he said there would be some benefits for the Spartans.

"We'll get a lot of exposure because they're in the top 10," Baldwin said. "They always have the top 10 in that little line that goes on the bottom of the TV screen. And ESPN will talk about us, too."

But not in flattering terms.

San Jose State gave up 556 yards in a 52-14 loss to the Cavaliers.


Prairie View A&M ended its record 80-game losing streak last week against Langston, giving the Panthers a feeling of invincibility.

"The guys after the [Langston] game were yelling, 'The streak is broken!' " quarterback Josh Barnes said. "No, the streak has just begun."

Unfortunately for the Panthers, their losing streak in the Southwestern Athletic Conference continues.

Grambling State, coached by former NFL quarterback Doug Williams, defeated Prairie View, 55-40, on Saturday. The Panthers have now lost 52 consecutive SWAC games.

Prairie View's last SWAC win--also their last victory before this season--was over Mississippi Valley State, 21-12, on Oct. 28, 1989.


1. Ricky Williams, Texas: Rushed for school-record 350 yards and scored five touchdowns in victory over Iowa State.

2. Ricky Williams, Texas Tech: Gained 159 yards in 29 carries and scored twice in win over Baylor.

3. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin: Eclipsed 4,000-yard mark for career by gaining 130 yards in victory over Indiana.

4. Cade McNown, UCLA: Ran for a touchdown and completed 14 of 27 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown in victory over Washington State.

5. Michael Bishop, Kansas State: Did not play.

6. Tim Couch, Kentucky: Completed 47 of 67 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns in loss to Arkansas.

7. Daunte Culpepper, Central Florida: Passed for 342 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score in victory over Toledo.

8. Champ Bailey, Georgia: Caught seven passes for 114 yards in win over LSU and was on the field for 96 plays--34 on offense, 47 on defense and 15 on special teams.

9. Troy Edwards, Louisiana Tech: Caught 10 passes for 235 yards and five touchdowns in three quarters in victory over Boise State.

10. Donovan McNabb, Syracuse: Out of race after passing for 170 yards with two interceptions in Thursday loss to North Carolina State.


Los Angeles Times Articles