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Mark Long

Stories by Mark

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Florida hopes to send Muschamp out with win at FSU

Florida coach Will Muschamp might never escape the comparisons to Ron Zook. Both had big wins, head-scratching losses and were fired late in the season — a decade apart.

Florida committed to running the ball against Georgia

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida spent the last two weeks trying to identify something it can do well offensively. The Gators switched quarterbacks and settled on running the ball. And that’s all they might do Saturday against ninth-ranked Georgia in nearby Jacksonville, Fla.

Earnhardt Jr. starts big wreck at Daytona test

Dale Earnhardt Jr. started a 12-car accident at Daytona on Friday that essentially shut down a three-day test session designed to hone NASCAR's redesigned cars.

No. 11 Florida thumps UGA in SEC opener

Things got so ugly so quickly that Georgia had used three of its five timeouts midway through the first half. And none of them helped.

Keselowski will start NASCAR finale from front of field

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski got some help on the last day of practice for NASCAR's Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.. Pole sitter Joey Logano was involved in a three-car accident during the first of two practice sessions Saturday, switched to a backup car and will

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Georgia takes bite out of Gators

Shawn Williams' criticism will be remembered as a challenge.And No. 12 Georgia responded better than anyone could have expected. Five days after Williams ripped his defensive teammates for playing too soft, the Bulldogs turned in their best performance of the season.

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No. 3 Florida looks to avenge another 2011 loss

Florida defensive end Dominique Easley has been holding some late-night study sessions this week. At home. All alone. And with the TV on. The subject? Georgia. Specifically, the Bulldogs' 24-20 victory over the Gators last season in Jacksonville.

For some SEC teams, coaching seat heating up

The Southeastern Conference could be getting another makeover.. This one would have nothing to do with expansion. The league that has won six consecutive national championships has more coaches on the proverbial "hot seat" than in any recent year, with potential openings at Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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Elliott goes deep as Jaguars beat Falcons 24-14

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When undrafted receiver Kevin Elliott arrived in Jacksonville, he had as much confidence as a seasoned veteran.. It raised eyebrows then.. It seems justified now.. Elliott had a 77-yard touchdown reception, likely solidifying his spot on the regular-season roster, and the Jaguars beat the Atlanta

Florida OC: 2-QB rotation probably a one-week deal

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- One will start, both will play. And when the season opener is over, No. 23 Florida probably will decide between the two.. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease said Tuesday he's not sure the team's two-quarterback system is viable beyond Saturday's game against Bowling Green, meaning the Gators

Kurt Busch wins Nationwide race at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Kurt Busch won a wild Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, holding off three challengers over the final hundred yards in a battered race car.. Busch's victory was his second this season, each with different teams. He won for his brother, Kyle Busch

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Spurrier moves forward with plan to pay players

DESTIN, Fla. -- Steve Spurrier is sticking with his plan to pay players.. South Carolina's outspoken coach first floated the idea at the Southeastern Conference's spring meetings last year. Fellow coaches and league administrators listened, but it made little, if any, progress.. He trotted out his stipend plan again this

SEC football coaches differ on scheduling

With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, the Southeastern Conference is tweaking its football and basketball schedules. Football coaches are having a tougher time deciding on what changes to make than their basketball counterparts.

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X-Games star Pastrana recovers while he awaits NASCAR debut

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Travis Pastrana arrived for NASCAR's annual media day last week and has been hanging around ever since.. And he hasn't even gotten into a race car.. Pastrana watched the exhibition Budweiser Shootout from the grandstands, stuck around for Daytona 500 qualifying and even spent two off

No. 19 Gators roll over Bulldogs 70-48

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Bradley Beal broke out of his shooting slump with 17 points to lead No. 19 Florida to its 15th straight home win, 70-48 over Georgia on Tuesday night.. Beal was 4 of 6 from 3-point range, making more shots from behind the arc than he did

Meyer's past, present give Gator Bowl marquee matchup

Florida (6-6) and Ohio State (6-6) have been chosen to meet in the Jan. 2 game in Jacksonville, a marquee matchup between once-proud programs that slipped significantly this season.

Stenhouse Jr. wins Nationwide Series championship

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove dozens of laps as a champion -- and didn't even know it.

Stenhouse Jr. wins Nationwide Series championship

Driver clinches title 30 laps into 200-lap race

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No. 22 Georgia ends losing skid in Jacksonville

Bulldogs fight back from deficit to beat Muschamp's Gators

No. 22 Georgia trying to flip series script on Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Every year, thousands of Florida and Georgia fans make the trip to Jacksonville. They camp, tailgate, party for hours, sometimes days.

No. 22 Georgia trying to flip series script on Florida

Bulldogs have been on wrong end of one-sided rivalry lately

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Florida QB expected to play against Georgia

Muschamp says Brantley planning to be back this Saturday

Gators, Tide pit strength against strength

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Just before Florida's Southeastern Conference opener against Tennessee, defensive tackles Jaye Howard and Dominique Easley sprinted onto the field with giant chains draped around their necks.. Why?. "We were ready to get unleashed," Easley said.. With Howard and Easley unbound, the Gators held the Volunteers to

No. 12 Gators have chance to turn Tide in series

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida was essentially noncompetitive in its last two games against Alabama.

No. 12 Gators have chance to turn Tide in series

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida was essentially noncompetitive in its last two games against Alabama.. There was the debacle in Atlanta in the 2009 Southeastern Conference title game, then the drubbing in Tuscaloosa last season. The Gators were outplayed, outcoached and outscored by a combined 44 points in those lopsided losses

Garrard feels ready for preseason debut vs. Falcons

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- David Garrard's back has been relatively pain free this week. No swelling, no tightness, no problems walking, sitting or getting out of bed.. Jacksonville's starting quarterback has practiced five consecutive days and he threw some of his best passes of training camp during Wednesday's joint session with

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Junior's victory still resonates

Dale Earnhardt Jr. vividly remembers the moment he realized he had a legitimate shot at winning NASCAR's first Cup race at Daytona International Speedway since his father's death at the storied track.

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Rainey, King expected to return after suspensions

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's Chris Rainey and Georgia's Caleb King made headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier this season. Arrested, then suspended. They will be back in the spotlight Saturday, this time probably playing staring roles for the Gators and Bulldogs in what essentially will be an elimination game in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division.

Gators get best of UGA again

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Alex Tyus scored 23 points, Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton added 21 apiece, and Florida beat Georgia 87-71 Wednesday night.

Party fouls give Florida-Georgia extra oomph

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Between Georgia's end-zone celebration and Florida's last-minute timeouts, the game formerly known as 'The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party' has been taken up a notch.

No. 1 Florida holds off Tennessee 23-13 Gators beat Vols for fifth straight time

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - No. 1 Florida didn't embarrass Tennessee and its new coach, just beat them behind Tim Tebow and a stingy defense.

NASCAR: Bliss gets first Nationwide win since 2004

CONCORD, N.C. - Mike Bliss raced to his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory since 2004, catching a break to claim the rain-shortened event Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Stewart seeks first win during Memorial Day weekend

CONCORD, N.C. - Tony Stewart has team co-owner Gene Haas in town, teammate Ryan Newman on the pole and both of his World of Outlaws drivers racing at a nearby dirt track.

Stenson shoots 66 to blow away field at Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Henrik Stenson gained fame when he stripped down to his underwear and played from a muddy water hazard at Doral two months ago.

Gators return enough talent to defend title

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Florida coach Urban Meyer wrapped both hands around the crystal football Friday, started to lift it off its stand and then nearly fumbled the whole trophy.

Gator Bite Florida celebrates win over rival Georgia

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tim Tebow walked out of the locker room wearing a gray, protective boot on his left foot.

Georgia-Florida rivalry recharged after last year's stomp

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida's Derrick Harvey was at the bottom of the pile, trying unsuccessfully to strip the ball out of Knowshon Moreno's grasp.

Tebow, Moreno key to showdown

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - There's a rumor going around that Florida defenders had to do 188 push-ups a day during offseason conditioning workouts, one for every yard Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno gained against the Gators last season.

Ex-Falcon Jackson calls out Petrino

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Veteran defensive tackle Grady Jackson had little regard for Bobby Petrino earlier this season.

Glennon leads Hokies to ACC championship Virginia Tech earns spot in Orange Bowl

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sean Glennon held an orange in one hand and a most valuable player trophy in the other.

Georgia enjoys rare win over Florida Moreno rushes for 188 in 42-30 victory

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Georgia Bulldogs celebrated in the end zone early and on the sideline late.

Gators look to continue dominance over 'Dogs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Quarterback Tim Tebow grew up in Jacksonville and went to the Florida-Georgia game just about every year. Although he knows plenty about the storied rivalry, his memories are pretty much one-sided - much like the series has become.

Busch wins delayed Busch race at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Kyle Busch saw several cars clustered around the inside lane and another one crawling along in the outside lane.