The Sugar Bowl is a dream matchup for the Joyer family.
When Florida and Louisville meet at the Superdome for Wednesday night’s (8:30 p.m., ESPN), it will be the first time brothers Hunter and Kamran Joyer have ever played against each other. Hunter is the first-string fullback for the Gators (11-1, No. 3 in the BCS), while Kamran is a backup offensive lineman for Louisville (10-2, No. 21).
“I’m used to rooting for Louisville, so seeing them on our game plan stuff is strange,” Hunter Joyer said. “I was expecting to play Oklahoma or something, so this is a blessing.
“I’ll think about this forever. It’s something we’ll tell our kids about.”
The Joyers played for Wesley Chapel High School and have been on the same team at times. Kamran, a red-shirt junior, is two years ahead of his brother, who is a true sophomore.
Ordinary week: Compared to the Gators’ last Sugar Bowl trip, this has been mellow.
When Florida came here at the end of the 2009 season, distractions swirled around the program. In addition to the frustration of losing out on a chance to play for the national championship, the Gators were playing the final game of the Tim Tebow era and wondering what would happen with their coaching staff.
The week began with coach Urban Meyer resigning. He came back the next day, but itwas unclear exactly what his role would be going forward. Plus, defensive coordinator Charlie Strong was leaving to become the head coach at Louisville.
“It was kinda hectic, but we all stuck together,” said Gators receiver Frankie Hammond, who was a red-shirt freshman then. “We enjoyed that week and enjoyed the game.
“There’s not much chaos this time. We can focus in and get things done and not worry about any of the outside stuff.”
Even with the disorder, the Gators beat Cincinnati 51-24 in the bowl.
“It was a roller coaster ride for that week with Urban,” said Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, who was a UF assistant that season. “But the players were relaxed and we had a lot of seniors, so they were focused on Cincinnati.”
Home in the dome: Wednesday will be Florida’s first indoor game since playing in the Sugar Bowl three years ago.
Because of the neutral conditions, coach Will Muschamp said the team is willing to let senior Caleb Sturgis try field goals as long as 57 yards. His career-long was a 56-yarder against Georgia in 2009.
The downside to playing in the Superdome is the lighting, which Muschamp believes could hamper the returners on special teams.
“We’ve worked with it all week, as far as catching the football, because it’s a little different with the lights,” Muschamp said.
The Gators will use cornerback Marcus Roberson on punt returns. Loucheiz Purifoy and Andre Debose will return kickoffs.
Roster intact: Muschamp reported no injuries or discipline issues after the team’s final practice. He said none of his players got in trouble spending New Year’s Eve in New Orleans.
It was at turns clunky and hard to watch, but it was entirely sweet.Georgia Tech played perhaps its most memorable game in the young history of McCamish Pavilion, rallying from 12 points down with less than seven minutes to go and four down with just over a minute left to claim a 67-64 win over Illinois on Tuesday night.