The Florida football players weren’t the only ones who had a battle in Mississippi last week. Their equipment truck did too, but came out in far worse shape.
The Gators had just landed back in Gainesville after beating Mississippi State 13-6 when Mike Knowles, the assistant equipment manager, received a text message that their equipment truck had caught fire on its way back from the game in Starkville.
The equipment manager, Jeff McGrew, spoke for pretty much everyone.
“Oh no, that’s not good,” he said.
The truck driver said that one of the truck’s rear tires had blown out and thought sparks started the fire. Although the driver tried to put out the flames, he was only able to grab some of the cameras and electronic equipment before the blaze grew.
The team’s jerseys and pants, which came home with the team on the plane, were saved. Besides that and the cameras, everything else from helmets, coolers, medical gear, shoulder pads, were destroyed or damaged.
The Florida staff spent several hours on Monday morning seeing what could be salvaged and then ordering replacements. The estimated damages are expected to be at least six-figures.
But with a game against No. 5 LSU coming up this weekend, the Gators aren’t focused on the money needed to replace what was lost. They’re just focused on getting equipment for the 70 players on the travel squad replaced fast – blazing fast.
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