1/2: Florida vs. Louisville post-Sugar Bowl report

No. 3 Florida Gators football (11-2) was upended in the 2013 Sugar Bowl on Wednesday as the No. 21 Louisville Cardinals (11-2) pulled off a 33-23 upset victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Florida head coach Will Muschamp provided some of his thoughts after the game.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is now 5-2 all-time in BCS bowl games and had its school-record four-straight bowl winning streak snapped. The Gators are 3-6 all-time in the Sugar Bowl and suffered their first loss in the game since 2000. UF is now 20-20 all-time in bowl games and lost its first since the 2008 Capital One Bowl.
» Wednesday was the first time Louisville defeated Florida in program history (1-2).
» The Gators are 4-7 vs. ranked teams under Muschamp including 4-2 during the 2012 season. Florida is also 4-7 when trailing at the half under Muschamp but 4-2 in such instances this year.
» The 33 points given up to the Cardinals were the most allowed by the Gators this season. UF also had its largest deficit of the year in the game.
» Florida posted a -2 turnover margin in the game and has lost both games this season in which it did not win the turnover battle.
» The Gators totaled 20 interceptions on the season after registering eight in 2011.
» Florida wore blue jerseys and orange pants together for the first time since 1999 vs. FSU. UF is now 0-3 all-time in that uniform combination.
» Wednesday marked the Gators’ second loss under Muschamp when the defense held the opponent to fewer than 100 yards rushing (10-2).
» Florida ranked sixth nationally in time of possession entering the game, but Louisville held the ball for 11:14 longer over the course of the Sugar Bowl.
» Penalties once again killed the Gators. UF committed nine for a total loss of 98 yards while UL only committed two for 25 lost yards.
» The Sugar Bowl’s announced attendance was 54,178, the game’s worst figure since 1939 and the smallest ever in a BCS bowl game.

PLAYER NOTES

» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis set a new school single-season record for field goals made with his 24th of the year on Wednesday. He broke a 28-year-old record formerly held by Bobby Raymond.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. It was the second-straight bowl game in which he has returned a kickoff for a touchdown (99 yards in the 2012 Gator Bowl). The play also set the Sugar Bowl record for longest kickoff return.
» Sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy played wide receiver and caught one pass for five yards in the first quarter. It was the first time a defensive starter registered an offensive reception since Keiwan Ratliff did so in the 2003 Outback Bowl.
» Redshirt sophomore WR Quinton Dunbar registered career-highs in receptions (five) and receiving yards (77) during the Sugar Bowl.
» Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel did not have his best game, but he did engineer a pair of impressive scoring drives during the contest. Driskel completed 4-of-5 passes for 45 yards and ran for 24 yards as part of an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to end the first half. He also went 5-for-8 for 66 yards as part of a 13-play, 97-yard touchdown drive on Florida’s last possession of the game. Aside from those two drives, Driskel was 7-of-16 for 64 yards over the rest of the game.

OPENING STATEMENT

“We got outcoached and outplayed. That’s what I told the football team. It’s the bottom line. You go out and you get beat, you get beat. And that’s what happened. … Credit their organization. They did a good job. We got outcoached and outplayed.”


NOTES AND QUOTES

» Muschamp on the onside kick to start the second half: “We felt like it was there. We hit it too hard. It was something where both their guys were lined [up] outside the hash. We had game planned it and felt good about it. We wanted to steal a possession to start the second half. We had struggled defensively in the first half and felt like it was time to try and gain some momentum in the game.”

» Muschamp on if the loss taints a successful regular season: “No. we’ve had a great year. We’ve had a great year. We’re building something here. We’re building a program. This is an unfortunate setback and it’s one game. We still won 11 games and we still did a lot of very positive things in my opinion this season. Obviously this is a sour day and a sour note. I apologize to our fans and the university. We’ve had a great year and we’re moving this thing forward at a rapid pace. I’m excited about where we are, very disappointed with the outcome today, but very positive as we move forward.”

» Muschamp on if not playing for the national title led to a letdown for the Gators: “I don’t think so. I think we had good preparation. We just didn’t play very well. We didn’t coach very well. Our kids were excited about being here in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Louisville outcoached us and outplayed us.”

» Driskel on his interception on the first play from scrimmage: “I threw it behind him. He tried to make a play on it and tipped it right to the guy. The corner made a good play. It was unfortunate to start the game like that, but he made a good play. … You can’t let it affect you. We went back to that play a couple times later in the game. As a quarterback, you got to shake it off. At that time, we had the whole game in front of us, so you can’t let a play like that affect you for the rest of the game.”

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28 Responses to “1/2: Florida vs. Louisville post-Sugar Bowl report”

  1. Walt P says:

    If Jeff going be the QB he got to be a better passer a lot of thoses balls he threw were short or behind the WRs. Hopefully better next yr. Go Gators.

  2. Kevin Glenn says:

    I am very glad Coach Boom said what he said. It’s what I saw too. No Coach Speak, just the truth. We lost in every phase of the game. We lost field position, penalties, one on one battles on the lines of scrimmage, one on one battles out wide , and effort. Strong understood that our team has been a run the ball, eat the clock, wear you down in the 4th quarter team. He used his prolific offense to win time of possession and take us out of our game plan. We were down by 3 scores and could not afford to be patient and run the ball. I agree that this was still a good season and we have work to do for 2013.

  3. Crock says:

    I don’t think our D played terrible last night.

    Louisville scored on a int return and also got the ball inside the 20 after an onside kick and 2 personal fouls. Driskel fumbled and gave Louisville the ball inside our 5.
    I though Louisville would score between 17-21 points and if it weren’t for our offense that is exactly where they would have been at.

    There are two people to blame for this loss..Will Muschamp and Jeff Driskel.
    The onside kick after halftime was an awful call. We had all the momentum and I felt good going into the second half once the scored after that the game felt over.

    I hate to be blunt but Driskel just doesn’t have the “brains” to be a great QB. He has the physical tools, but doesn’t understand the game or just can’t process it at this speed. He is slow making decisions, he doesn’t anticipate, he has no clock in his head or awareness of game situations. He also doesn’t maneuver the pocket near as well as other qbs. He stares down one receiver all play and if that guy doesn’t get open then the play is a bust. Keep in mind that I didn’t come to these conclusions because of this game. I believed this going into the game and his play just reinforced what I though.

    • Driskel will be fine. His touchdown drives at the end of each half are proof he is capable. Don’t overreact.

      • Tim says:

        Unfortunately Crock is right. Driskell is slow in thinking. That is something that you can neither teach or overcome at this level

      • Mark says:

        Disagree. This game did nothing but reinforce an already formed opinion.
        Driskel lost the Georgia game single handily and was probably the main reason for the loss in this game as well as some of the coaching blunders.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        Adam,

        You claim Jeff will be fine and point to 2 (TWO!) drives that he led the team down the field to score. 2 drives. Out of the entire game. What were his numbers for the rest of the his offensive plays? Exactly. Looking good 2 drives out of an entire game, which has been the case more often than not with Jeff this year, is not “going to be fine”. Tim Tebow, probably the most comparable QB to Jeff’s skill set and make up, won the Heisman his first year starting (also his sophomore year). Jeff regressed every game after the Tennessee game (throw out S. Carolina, starting 4 drives inside the opponents red zone doesn’t count) and he was the sole reason we lost to GA.

        • Tebow and Driskel are not comparable skillset wise despite the lazy comparisons some make because both are big and can run. Driskel actually had three solid drives in the game, one ended with a pick. He got pushed out of the pocket once when Burton was open down the field and took a shorter route for Hines another time that Burton was open. With the playmakers on the outside, the same guys Brantley had by the way, Florida is not going to be able to have a downfield offense. The Gators failed to get better there last year but do have some talent coming in.

          Driskel was a first-year starter for a SEC team with the toughest schedule in the country. He had some great games this year, some mediocre games, one awful game and another below average game. Give him, Pease and UF recruiting time.

          Saw nothing from Brissett this year that makes replacing Driskel even a legitimate thought in my mind. The coaches, who watch both in practice and see much more film than anyone, obviously feel the same way.

          Stop blaming the quarterback when the defense and coaches lost the game. It’s ridiculous.

          • gatorboi352 says:

            “Driskel was a first-year starter for a SEC team with the toughest schedule in the country.” Our schedule is always this difficult, don’t kid yourself.

            “He had some great games this year” He had 1 great game, vs. Tenn.

            “Saw nothing from Brissett this year” Agreed, he hardly saw the field. He did tie the game up against ULL, and was allowed to throw about 4 times against Jax St. in his only start. That was all coaching decisions btw, which they all admitted after the game. Something about “holding back the offense intentionally” or other…

            “Stop blaming the quarterback when the defense and coaches lost the game. It’s ridiculous.” What happened on the opening offensive play of the game? Thrown BEHIND Debose for a pick 6. Stop acting like Jeff didn’t have any part in helping UF lose to UL.

            Gotta do better than this, Adam.

            • I’m sick (both physically ill right now and of your lack of understanding), so I’m not continuing past this comment.

              Who care if the schedule is always the most difficult or close to it? It does not make it not true.

              He had great games against Tennessee and South Carolina. Not his fault the field was short in the USC game. He also played very well against Kentucky (18/27 with two touchdowns) and Vanderbilt (11/20 and 177 rushing yards with three scores).

              There is a reason Brissett hardly saw the field. The coaches chose ANOTHER player over him to start because they deem him to be better.

              If you think the opening play of the game lost the Sugar Bowl, you’re delusional.

              Again, watch your tone. Appreciate that you visit the site a lot and comment here. But I’m not about to put up with B.S. I gave my opinion. Agree or not, don’t disrespect me.

              Conversation over. I’m going to take a nap.

  4. Oldflyer says:

    I guess the offense was not surprising. All year they have struggled, and made critical mistakes at critical times.

    I was simply dismayed with the defense. Bridgewater is an accurate passer, but he had wide open receivers all night. When you are rushing four, you should be able to cover the field a little bit. I read that they played a lot more zone than normal.

    Brave talk Champ, but I expect that he is very disappointed. He has to question whether the program is where he thought it was; and he has to wonder if Jeff has progressed as much as thought.

  5. lee says:

    GAtor Fans – Relax, enjoy what we accomplished this year. It was a great run and even though it was a BCS bowl, if its not for the NC it’s really not that important. Great strides this year, Driskel had his 1st full year as a starter. He will come back better, pease will have another year and the incoming class is stacked! It’s great to be a Florida gator

  6. Ken (CA) says:

    What a disappointing year overall. All of our major sports self destructed in one way or another and choked in the post-season: football, baseball, basketball, softball for various reasons all imploded and couldn’t finish off what they started.

  7. DocZaius says:

    Ken, you ignorant slut. We finished first in the men’s Capital One Cup, and second overall in the Sears Director’s Cup standings. Yeah, we’re not up to snuff in a lot of ways in the major sports, but overall our athletic department is doing pretty damn good.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      That is because across the board we were consistently good, and we won many championships in the minor sports which carried us over the top the way their points are calculated.

      That doesn’t mean that this was not a disappointing year when you look at expectations that were in baseball, basketball, and softball especially. Baseball was probably the most disappointing of all with possibly the best team ever at the university and then half the players didn’t bother to show up in Omaha and got embarassed out of the CWS.

      Yes football way overachieved, but it was a disappointing result to end the year to what should have been an inferior team.

      Capital One cup champion? whoopee? just means we are good across all sports, but th at doesn’t diminish the fact the expactations that were had that weren’t met by baseball, basketball, softball. And it wasn’t so much that they lost, it was the way they lost. it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when the most important time of the season the old Gator choke comes back (yes, that was a consistent term for many, many years about our athletics)…whenever it came to the big game we used to always find a way to lose. Now over the last 20 years we have had significant success, it hurts those of us who lived through the “choke” years to see it happen in the same year to every major sport, not one breaking through.

  8. KB says:

    While the loss last night was disappointing the overall season as a whole was still gratifying. No question that UF needs to get better in pass protection and the talent at the outside positions. I trust we will make strides in those areas and I will not overreact. Keep in mind the strides UF made from last year to this year showed vast improvements in toughness and finish. One thing I would like to see is Jeff shorten up his throwing motion and hold the ball high. The kid has to be better in his pre-snap reads on identifying the blitzers. I mean there are some things he needs to clean up but the talent is there so he just needs to be coached up. He did not have the benefit of playing last year but he need to work this off season as much as he can in 7 on 7 and passing drills. The sky is not falling and the future is still bright. That 1 game did not define the UF team it just highlighted our deficiencies and areas UF needs to get better in order to be a Championship club again. It is still great to be a Florida Gator and always will be!

  9. Ralph Seegobin says:

    Disappointing end to an otherwise fantastic season. Hope to see major improvement in Driskel’s pocket awareness next season.

  10. Patrick says:

    Doc,

    I think you are being too gracious to Ken, who is obviously such a realistic fan.

  11. SWFlaJoe says:

    I was disappointed inthe play of the secondary.
    Was it me or did we get sliced and diced whenever we played zone coverages?

  12. Aaron says:

    Badketball over achieved last year

    • Ken (CA) says:

      h so? with an experienced and deep front court and PAtric uoung, an experienced point guard (for what that’s worth in walker), Boynton and Beal, a team that was up double digits with 8 minutes to go to get to the final four and choked it away….That is a team that was expected to be elite 8 as a worst case…

  13. HardToKillGtr says:

    Winning makes many things seem ok. Losing allows a look at warts. One of them is it’s almost impossible to use the word class when talking or writing about Gator football and our head coach. The Muschamp sideline behavior has become a sick joke. Foley needs to get the man some help before he jumps on the field and tackles an opposing player. I’m starting to think our Coach’s behavior might have something to do with our little “personal foul” problem. Oh well, I know when I choose to ignore the facts, they will change.

  14. SJ210 says:

    Does anyone know why Kitchens was the only player to stay and sing the alma mater? Is that a tradition only after home games? Home wins? I need to shut a Nole up. I can’t imagine no other player or coach cared enough to stick around.

  15. SJ210 says:

    Thanks Adam.