With the Florida Gators just eight days away away from the beginning of the season on Sept. 1 at home against Bowling Green, head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday to provide updates on the team.
Redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan – strained his pectoral on Saturday, held out of contact and will miss the season opener
Sophomore defensive back De’Ante Saunders – “pulled a hamstring” on Thursday and will probably miss the season opener
Junior Buck linebacker Ronald Powell – starting the last phase of rehab from his torn ACL and will be cutting and changing direction with hopes of returning in October
Redshirt junior DB Jeremy Brown – set to have his wrist checked on Tuesday to see if he can return to practice
Freshman OT left tackle D.J. Humphries – expected to be back practicing on Tuesday or Wednesday after injuring his MCL
Redshirt freshman guard Tommy Jordan – minor shoulder injury
NOTES AND QUOTES
» Redshirt sophomore Mack Brown and freshman Matt Jones are competing for the back-up running back job behind senior Mike Gillislee.
» On Gillislee stepping up this offseason: “Mike has always been a hard worker, but I think as much of anything [he stepped up] in spring. You watch some of the carries; we got a decent front, running through some tackles and doing some things. I was very impressed with his lunch pail attitude. He goes out and works. He goes out and puts his time in. He goes and works. A guy that, again, I’ve just been really pleased with his approach, his physical mentality. I’ve just been overall very pleased with him as a player and as a person.”
» Muschamp said he expects to have 5-6 defensive backs on the field 90 percent of the time over Florida’s first three games against Bowling Green, Texas A&M and Tennessee.
» On redshirt sophomore LB Neiron Ball playing so well after missing an entire season: “What a wonderful young man. Handled it very maturely; has been through a tough road, not just with the injury but a lot of things. He has responded as maturely and as well as you can respond to a tough situation. To have a guy that is as happy as he is to play football again, he’s a great example for our guys. On those days when you don’t want to practice, this was a guy that had it taken away from him for a year. He’s very appreciative of his opportunities; I know that.”
» Muschamp said that redshirt senior James Wilson will start at left guard mostly because redshirt junior Kyle Koehne (who was competing for the job) can play all five positions on the line and will be filling in as a reserve tackle with Humphries (likely) and Patchan out for the game.
» “I think we’ve improved tremendously. [...] Talk is cheap. We need to go line up and play. I can sit here and tell you how I feel, but at the end of the day we’ll be judged on September 1st and how we perform and then the following weeks from that on Saturday.”
» On redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose: “He needs to be more consistent as far as his assignments are concerned and finishing plays down the field. [He has to] continue to work at those things. He certainly has the ability, but you got to do it all the time, you can’t just talk about it.”
» On if playing two quarterbacks means a team has no true quarterback: “I don’t know. I look at two talented guys we can win with. It didn’t seem to affect LSU last year, so…”