Five turnovers and a sloppy performance doomed the No. 9/12 Florida Gators (1-1) on Saturday against the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes (2-0) at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. After falling 21-16 to Miami, Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media and provided some of his thoughts after the game.
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Miami improved to 29-26 all-time against Florida with no future games scheduled.
» The Gators failed to start the season 2-0 after doing so in eight-straight years.
» Florida fell to 1-6 under Muschamp when rushing for fewer than 150 yards, 3-6 when allowing 21+ points and 4-8 when tied or trailing at halftime.
» Saturday’s win was the Canes’ first over a ranked opponent since Oct. 22, 2011.
» The Gators have forced at least one turnover in 13-straight games.
» Miami made its 74th appearance on ESPN, second-most among college programs.
» Florida had two players register 98+ receiving yards in the same game for the first time since Jan. 1, 2010. It was the first time since Nov. 3, 2007 that two wide receivers eclipsed 98+ yards.
» A Gators quarterback passed for over 219 yards for the first time since Nov. 19, 2011. That was also the last time a Florida receiver registered a 100+ yard game.
» The Canes posted 212 total yards, just seven more than Toledo a week ago. The last time Miami had fewer yards in a victory was Oct. 26, 1996.
» UF bested UM statistically in total offense (413-212), passing yards (291-162), rushing yards (122-50), first downs (22-10), third-down efficiency (.400-.090) and time of possession (38:20-21:40).
» It was the second time as many seasons that the Gators committed at least five turnovers in a single game.
» Florida’s defense gave up 21 or more points for just the third time in the last 16 games under Muschamp dating back to the bowl game following the 2011 season.
» It was just the fourth time under Muschamp (28 games) – and second time since the start of the 2012 season (15 games) – that the Gators coughed up two first-quarter touchdowns. Florida is 1-3 in those four games.
» Redshirt junior Sam linebacker Ronald Powell, returning after spending 20 months without playing a college football game, registered a sack for the second-straight game.
» Freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III nabbed an interception for the second-straight game. He also switched his uniform from No. 16 to No. 1, becoming the first true freshman to wear No. 1 since Keiwan Ratliff in 2001.
» Junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy blocked his third kick in two seasons.
» Junior quarterback Jeff Driskel threw for a career-high 291 yards.
» Wideouts senior Solomon Patton and redshirt junior Quinton Dunbar both registered career-highs in receptions and receiving yards. Patton finished with six catches for 118 yards and also picked up the first touchdown of his career. A South Florida native, Dunbar hauled in seven balls for 98 yards.
“We gave them way too much momentum early in the game, defensively the first drive. We just got out of sorts with our substitutions and communications. It settled down as the game went on. Gave them a big play. You give a team belief and certainly that’s what we did defensively early. You can’t turn it over five times and go 1-for-6 in the red zone scoring touchdowns. Moving the ball, had over 400 yards, thought we mixed the run and pass well, probably did some good things at times. But the bottom line is you cannot continue to shoot yourself in the foot and give somebody else an opportunity, especially on the road, and we certainly did that. We gave them way too much momentum early in the game defensively, and you’re not going to win any games turning it over five times, especially in the red zone – just killer turnovers.
“I felt like the fourth down, going for that early, I feel like we needed to. We weren’t stopping them defensively at that time very well. I felt that we needed to spit the ball in the end zone. Disappointed with the turnovers and the red zone situation and the momentum early in the game. I thought our kids fought hard and gave themselves an opportunity there at the end with an on-side kick and see what happens. I credit our kids for that. We need to go back in the off week, go back with ball security, coming together and playing a little better in this situation.”
Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say after the game…
PLAY CALLING DECISIONS
» On going for the two-point conversion in the first quarter: “That’s the situation – we had the look we wanted. [If] we blocked it right, we would’ve gotten two points. We just didn’t block it right. I would do it again. There was a lot of football to play in that situation.”
» On going for it on 4th-and-1 in the red zone: “I had total confidence. I just felt like, in that situation, we hadn’t played worth a dang on defense. We had been on the field. I felt like we needed to extend the drive, so I wanted to go ahead and go for it in that situation. … Given the way the game was rolling at that time defensively, we were reeling a little bit. We had some miscommunications defensively at that time. I just felt like we needed to go for seven at that situation given the down and distance.”
» On whether junior quarterback Jeff Driskel could have checked out of the keeper up the gut when it was obvious Miami had stacked the box on 4th-and-1:: “We could’ve checked out of it. They stemmed late on it and caught us in it. Credit them in that situation.”
» On the punt block by junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy punt block: “Well-designed by Jeff Choate, our special teams coordinator. It was something we felt like we could get. And executed very well by our team.”
Muschamp was not overly specific with the numerous injuries suffered by the Gators during Saturday’s game. He did say that sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) was very sore at the half and felt like would not be able to play in the second half. He also noted that Purifoy, redshirt junior Sam linebacker Ronald Powell and junior CB Marcus Roberson would all be fine despite going down with injuries of their own. In regards to Roberson, Muschamp said it was “nothing serious” though the player did “stretch” his PCL and would be evaluated further.
Three different Florida offensive linemen went down and missed time during the game – redshirt senior center Jonotthan Harrison (undisclosed), redshirt junior left guard Max Garcia (undisclosed) and redshirt sophomore right tackle Tyler Moore (ankle). Muschamp said he was not sure how bad Moore’s ankle was hurt, but Moore was seen leaving the stadium with a boot and crutches. The Gators often put players with sprained ankles in boots even if not necessary long-term.
He also said that all indications at this time have redshirt junior right guard Jon Halapio (torn pectoral) being ready to play against Tennessee in two weeks.
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On the first game back for sophomore running back Matt Jones, who fumbled on his first series: “I thought he ran well. First game back. I thought the fumble was…we need to hold on to the ball. It was a good tackle on their part – put his hat on the ball. We’ve given Matt plenty of contact going into that situation. I think that was a good hit on their part.”
» On Patton’s standout performance: “Solomon’s had a really good camp. I think he’s played well and is a guy we need to get the ball to. He’s caught the ball well, he’s run the reverses, done all the things we ask him to do very well.”
» On Hargreaves and his play thus far in his young career: “He’s a good football player. I’ve been around a lot of guys that have come in and had an impact as freshen. He’ll be a really good, continue to be a really good player as the year moves on.”
» On why the offense opened up (and was successful) in a late fourth quarter drive but there was not more passing during the game: “They had changed a little bit defensively at that point. It’s a two-score game, so it was a different defensive look. … They weren’t doing the same thing. They were rushing three guys, dropping eight and had a hard time getting a pass rush. The game was changed at that point. It was a two-score game. So it’s different situations.”
» On how the Gators will respond to the crushing loss: “They’ll be fine. We got a good group in there. We got good character in that locker room. They’re hurt right now. They’re disappointed. But you lose as a team and you win as a team.”
» On if this is the most frustrating loss of his Florida tenure: “Nah, man. Losing’s losing. It stinks.”