9/20: Florida-Alabama post-game report

By Adam Silverstein
September 21, 2014

A turnover-filled yet nevertheless tied game in the third quarter turned into a 42-21 blowout victory for the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0 SEC), which dominated the third quarter and stomped on the visiting Florida Gators (2-1, 1-1 SEC) on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Head coach Will Muschamp spoke with the media after the devastating defeat.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Alabama improved to 24-14 all-time against Florida and now holds an 8-5 edge in games played in Tuscaloosa. UA has won four-straight games against UF, outscoring it 143-50 in those contests.
» The Gators are now 4-13 against ranked opponents under Muschamp.
» Florida is now 4-14 under Muschamp when tied or trailing at the half and 5-12 when an opponent scores 21 points or more in a game.
» The Gators’ defense gave up a school-record 645 total yards on Saturday.
» Florida forced four turnovers on Saturday and is now +8 on the season after coughing up three of its own.
» The Gators allowed the Crimson Tide to convert seven-straight third-down attempts including all six they tried in the third quarter of the game. Alabama finished 12-for-16 on third downs, while Florida was a paltry 2-of-13.
» All 21 of UF’s points on Saturday came off turnovers.
» The Gators did not call a single timeout on Saturday.
» The Crimson Tide completely dominated the third quarter, outgaining the visitors 160-41, out-possessing them 12:02-2:58 and converting six third downs (two for touchdowns).
» Sophomore safety Keanu Neal’s fumble return touchdown was Florida’s first since 2011 and the sixth-longest in school history (49 yards).
» Redshirt senior wide receiver Quinton Dunbar has now caught a pass in 31-straight games. He is four games away from tying a school record for most consecutive contests with a reception.
» Redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel completed just 32.1 percent of his passes on Saturday, the lowest mark in his career for a game he started and did not leave due to injury. His 57.5 quarterback rating was the lowest of his career for a game he started.


OPENING STATEMENT

“[We] had our opportunities certainly with the turnovers we created, knocked the ball off them a couple times. First play of the game [for Alabama], man situation, outside, bit on the double move; good execution on their part. They hit us on the double move and then we busted coverage, supposed to be rolling over to the middle of the field, we don’t, 79-yarder. That’s 14 points [on two plays] in the first half. You can’t do that against a good football team.

“We’re 21-21 in the third quarter. Offensively, third down, we’re just 2-of-13 for the game, couldn’t stay on the field. We couldn’t get off the field defensively, 12-of-16, and as the game wore on, we just wore down. We had a hard time hanging in there in the run game. We need to be able to sustain some drives. We had some tempo planned for the game, but we couldn’t sustain drives offensively. And if you can’t stay on the field, when you tempo, you put your defense back on the field. We couldn’t get off the field defensively, so I didn’t feel like that was the best situation for us.

“I thought our guys competed in the game. To be 21-21 with some of the plays we gave up, in my opinion, through the game, [we gave] ourselves an opportunity there. We need to stay the course right now. That’s a good football team, but we’re a good football team, too, and we still have everything sitting out in front of us. We did not have the execution we needed to have offensively, and the two big plays in the first half, defensively, were killers. We wore down as the game wore on.

“Those are the things we’ve got to go back [and examine]. We’ve got an open week, which comes at a good time for us to make some adjustments defensively in what we need to do moving forward. Execute better on the offensive side of the ball and be able to stay balanced and stay on the field on third down. That was just a killer for us.”

INJURY UPDATES

Seven different Gators went down on Saturday, and a couple found themselves on the grass more than once throughout the afternoon. Though Muschamp did not run through each player to provide injury updates, he discussed the serious ones.

Junior running back Mark Herndon injured his knee on a kickoff return early in the contest and did not come back after two trainers helped him off the field. UF does not know the severity of the ailment at this time.

Senior right guard Trenton Brown hurt his ankle midway through the contest, but X-rays after the game did not reveal any structural damage. The Gators are treating the injury as sprain (potentially a high-ankle sprain), but he should be able to return after the off week.

Muschamp said none of the other injuries were serious, calling most of them “cramps.”

Redshirt senior tackle Chaz Green got his right leg rolled up on early in the first quarter; he left, got his ankle heavily wrapped and returned to the game.

Sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III found himself on the ground twice and appeared to be hobbling late in the contest. It appeared as if he was being checked for an Achilles injury, though he played the rest of the game.

Driskel was limping after taking a big shot late in the contest, and both junior defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and sophomore linebacker Jarrad Davis spent some time recovering from minor injuries during the game.

STICKING WITH DRISKEL

Barring an unforeseen change of direction, Driskel will remain Florida’s quarterback going forward despite his abhorrent performance on Saturday. Muschamp indicated as much after the game when asked if he considered substituting freshman QB Treon Harris for Driskel late in the contest.

“I did, but Jeff gives us the best opportunity right now. Really, for us to win a football game like that, Jeff Driskel needs to play. As we move forward, we need to play better at that position and a bunch of other positions. We’ll evaluate that,” he said.

Yet while Muschamp appeared to stand by Driskel with that comment, he also said that he plans to evaluate where the Gators are at quarterback and a number of other positions.

“The execution was not what it needed to be [from Driskel]. [He] missed the deep ball to [Demarcus Robinson] early in the game. We had it open; we got on top of a guy,” he said. “We had a dropped third down. Against a team like that, you got to make plays when you have opportunities, and we didn’t do that. We didn’t run the ball efficiently enough, but we didn’t stay on the field on third down. We need to go back and evaluate the decisions we made going into the game and during the game for that situation.”

In the end though, Driskel’s execution – or lack thereof – was only part of the problem. Florida’s pass-catchers dropped some important first downs – for the second-consecutive week – and UF was also unsuccessful running the ball.

“We just got to go back and evaluate what we carried in the game, what we repped through practice, what we called in the game and see where we make improvements from there,” Muschamp said. “That’s what we need to do at this point. We got a lot of football to play. Everything is sitting in our hands. We need to take care of it.”

MORE (BAD) RECORDS FALLING

Seemingly every time the Gators play a football game under Muschamp, something historic happens. During the 2012 season, many of those historic occurrences were positive for Florida. UF forced turnovers, severely limited opposing offenses and won games without scoring many points.

However, over the last two years, the fallen records are nothing to be celebrated.

In 2013, the Gators snapped a long bowl game streak, put together their first losing season since 1979, ended an impressive winning streak against Vanderbilt and lost to an FCS opponent (for the first time).

On Saturday, Florida’s defense gave up 645 total yards, the most in school history.

“We got to go back [to the] two big plays – an 87-yarder and a 79-yarder,” said Muschamp.

“And then as the game wore on, when you can’t get off the field, we had the screen pass – we had two guys on the back in that situation. We got to execute. That’s a lack of execution. That comes back on me. We got to do a better job executing in those situations and playing better in those situations.”

The secondary is Muschamp’s specialty, and the safeties – a position group Muschamp personally coaches – were arguably the worst players on the field Saturday night.

TIMEOUTS AND HALFTIME DECISIONS

Trailing Alabama 21-14, Florida earned the ball back with 1:44 remaining in the first half. Despite having their full complement of timeouts and more than enough time to try and make something happen from their own 20-yard line, the Gators chose to run the ball three times and allow the clock to expire…despite the fact that the Crimson Tide were scheduled to get the ball to open the second half.

There are two schools of thought on this decision.

With 80 yards to go and an offense that did not show the ability to move the ball well to that point, perhaps it is better to cut your losses, run out the clock, make some adjustments in the locker room and start things over in the second half. A miscue or turnover could give Alabama the opportunity to score once more before half, putting Florida in a bigger hole.

Or, instead, the Gators could have realized that 1:44 on the clock and three timeouts in their pocket gives the team an opportunity to be aggressive on the road and put some points on the board before the half – that there is not necessarily any more danger in trying to create some offense with that much time and that many timeouts remaining as opposed to any other point in the game.

Florida chose the former option, either playing smart (if you fall in the former camp) or cowering at the opportunity to show some confidence and aggression (if you fall in the latter camp).

“We wanted to get into half. We were spent defensively. I didn’t want [our defense] to go back on the field,” Muschamp said. “If we had gotten [the ball at] our 40, we were going to go fast. That’s kind of what our landmark is, especially being on the road.

“The worst thing we could have done in that situation is give a turnover up. We weren’t executing very well. We wanted to be able to get out of the half. I didn’t feel like [Nick Saban would] call a timeout and force us to punt; he didn’t, so we wanted to get out of the half in the situation we were in.”

Florida entered halftime with all three timeouts in its pocket. The Gators did the same thing in the second half, despite the fact that their defense was visibly spent and unable to get off the field on third down. In fact, there was only one timeout called in the entire contest – by Alabama with 2:52 left on the clock…in the first half.

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On failing to get off the field on third down: “The 16-play drive, we had plenty of opportunities to get off the field on third down. We didn’t. The screen, the flare screen hurt us. They pinned the [line]backer on that situation and that hurt us. A combination of those things, certainly that was where we played six snaps on offense in the third quarter.”

45 Comments

  1. Ken (CA) says:

    “The Gators are now 4-13 against ranked opponents under Muschamp”

    That isn’t even the most damning thing against muschamp when you consider in 4 years he has also lost to 4 unranked teams. He can’t beat the better teams but he certainly can lose to the lesser teams…

    Also,
    On Saturday, Florida’s defense gave up 645 total yards, the most in school history.

    “We got to go back [to the] two big plays – an 87-yarder and a 79-yarder,” said Muschamp

    What a joke. does anyone think that Saban would have taken his feet off the gas and not gained that another way if he wasn’t already 21 points up? If it were a 7 point game because those somehow were stops rather than just long scoring drives (which would have tired the defense even more), he would still have had the hammer down in the 4th

  2. Bill says:

    Who’s the worst coach in United States?

    It’s you champer damper. It’s you

  3. Mike the Red says:

    Let’s keep some perspective. If Driskel hit some deep passes, the run game opens up and the defense gets some rest. We have a different game.

    Likewise if the secondary gets fixed, it is an even game. Of the two, the latter has me more concerned. We know we have talent behind Driskel but the latter is probably a coaching problem.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Mike, the problem is that Jeff DOESN’T GIVE OUR RECEIVERS A CHANCE! He threw ONLY 2 catchable deep balls. One was caught and incorrectly ruled out of bounds and on the other pass interference was called against Bama. He once again overthrew or threw out of bounds on every other one.

      The Bama QB threw the ball to his receivers. He gave them a chance. Jeff is CONSTANTLY overthrowing wide open receivers. It’s just too frustrating to watch. People often incorrectly conclude that the guy with the strongest arm is the best QB, but more often than not it’s the guy with the most accurate arm. It’s the guy who makes good decisions and gives his receivers a chance. Driskel has a much better arm than Aaron Murray, for example, but he’s not even in his league as a QB.

      As for the secondary, I think you are being generous. I like that you seem to be even-tempered and try to keep us all grounded, but the one thing we have been able to recruit is high-level DB’s but WE CAN’T EVEN COACH THE DB’S UP!!!!! Our safeties continuously get torched and do I have to remind you who our safety position coach is?

  4. USA says:

    Muschamp is clearly not a good “head football coach” and he is an average “defensive coordinator”. Another glaring fact is that Muschamp hasn’t done a good recruiting. He’s missed on bringing in “elite” players and has only landed “above average” players. During his tenure he hasn’t brought in any elite players besides Vernon Hargreaves |||, and I think the kid is way overrated in my opinion. Cooper abused him yesterday. The SEC East is down this year and I think the Gators could bounce back with a favorable schedule. Muschamp must go now! He’s not a winner!

  5. W2 says:

    I was a supporter of Coach but this stay with Driskel thing is crazy. I say let one of the Freashmen play at least it will be a reason for the Freshman mistakes. Driskel is killing the Offense period.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I would never in a million years imagine myself being in favor of starting a true freshman QB, but I have to agree with you.

  6. Gatoralum88 says:

    At this point I’m no longer going to think he’s in denial when reading his “no big deal, we’ll clean it up” post-loss comments. He’s just saying what he has to say. As Muschump likes to say “I assure you” we’ll never hear him say “We suck & it’s my fault”. Sure, almost everyone in the East has 1 conference loss right now so they can still achieve their goals technically but after watching two teams confuse & shred his secondary easily I doubt it’s something he’ll fix with a bye week.

    His re-writing of the wrong history book is becoming almost laughable. Chapters still to come:
    – First loss to UT since the Zook era.
    – First Gators coach to go O for October twice.
    – Most consecutive losses to UGA since 1983
    – First coach since Doug Dickey (barring NCAA sanctions) to miss a bowl game 2 straight years.
    – First coach since Ray Wolf in 1947 to have back-to-back losing seasons.

    All the missed tackles! Completely clueless in the secondary! Clearly, it’s a lack of or poor coaching. It’s time for the Muschump era/error to end & for Foley to start reacquainting himself with Dan Mullen or Gene Chizik. Go Gators!

    • Chicagoland Gator says:

      Your credibility was blown the first time you typed the word “Chizik” as a choice to replace Muschamp.

      Gene Chizik was a strong defensive coordinator and a weak head coach. Chizik was along for the ride on Cam Newton’s national championship campaign, so don’t cite that as proof of anything. Look at his record otherwise. Isn’t that the situation you want to fix?

  7. BB says:

    These post game pressers are beginning to all sound alike. Why bother, “We’ll look at this.” and “We’ll fix that.”
    The CEO of a major company who doesn’t protect his cash cow will and should be taking some serious heat from the board–Foley’s seat should be warming up too.
    Yes, Alabama is a great team, but Muschamp’s team was absolutely inept and uncoached. It was not that the Gators lost, it is how they lost.

    • Aligator says:

      We hired a good DC to be a head coach and he is clearly in way over his head. This is Ron Zook part 2. We will be 6-5 at best, not being able to beat a ranked team.

    • Michael J. says:

      Why do you say Alabama is a great team? The fact is that most teams lose the game when they turn the ball over four times. Beating the hell out of Florida doesn’t mean you are a great team. A team that needs three overtime periods to beat Kentucky is not a good team. No, Alabama did what a good team should do, beat up on a bad team at home. Florida is a bad team, in fact a worse team than last year’s 4-8 team without the scapegoat of injuries and certain coaches. No. I don’t think Alabama is a great team. If they play like they did against Florida against a good team, they will lose. I expect them to lose a couple of games this year in the regular season. Kentucky and Florida are both bad teams, winning against either doesn’t prove anything other than that you can beat a bad team.

  8. Timmy T says:

    Just sitting on the ball with 1:44 left in the half, all 3 time-outs left, and a wee bit of momentum in your corner, tells me we’re not playing to win we’re playing to not get blown out. Thing is, we got blown out anyway. Treon needs to be marched out as the starter in Knoxville in 2 weeks. He should be getting starter reps TOMORROW and everyday thereafter until he shows he can or cannot handle the job. The Driskel experiment is over. The results are in. He isn’t good enough to be the starter. Time to try something different at the QB position.

    • G2 says:

      I say the same thing but unfortunately he is slow to make that kind of change. Remember last year when we couldn’t run the ball, everyone was screaming for KT to get a chance, it took him half the season to give him a chance. If Driskel gets hurt he has no choice, al least give him a couple of series to see what happens, run some wildcat etc.

      Probably going to be like the Clemson QB, once he gets in he’ll be the starter. Jeffs not consistent enough to take us very far, been horrible with the deep throws so far.
      Wow, its a cluster and only game #3.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Right on, Timmy T. My points exactly. “Playing not to get blown out”. . so true, and so sad.

  9. SW FL Joe says:

    Live by the Driskel, die by the Driskel. Good or bad, Muschamp has hitched is career to Driskel. Good thing we now have an offense that better suits Driskel’s abilities, whatever those are. If Saban is the measuring stick in the SEC then Muschamp is the dipstick

  10. darth gator says:

    There’s no hope with Driskel. At least with a freshman, there is something to get excited about.

    Driskel IS AWFUL! And he’s never going to get better. It’s strange he doesn’t see that.

    • Michael Jones says:

      All I can figure is that Jeff must be a good practice QB. In the games, he only gives our receivers a chance to catch the ball about half the time. That’s not going to work, especially when you throw in his staring the receiver down so that the safety gets the jump on the INT.

      He is constantly overthrowing wide open receivers. Not just on the long balls, either. He needs to make quicker decisions, take a little heat off of those bullets and just get it to the open guy and let the athlete be an athlete.

  11. Michael Jones says:

    HIRE DAN MULLEN!! He should have had the job from day one. Hire him and be only HALF as patient as we have been with Muschamp and watch the improvement.

    We also need a coach who can start keeping the Trent Richardson’s and Derek Henry’s in-state. Bama routinely gets our best running backs. Got to break that cycle. IF DAN MULLEN CAN RECRUIT WELL ENOUGH AT MSU TO BEAT LSU ON A SATURDAY NIGHT IN BATON ROUGE, CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT HE COULD DO AT UF???

    • MAR says:

      I want Kerwin Bell. He is successful, bleeds orange and blue, and runs the Fun n’ Gun. He coaches like SOS. We need a coach in there who cares about UF and really wants them to win. I want Gator blood at the helm. I know Kerwin is a risk, but it would be a fun one and worth taking. I think hiring Kerwin Bell is destined to be successful.

    • SJ210 says:

      I’m sure Mullen would jump at the chance to leave Starkeville, but dear God please no to that. If you ranked SEC coaches Mullen would be close to the bottom. As Adam said, 3-20 against ranked opponents and this is the guy you’d want to turn to? If we were to hire a coach from the state of Mississippi, Hugh Freeze is the better choice. Proving he can win in the SEC and an ace recruiter. Mullen is in his 6th year at Miss St and finally gets a signature win? No thanks.

  12. Michael Jones says:

    The Bama QB threw a ridiculous wounded-duck rainbow to Cooper on Cooper’s last fade-pattern touchdown catch, but because HE GAVE HIM A CHANCE TO CATCH THE BALL, something good happened.

    Driskel only gives our receivers a CHANCE to catch the ball about half the time. He is way too inaccurate for a Div I QB, let alone an SEC QB.

    If the UK game and the UK QB taught Driskel anything, it should have been about the good things that happen when you give your receivers a chance to catch the ball. Then again, against our secondary. . . . . . . . . hhmmmmm.

  13. DFWGator says:

    Pardon me, having trouble removing my foot from my mouth this morning. Technically I was right about Florida surprising people this weekend……it was just in one of the worst ways possible.

    I’m done defending Champ and Driskel. When so many of your former players openly comment about benching your QB, it’s time to make some changes. Driskel’s accuracy and ability to read his open receivers isn’t improving anytime soon. Cooper had more receptions than Driskel had completions (our wideouts share some of the blame for that). It’s time to see if Treon Harris has what it takes.

    As for Champ……what a disgusting way to end the first half. You’re down by 7, on the road, against one of the greatest programs and coaches in recent memory, full set of TOs, and you decide to lay down and lick your wounds instead of organizing a counterattack? Tying up the game going into the half would have been a HUGE momentum and confidence builder. I will never understand or agree with this call. Take some deep shots (some of Driskel’s deep balls were actually close to completions). If you don’t get them, use Christy to turn the field like he’s been doing an amazing job of all season.

    What are the excuses for no up-tempo? We couldn’t sustain a drive? Perhaps we could have if we used….I dont know…..some up tempo? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.

    Those two long passing plays? Blaming Champ and Durkin for those. First play they were 4 wide, one of the weak side WRs wasn’t even being covered, and instead of being in a nickel/dime package you have a LB giving a 10 yard cushion to a RB who’s lined up on the outside waiting to burn down the sideline. That’s a horrible defensive coverage call. Call a TO and reorganize.

    Second passing play was 2 wide on the strong side. Inside receiver is completely unmarked. LBs don’t even acknowledge him or attempt to bump and slow him down, and it’s clear if you watch the replay that no one is paying attention to him pre-snap. Someone should have picked up on it. Of course, our safeties should have stopped both of these plays, especially since they have Champ’s fine position coaching. Maybe instead of ripping Ball for blowing the coverage, he should be asking himself why he let these plays even happen in the first place, or why the secondary is consistently underperforming. God I miss Reggie Nelson.

    No TOs called all game. Not even when they were pounding the ball down our throats and we could have used a break.

    Missed tackles left and right. A single pass to Debose, and I don’t remember many other targets to him. Too many things to go on with. Horrible coaching all game.

    • DFWGator says:

      *Neal

      Not sure how I got Ball mixed in there.

    • Michael J. says:

      I wouldn’t criticize Muschamp for not trying to score before halftime. The offense and Driskel had sucked. He couldn’t expect the offense to suddenly become effective and they were at their own 20 yard line. You say throw the ball downfield, what makes you think that Driskel could actually do so with any accuracy? Florida hadn’t actually stopped Alabama, and you expect UF’s secondary to stop Alabama from scoring again? You can’t expect Alabama to keep giving UF gifts in the form of turnovers. No, Muschamp made the right decision, it was apparent, even then, that Florida’s offense sucked and they were very lucky to be only down a touchdown. Better to go in and regroup and try something different in the second half.
      We saw something similar in the FSU-Clemson game. Jimbo Fisher also decided to sit on the ball when he had a similar amount of time left in the game and the same field position. His offense was struggling, so he thought it prudent to not let his offense try to do something that it had shown it was unlikely to do. I know fans always want to go for it, but sometimes it’s much smarter to not do so and live for another day.

  14. Alex says:

    This program is in the dark ages; it will be about decade post Meyer until this ship gets turned around

    You could tell that Muschamp wants to win, he just doesn’t have the ability or the leadership qualities to be an elite HC. Furthermore, his prowess as a top tier defensive mind is overstated.

    That is all on Foley.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Well-stated. This isn’t about Muschamp being a bad person, not working or not caring. Nothing to do with any of that. He’s just the wrong guy for the job.

    • MAR says:

      Actually, that is an act. He wants everyone to think he wants to win. Deep down, he has hated UF ever since he was embarrassed on numerous occasions chasing around Spurrier’s Fun n’ Gun as UGA got their butts whiped. His goal has always been to coach and destroy UF football. With all the record lows set with WM at the helm, he is succeeding. He is becoming a martyr in Athens and when UF fires him, there will be a WM statue erected in Athens. NEVER hire a Bulldog to coach the Gators, nothing good will EVER come of it!

  15. Alex says:

    So Muschamp is ruining his career on purpose in order to destroy the UF Football program? Sounds reasonable.

  16. Ken (CA) says:

    For those of you that think 1 loss doesn’t matter – and it isn’t that we lost it is the way we lost, our top recruit to date, Adonis Thomas who chose us over bama is now wavering in a tweet he posted today “Decisions to be made”

  17. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    Never Trust a Leg Humper,Tick Magnet,MUTT ie Bulldog to Run Gator Football Program. People in Athens Love every Year MUSCHUMP is Our Coach….. Record Lows for our Program while the Leg Jumpers,Tick Magnets, Mutts enjoy it in Athens

  18. sean kidd says:

    I for one was encouraged by last nights performance. Sure he lost, but going up against the number 2 team in the nation I thought his offensive scheme was brilliant. They moved the ball up and down the filed, of course they couldn’t stop that high powered offense but who has? Yes I think Mike Leach would make an excellent coach next year in Gainesville. He has ties to Florida already so lest start talking to ole Mike now.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Another example of Gator Nation lowering our bar as to what is acceptable and lowering our expectations. We were very recently SEC royalty. Now we’re supposed to be okay with getting our a—s kicked and having our score doubled and yardage records set against us because it was against Bama and “it could have been worse?” How sad.

      Not me. Not ever. And certainly not with the HS football talent in this state that keeps going to lesser schools in order to be coached by better coaches.

      • Timmy T says:

        Ummm… Mike, I could be wrong but I think his post was a shout-out for Mike Leach as next UF coach and not an apology for Muschamp’s shortcomings.

  19. 5wideU says:

    I have say, unless Muschamp gets us to the SEC Championship game (which appears very unlikely), he’s clearly gone. I don’t think too many people expected a win but at least expected us to be competitive. I’m not going to comment on Driskell but unfortunately as good a Treon Harris may become, he’s a true freshman lining up against SEC defenses …. that’s not likely to get us too far either. I would imagine Mushchamp would play the best at every position at this point as he clearly knows he’s about as close to being gone as it gets.

    For those clamoring for Muschamp to be fired now so we can give our offensive coordinator a tryout, are you serious ? The last thing we need to consider is another first time head coach. Foley is a big 0 for 2 on taking that route. It wouldn’t be fair to the players to put us a coach down either, especially the head coach. For people talking about Kerwin Bell (really ? – he’s doing a mediocre job at a small Div 1AA school and no one else wants him) and Mike Leach … get serious people. If you’re going to make recommendations, at least suggest some people that are realistic and worthy of the position especially after the latest failed attempt.

    Muschamp isn’t going to be fired until this season plays out … earliest would be after the GA game if not until the end of the season. Hopefully Foley has a list with experienced coaches on it that he will interview this time (regardless of whether he has a clear #1 choice or not) that can turn this thing around. Hopefully the one thing he’s learned over the years is that hiring a first time head coach for a job this big, doesn’t work well. This isn’t a place to learn on the job.

    • Michael J. says:

      It doesn’t have to be a head coach, an assistant could do just fine. It just has to be the right assistant. Bobby Bowden knew what he was doing when he brought in Jimbo Fisher to be the next head coach. If you don’t think that he was a brilliant hire, you’re too partisan to think clearly.

  20. 5wideU says:

    Also … regarding not using the timeouts and trying to score from our own 20 at the end of the first half … I was ok with that decision. We were doing nothing on offense and were lucky to be down only 7. In the same situation last year against GA, he went for a 4th down and didn’t get it, which allowed GA to get a FG right before half, which ended up being the difference in the game.

    The real turning points in this game were the fumble by Jones when it was tied and we had the ball around midfield and the ridiculous 3rd and 23 screen pass first down we gave up.

    • Michael Jones says:

      This is a mentality that I will never get: “Regarding not using the timeouts and trying to score from our own 20 at the end of the first half … I was ok with that decision. We were doing nothing on offense and were lucky to be down only 7.”

      If that is how you really feel, then why even come out for the 2nd half? I mean, we’re not doing anything on offense. . and we’re lucky to only be down by 7. . that’s as good as it’s ever going to get, right? How is having the ball with 2:00 minutes left in the half and running your offense different than having the ball to start the 3rd quarter and running your offense?

      OOOORRRRRR. . . you could actually START doing something on offense and then maybe NOT be down by 7. Under your theory it seems that the best thing to do would be to punt on 1st down every time that we got the ball.

      I understand on your own 5, 15 seconds left in the half, sure, live to fight another day. But down 7 at your own 20 and with 2:00 minutes left to waive the white flag because your offense isn’t playing well? How about, instead, you give your offense a chance to START playing well?

      I mean, if we’re REALLY that out-manned, and it’s really THAT scary to run anything but 3 straight dives against big bad Alabama, then what in the hell are we doing in the SEC?

      And there is no comparison between that and the idiotic going-for-it-on-4th down that Muschamp tried for no reason against UGA other than he’s just not the brightest bulb on the tree.

      • Michael J. says:

        No, it was the correct call to by Muschamp to not try to score before halftime. But you and some other fans are still under the illusion that Florida is a great team. UF is not even a good team right now, much less a great one. I think you’d fit a famous quote by Dirty Harry: “A man’s got to know his limitations. ” I don’t think you’ve learned that one.

  21. G2 says:

    Why Foley thought this was a good move 4 years ago I don’t know. I guess the choices were limited. Urbs had already crashed and burned, the cupboard did look bare, offense looked terrible etc. but to bring in WM with no headcoaching exp at such a crucial time (fsu, uga, rivals all getting better at our expanse) was ridiculous. If you look at Muschamps DC record, I read somewhere it gets worse every year everywhere he has been…..what does that say?

    If we do clean house, recruiting is a washout, sets us back another 3-5 years but has to be done.

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