42 Florida-Alabama questions, answered

By Adam Silverstein
September 22, 2014

During Florida Gators football games – especially exciting wins or devastating losses – the mentions pile up on the OnlyGators.com Twitter account (@onlygators) and there is simply not enough time to read and respond to all of the questions and comments.

An exceptionally large number of questions came through on during the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide‘s 42-21 demolition of the Gators, so I felt it was best to use this space to answer as many of the serious, rhetorical and inflammatory questions as possible.

Here are 42 different questions that were asked during or shortly after Saturday’s loss. This is just a sampling of the material in the @onlygators mention feed that afternoon.

Answers are in 140 characters are less – some serious, other sarcastic.

@pisanjoe (Joe Pisani) Looked that way to me. Why does it not get reviewed…oh wait, we’re in Bama.
Context: Junior wide receiver Latroy Pittman catching the ball with a toe inbounds.

With all plays reviewable by the referees, I was very surprised the replay official did not stop action and look at it. He was in.

@pisanjoe (Joe Pisani) What is the #Gators current 3rd down defensive stop percentage? Seems like we couldn’t stop Kentucky at all last week.

Florida is now ranked 96th nationally in third down defense, allowing 21-of-46 attempts to be converted (.457).


@doncalderone (Don Calderone) we don’t have a safety position coach?

Muschamp is the de facto safeties coach for the Gators.

@flgators1515 (Nathan Schultz) will Florida ever recruit a top QB ever again.

Redshirt junior Jeff Driskel, freshmen Treon Harris and Will Grier, and transfer Jacoby Brissett are/were all highly-rated quarterbacks.

@Mattybrooks1 (FatSweatyBulldog) Whos the back up? Can they put him in now

Harris, who likely would have struggled being thrown into the contest if he was not part of the original game plan. No-win situation.

@Joonas_K (Joonas) why does Driskel wait until he sees a receiver get open, he wont throw anticipating the receiver will get open

It is one major area in which he is appears to be deficient. He appears scared to make mistakes and won’t take chances like that.

@G8orNashinPrez (Daniel) is it ironic or insulting to play a song about Alabama played by a Florida band while beating Florida?

Not sure what you are referring to, but no popular song played during a game is “insulting.”

@kingneuro (Christopher King) horrible series. How good is the back up? B/c I am not sure if we can win with Jeff.

Plenty of questions about Driskel’s long-term winning potential, but also questions about whether Harris can do it.

HarpAmyStabler (Amy Stabler) so, from looking at the Gators today, do you think we’re bad or Kentucky has greatly improved?

Kentucky has definitely improved. It is too early to say how much. Need to see the Wildcats in some other SEC games. As for Florida, not good.

@tcpipman (Thomas From Lutz) did they red shirt him?
Context: Grier was not with the team on Saturday.

Grier had back spasms, according to Florida, and did not travel with the team. He is likely headed for a redshirt but not 100 percent yet.

@BFRANK_DUH (Brian Frank) when do we call for Treon

Many already want Harris to start. Replacing Driskel straight-up may be too much to ask, a two-QB system could be better for all involved.

@gatorgolfer (Pete Pace) That worked so well for us last year, where did the Roper high speed offense go? Oh yeah this is the SEC not the ACC.

Gators got away from tempo b/c the offense was not executing & defense could not get off field. Shorter possessions mean less time to rest.

@LukeMattern (Luke Mattern) can anyone please explain why they won’t take him out of the game? he’s the worst fl qb in probably the last 25 years?

Driskel was not removed late because there was nothing to be gained by throwing Harris in there. Hardly the worst in the last 25 years.

@Ralph_Seegobin (Ralph Seegobin) Had ~70 yards at that point? What makes one think we could go 50+ in <2 minutes?

Down seven with halftime approaching, with nearly two minutes and three timeouts, you cannot cower and give up a chance to score. Period.

@SnowboundBuc79 (Chuck Gruber) 300 yards of offense allowed in 1 quarter?!?! Has to be a record, and a dubious one at that.

UF does not have yardage-by-quarter records in its media guide, but I would imagine it is a record for most allowed in a quarter, yes.

@jeffrail2 (Jeff Edelman) where is the “new” offense?!? Same old stuff.

Despite denials otherwise, hard to believe Muschamp has completely given Kurt Roper the reins (Ex. three-straight runs).

@slerner21 (Scott Lerner) How many 3rd downs does the Gator D give up!

Florida allowed 12-of-16 to be converted inc. all six in the third quarter, seven-straight and four on a touchdown drive (incl. a 3rd and 23).

@MafZilla (Matt Mitchell) At what point do we try Harris?

The Gators should give Harris “second quarterback” duties at Tennessee. Do not see him starting outright unless season on verge of collapse.

@gatorDC03 (Dennis Campbell) sad when that is all you have to look forward to… How can a coaching staff not know how to play around our players???

There is only so much Florida could do. The secondary was abhorrent and QB play was atrocious. Roper has shown he knows how to use players.

@whostheboff (Michael Rotch) WTF has happened to this defense? Even w/ the injuries last yr they held pretty well.

The biggest problem is the secondary. The Gators lost four starters including a safety they did not expect to leave (Cody Riggs).

@brianjsmith (Brian J. Smith) Who holds the record?
Context: Redshirt senior WR Quinton Dunbar caught a pass for the 31st consecutive game.

Gators originally said Dunbar had the record a few games ago. Turns out that it’s actually Ike Hilliard at 35-straight games.

@Polo_club4sho (Sosa DaGr8) where’s my paper bag…

Florida is 2-1 with its loss to No. 3 Alabama. Driskel had the worst game of his entire career. There’s plenty of season left. Calm down.

@cdavidson5492 (Chase Davidson) can you use the power of public opinion to bench driskel?

I am powerless to make any changes to the Gators’ depth chart or keep my spoon out of cookie butter from Trader Joe’s.

@Joonas_K (Joonas) how does a QB regress every year for 4 years?

Driskel went 12-2 in 2012, an improvement from his shaky freshman year. He played three games in 2013. Had a very good second half vs. Kentucky.

@steck99 (Rob Stecklow) enough already with driskel.I have no idea why muschamp wants to go down with this guy.He’s had ample time.He’s simply bad.

If Driskel keeps playing like he did against Alabama, Muschamp will have to make a change – at the very least in hopes of saving his job.

@FLAkiteGATOR (Alex Ciasca) where do we donate to the fire muschamp airplane for the next home game?

Save your money. Banners and websites will make no difference. What happens on the field and behind the scenes is what matters.

@dkirsch78 (Dave Kirschbaum) you think they actually bench him?

I think Driskel will start at Tennessee.

@BFRANK_DUH (Brian Frank) is Treon an actual possibility? Or realistically Jeff needs to have another bad performance after the bye?

In order for Driskel to be benched for Harris, he will have to completely fold in another game. A loss to Tennessee could do it, too.

@jmm212 (John Mullin) wouldn’t mind a change at QB but it won’t matter with this defense, they’re dreadful. Not physical at all. 3rd and 23?? #Gators

Correct. The biggest problem right now – by far – is Florida’s secondary. Again, Driskel had a terrible game, but the secondary was even worse.

@gdhussey (gary hussey) We are now in the same league as Vandy – how embarassing for the University.

UF is struggling mightily. There’s no question about it. But that’s a major exaggeration.

@PBCCam (Cameron Casad) what are the chances he returns? Shouldn’t he have another year? #Driskel

The only scenario I see where Driskel leaves is if Muschamp or a new coach tell him matter-of-factly that he will not be the starter in 2015.

@DRJohnson022 (Drew Johnson) Losing at Bama isn’t embarrassing. Remember Meyer and his trips to Bama? Couldn’t even score one TD.

That’s true. Urban Meyer scored nine points in two games. Those were his worst seasons – 2005 and 2010 – and the Tide were great in 2010.

@Polo_club4sho (Sosa DaGr8) when is basketball season?

The exhibition game is six weeks away.

@danrachal (Dan Rachal) He’s still on the hot seat right?

Muschamp never left the hot seat. It’s getting hotter.

@thesamdakota (Sam Dakota) is that bad RT @onlygators: Florida #Gators coach Will Muschamp will fall to 4-13 against ranked opponents in his tenure at UF.

It’s awful.

@garneringrightideas (garneringrightideas) long will Foley put up with loses and empty seats?

It’s all coming to a head this season, in year four. Muschamp has plenty of games he can win to keep his job. Will he?

@mattbosang (matt bosang) how much longer can this clown be employed. Seriously?
You cannot expect athletic director Jeremy Foley to fire Muschamp for losing to Alabama. Tennessee? LSU and Georgia? Peace.

@JCBened (Ioannis Bened) off with his head! Can we just start over next week?

That’s a little drastic. It’s an off week, so Florida may be starting over in a number of areas, especially the secondary.

@CCG84 (Dan J) serious, do you think Jeff is just mentally insufficient?

I think it’s very tough to deal with three offensive coordinators and position coaches in four years. He has never been truly developed.

@Kerwin4two (Charlie Buchanan) my question: Is Mullen #1 on Foley’s list?

Ha. No. He’s 3-20 against ranked opponents, and I don’t care that it’s at Mississippi State.

@benlansford (Ben Lansford) let me ask this, is Chad Morris the answer?

Ha. No. Did you see the play-calling decisions made by Clemson against FSU? Plus, Foley will need to hire an experienced head coach.

@BEERBBQEMS (bryanhodges) Well if they’re so talented, why aren’t they winning? Even Muschamp knows they aren’t coaching well.

That he does.

38 Comments

  1. SaraGator says:

    Cookie butter is that good, huh? Need to pick up a jar tomorrow. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Chuck says:

    I’m not upset that we can’t recruit a QB who can hit the broadside of a barn while everyone else can easily every year. No…I just accept that as Florida being awful forever and it being accepted by fans and the administration. They don’t care, you don’t care…UF will probably suck for all of time.

    What is amazing to me is this piece of trash coach is suppose to be a defensive genius. Defensive backs specifically. This “man” just gave UF the most yards ever given up by a UF team in FREEKIN’ history!!! All of his recruits, no effing excuse…all his crap. All this! This is what we are. A mole from the Georgia Bulldogs has infiltrated this program and totally destroyed it. And it will take forever to fix it even if you fire that scumbag right now.

    This team had to cheat to beat Kentucky. It won’t win two more games this year. Foley should go out with this trash. He did well and now he is an idiot. Not exactly hiring new golf coaches,tennis coaches, swim coaches, etc. that do anything. Just handing out jobs to friends son-in-laws at this point. Destroying a once proud program. Yawn…I guess. No one else seems to care. There isn’t another Spurrier to save this program. It’s done! Just done for at least a decade. And that is amazing. It takes skill to be completely uncompetitive with UF resources and Florida talent. Muschamp pulled it off.

  3. DFWGator says:

    Driskel, Grier, and Harris were all highly touted and ranked out of high school. Recruiting QBs isn’t the problem. Developing them is.

    Yes, the secondary is embarrassing, and yes, that’s on Champ…but can we leave our tinfoil hats at home with this MoleChamp theory? Giving him too much credit, when the truth is he seems a bit in over his head.

    Cheating against UK, huh? You must be referring to that delay of game call, which the SEC already came out and defended. Never understood why so many people threw their arms up about that. Even if you think it was a missed call, in college ball a DOG penalty is repeat the down, not loss of down. We would’ve replayed 4th and still had a shot to win.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      One small correction: SEC came out and said the referees followed proper protocal, not that they got the call right. Big difference. The “fault” here is the rule itself, because anyone with eyes that can see knows that ball was _technically_ not snap before 00 on the clock. Florida had a perfect loop hole in the rule work out in their favor there.

      Regardless, this team is terrible. The program is terrible. We reach new lows weekly. But its cool; Foley is 1000% confident that Will has this program headed in the right direction.

      • 305Gator says:

        Enough with that DOG no call. We still had to run the play and execute to win and we did just that. The call or the no call would have made no difference.
        How can Driskel be so dreadful in the first half of the UK game, play extremely well in the second half and OT and come back to stink up the joint the whole Bama game?
        Was Muschamp waiting for him to come out and have a second half like he did against UK?
        How pig headed can you be not to put in Harris for some plays in the 3rd quarter when Driskel was still struggling?
        Give him a few series and then bring back Driskel, repeat again.
        If we had better QB play, if we could convert on 3rd down and extend some drives, if we could score more than 14 points, then the D would be better rested and play better too.
        To me it all starts and ends with the QB.

  4. Ken (CA) says:

    interesting stuff Adam but a couple of thoughts on your responses:

    “Harris, who likely would have struggled being thrown into the contest if he was not part of the original game plan. No-win situation.” If Harris wasn’t part of the original game plan then that seems to me that would be a major deficiency of the coaching staff. If something had happened to Driskel, we would be in even worse shape. He should have had something drawn up and some snaps in practice I would think with Grier not even making the trip and everyone knowing Skyler isn’t the answer.

    – as far as benching Driskel if we lose to UT – If we lose to UT I can’t imagine Foley could allow him to stay after a by week, Especially if it is another “bad” loss. I think a loss to UT there will be an immediate midseason change.

    -As far as your joke about Vandy, even though they seem to have regressed from last year, it is hardly a major exaggeration when you consider how badly they beat us last year and our win against UK is about the same as Vandy’s win, and the win against EMU clearly can pretty much be thrown out the window for any kind of measuring stick other than a scrimmage.

    • Vandy last year was a completely different team with a completely different coach. He was talking about the state of the program not the ability of the team to win a football game. Florida is nowhere near Vandy.

  5. W2 says:

    Bench Driskel and let the freshmen play. Can’t be worst then what out there now. Coach going lose another team not doing what’s best for the team.

  6. gatorboi352 says:

    I wonder if Foley stands in for appearances going forward this year on Will Muschamp’s weekly radio call in show.

  7. Drew says:

    The song he was referring to was sweet home Alabama by lynyrd skynyrd. They are from Jacksonville fl.

  8. Susan Dambrell says:

    Just want to say, “Thanks, Adam,” for answering all these questions intelligently, with both humor and patience. You are amazing!

  9. PapaMurphy says:

    Foley should fire Muschamp now and let Roper be the interim head coach. The kids like Roper and I can see the kids being reborn with a new leader. The worst thing that could happen is we win the weak SEC East and lose in the SEC championship game and Foley decides to bring Muschamp back next year. Muschamp is not a good head coach or recruiter or defensive coordinator. His body of work at UF proves that. Like he always says, “It is what it is”. That is true in his case.

  10. Mr. Green says:

    Adam – Roper has said the only statistic that matters is points scored. Yet I constantly hear the word BALANCE from the coaches and Muschamp in particular. Can you help me to understand just exactly what BALANCE has to do with scoring points. I don’t give a rats ass if we throw 100 times in a row if we score points. Is it me or is point scoring being sacrificed for the sacred BALANCE with this coaching crew???

  11. Marc says:

    I simply cannot understand the animosity towards Foley. He’s probably top 3 ADs in the country in the last 20+ years. You guys have very short memories. Is it because he has publicly stated that he has confidence in WM? What’s he supposed to say?

  12. NYC Gator says:

    Adam, I noticed you don’t seem to think Mullen is a good candidate to replace Muschamp if/when we are in the market for a new coach. Who do you think we would target (other than pie the sky folks like Chip Kelly, Art Briles or Jim Harbaugh that I really don’t see happening). Honestly, it seems like Mullen or Hugh Freeze might be our most realistic options since we missed the boat on James Franklin and Charlie Strong last year.

    • Florida does not settle. Mullen would be settling. Freeze has no reason to leave Ole Miss, nor has he done enough there (outside recruiting) for Florida to want to go after him. Franklin was not the answer either, IMO.

      The answer for the Gators WAS Kevin Sumlin. It always was Sumlin. But Florida won’t get him from A&M.

      • Michael Jones says:

        So Mullen is “settling?” Ha! Muschamp was at LEAST as much of a settle. Mullen was a National Championship offensive coordinator at UF. His bowl team last year crushed Rice and the spread. In our bowl game . . . wait, we didn’t play in one, did we?

        Still, all you’ve done is stated who all we shouldn’t or can’t hire. Neither Vince Lombardi nor Bear Bryant are available. Who do you suggest, then?

        • Michael J. says:

          I think , if Muschamp’s fired, then UF should look at the coach of East Carolina. I don’t even know his name, but South Carolina was in a dogfight to beat them at their own stadium. They have since beat Virginia Tech and scored 70 on North Carolina. I’m not impressed with putting up 65 on Eastern Michigan, but I am impressed putting up 70 on a real team like North Carolina. I’d be watching them closely this year, because it’s obvious that the coach knows hoe to score points. Foley can’t possibly get by with hiring another defensive coach, there would be a mutiny. He’s got to hire an offensive coach, and Sumlin is not crazy enough to come to the zoo that is the Florida program right now. But the coach at East Carolina would jump at the chance, and Florida wouldn’t have to be embarrassed by having coaches turn down the job. I know some of you think that everyone in the world would give their right arm to coach at Florida, that’s not reality. A boatload of money is not enough for someone to jump in to the dumpster fire that is Florida football right now. Think about the hints that both Meyer and Spurrier gave when they left Florida about the unreasonable expectations and the pressure that was present if you didn’t win the SEC every year? The guy at East Carolina isn’t sophisticated enough to realize what he’d be up against. He’d also be a bargain, remember that UF still has to pay Roper and Muschamp even if they are let go.

          • Michael Jones says:

            I don’t even know who the East Carolina HC is but I have to tell you that his program and your idea have definitely caught my attention and been on my mind as well. Talk about another guy who (along with Mullen) has done more with less, he is certainly in that category.

            Again, I reiterate, sometimes you have to be a bit of a visionary in finding the next head coach before somebody else grabs him up. This guy could be a diamond in the rough. He is certainly having a heck of a year so far.

          • Michael Jones says:

            Ha! Just re-read your post a little more carefully and realized that it was mostly sarcastic criticism of UF. Let me add that I DON’T think that the best thing about the East Carolina coach is that he isn’t “sophisticated enough” to appreciate the pressures of coaching at any program with a winning tradition and high expectations.

            UF is not unique in that regard, by the way. The same pressures and high expectations are present at programs like Bama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma, and USC, just to name a few.

            Your Hurricanes used to have high expectations like that, but you guys have thrown in the towel and accepted the lower expectations that come with that.

        • You want to know the problem with that question? I don’t have a suggestion.

          There is no one out there right now that screams “Florida must hire him” like Urban Meyer and Kevin Sumlin did.

          I can poke holes in nearly every name that I’ve seen thrown out there from fans.

          I would suggest for you, however, that you take a different tone when responding to my comments. It is reasons like this reply from you that I do not comment often on posts here – on my own site.

          • Michael Jones says:

            I know it’s your site, Adam, and I thought that I have always accorded you the deference that deserved. You’ve jumped in there and been pretty negative where Mullen is concerned, including responding to one Mullen suggestion above with a “Ha!” yourself. I didn’t just out of the clear blue respond to you the way I did.

            I’ve re-read my response to your comment a couple of times. I’m surprised that you find my tone so offensive. We’re all throwing opinions around and all I’ve done really is disagree with yours, particularly that it only objects to all candidates suggested yet proposes none. Didn’t see anything disrespectful in how I did it.

            You seem a little hyper-sensitive to me, especially for someone who has a website that encourages the exchange of opinions and ideas, but your playground, your rules. To play it safe I’ll refrain from responding to any of your comments in the future.

            • Yeah, I’m not hyper-sensitive. I thought you were being overly sarcastic and rude with one particular comment. It wasn’t your tone, it was what you said.

              As far as Mullen goes, I think he’s a good coach. I do not think he’s Foley’s top choice nor the best the Gators can do for a head coach.

              I’ll put out job candidates when I think Muschamp is actually going to be fired, and I’ll do it in a way that isn’t just “throwing out names” but considering realistic options on who Foley may actually hire. Will Mullen be on that list? Yes. The back of the list though. I am not in the business of speculation. That’s for you guys to have fun with in the comments…I’m not trying to jump in the pool. I’m the lifeguard.

      • Michael Jones says:

        By the way, there are a lot of sharp football minds who are also Gator alums who have been in favor of Mullen from the start and continue to be. I understand that we can all have differences of opinion (maybe you’re right, maybe we’re right), but your dismissiveness at the suggestion of Mullen, like that’s a crazy, way-out-there, out-of-the-question idea or something, is puzzling.

        Sometimes you have to get the next really good coach before everyone figures out he’s the next really good coach (e.g. Sumlin). Mullen is a really good and maybe great coach.

        • You’re putting words in my mouth. I am dismissive of the idea, yes, but I don’t think it’s crazy, way-out-there or out-of-the-question. I think the Gators can (and will if the time comes) do much better than Mullen.

  13. Michael Jones says:

    Surprised and disappointed that you feel the way you do about Mullen. And you should care that it’s at Mississippi State. Comparing UF standards with Mississippi State standards is ridiculous. Apples and oranges.

    You can say that “Florida is nowhere near Vandy” and I would argue that same holds true for Mississippi State and its tradition of winning, it’s program and facilities, and the H.S. talent in that state that Mullen has to recruit when compared to UF.

    So I’ve heard you say who you don’t like. Who do you like?

  14. aziatic41 says:

    Foley should fire Muschamp now and make Roper our interim head coach. We need a fresh start under a new leader to save the season. We still have a chance at winning the East. What is the deal with Foley? Why is he contempt with keeping Muschamp ? Champ is clearly not the answer and is a terrible fit for the Gator Nation. He needs to realize that it was a bad hire altogether. After four years we are tired of seeing these terrible and horrific performances by the Gators under Muschamp.

  15. bdown says:

    RichRod…..get used to hearing the name…..

  16. USA says:

    Top Candidates next head coaching candidates should be in this order:

    Chip Kelly
    Dan Mullen
    Art Briles
    Ruffin McNeil
    *Chad Morris

    • Michael Jones says:

      That too is interesting. I was thinking about Chip Kelly as well just this morning, although Notre Dame appears to be his dream job the way Ohio State was Meyer’s. Pretty audacious to assume that we could take a guy like Kelly away from Notre Dame and his dream job, but I like it. 🙂

      • CFg8r says:

        You’re thinking of Brian Kelly. Chip Kelly is the ex-Oregon coach who now coaches the Philadelphia Eagles.

  17. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    In regards to being in Similar Situation in regards.to Program and Coach I wouldn’t”t compare ourselves to Candy. Our comparison should be with Michigan. It”s SAD 2 once Great Programs have become Dumpster Fires.

    PS In my opinion Both HOKE and MUSCHUMP are in the Hottest Seats in CFB. In addition, I believe BOTH will be FIRED this year OF NOT MID SEASON….. GO GATORS!!!

  18. 5wideU says:

    I’m sorry but some of you just have no sense at all. There’s no way Foley is going to fire him three games into the season after one loss to Bama. It would be ridiculous to be without a head coach and wouldn’t make this team any better. A firing that early has probably never been done in the history of college football. If he is willing to fire him now, he never would’ve retained him to begin with last year. It would be a classless act. The soonest it may happen is before the end of the year so he can get a headstart on a coaching search (ala Zook) but probably only if we’re sitting at 4-4 or worse. People, show some class and hope this thing gets alot better. If it doesn’t, everyone will get their wish in about two months.

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