9/24: Muschamp hopeful off week will help Gators; changes in secondary but not at quarterback

By Adam Silverstein
September 24, 2014

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators (2-1, 1-1 SEC) met with the media for the first time this week on Wednesday with his team currently in the middle of its first off week of the 2014 season. He discussed issues on both sides of the ball and updated Florida’s injury list 10 days ahead of the program’s next game on Oct. 4 at Tennessee.

INJURY UPDATES

The Gators could be without two starting defensive front seven players next week as redshirt seniors defensive tackle Leon Orr (meniscus) and linebacker Michael Taylor (knee swelling) were both listed as questionable by Muschamp on Wednesday. Orr had a knee scope on Monday and has a minor tear in his meniscus (along with a bone bruise), though Muschamp said he was walking around on Tuesday and looked to be recovering well. Taylor is dealing with a bothersome bone bruise as well.

Junior left tackle D.J. Humphries (ankle) remains on track to return to practice on Monday and play next week after missing two games, Muschamp said, though he is not the only banged-up offensive lineman the trainers are keeping track of during the off week. Redshirt senior Chaz Green and senior Trenton Brown, who both suffered ankle injuries against Alabama, are “going to be fine” and were listed as probable for next Saturday.

The Gators are also dealing with injuries to two of their running backs. Junior Mark Herndon tore his ACL during a kickoff on Saturday and will be out for the season. Freshman Brandon Powell tweaked his hamstring during an unspecified practice and will likely be sidelined for a couple more days.

Muschamp also clarified Wednesday what injury sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III was dealing with on Saturday, noting that Hargreaves was dealing with a bruised Achilles that swelled up on him after it had been kicked previously.

THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO WIN

Muschamp stuck to his guns on Wednesday, once again reiterating that redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel gives Florida “the best opportunity to win right now.”

That’s not to say Muschamp did not sit down with Driskel after the Alabama game and let him know, matter-of-factly that ne needs to play better. While that may be the case – Muschamp pointed out that Driskel “pressed and forced some throws into coverage,” needs to take some check downs and must play better overall – he also pointed out that not everything that happened Saturday was completely Driskel’s fault.

“Jeff needs to play better, and I think he’d be the first person to tell you that. I thought he forced 4-5 balls where in some situations you check the ball down or you take the ball somewhere else,” he began.

“[His wide receivers also] had four drops that I thought were all critical downs, especially the second or third series of the game. You got a third-down conversion, the ball’s on the money and you got to catch the ball. The wheel route to Andre [Debose], you got to catch the ball. The seam ball to Latroy [Pittman, same thing]. We got four drops. That’s hard. We had three other situations where we didn’t run the route at the correct distance. … So, Jeff throws the ball and it looks like it’s an errant throw; it’s really on the receiver in three other situations.

“But I do think he pressed on some balls that he probably shouldn’t have, trying to make something happen. I thought he made a great throw to Latroy on the first drive; their player made an outstanding play to come across and knock him out of bounds. But Latroy caught the ball. You couldn’t have thrown it any better. The deep ball to Demarcus [Robinson], Demarcus needs to go get that, in my opinion. But Jeff needs to play better, he understands that. He certainly forced some things that we can’t afford to do, and especially on two of the interceptions.”

While Muschamp gave no indication that he has even considered replacing Driskel as UF’s starting signal caller, he did praise freshman second-stringer Treon Harris and indicated that there may very well be some opportunities for him to get in the game and make an impact beginning in two weeks.

“[Treon Harris] continues to improve and continues to do some nice things – game \by game, give him some opportunities. We’d like to have him have some snaps, depending on the situation in the game,” he said. “I have all the confidence in the world in Treon. When he has his opportunity, he’ll play well.”

THE APOLOGY

Former Gators running back Emmitt Smith, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member and one of the best players in school history, ripped Driskel on Saturday via his Twitter account.

“Put Jeff Driskel on the bench please, I have seen enough,” Smith wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.

Though many fans may agree with the premise of Smith’s tweet, he never should have sent it in the first place. It is one thing to be critical of the team, but a legend like Smith calling out a young player in public like that carries much more weight and consequence than he likely intended.

Smith apparently admitted as much to Muschamp and Driskel.

“Emmitt called to apologize – to me, to Jeff Driskel and our football team. He was frustrated. He wants us to win. He wants us to be successful,” Muschamp said on Wednesday.

“He’s a great Gator. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. And I appreciate Emmitt calling and saying the things he said, I really do. He’s a class individual, and he’s about all the right things.”

NO ONE IS SAFE

Florida’s secondary has been terrible over the last two games, giving up 899 yards and seven touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Anyone with a set of eye balls can see that the Gators need to make significant changes in the defensive backfield, and Muschamp appears to be well-aware of that.

“Extremely disappointed – two games in a row of giving up the big plays we’ve given up defensively. We’ve got to get some things tied together better on the back end, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “We’ve just got to tie some things together on the back end, play better with our eyes, better with assignments, urgency to our line, get where we need to get.

“We’re looking at a lot of different guys in different spots – can’t continue to do the same things. … The mistakes we’ve made in some situations back there are inexcusable. It’s on me. We’ll get it fixed. We’re going to work through it. [I] haven’t been through this before very often, I can tell you that, but [it’s] extremely frustrating.”

Florida lost four starting defensive backs – Loucheiz Purifoy, Cody Riggs, Marcus Roberson and Jaylen Watkins – from the 2013 season. Three are currently on NFL rosters, the other is starting for Notre Dame after transferring as a graduate student.

The biggest issue looks to be with UF’s safeties, where sophomore Keanu Neal continuously gets turned around and senior Jabari Gorman keeps blowing coverages.

“Disappointed with Jabari [as] he missed some tackles in some situations; you just can’t do that. He got beat against Kentucky; those things can’t happen, so we need to move forward and just improve the play, improve the urgency in the group to understand the expectations and how we’ve played here.”

But Muschamp appears to be even more disappointed with the play of junior Brian Poole or redshirt sophomore Marcus Maye in the slot, and he is considering using some younger players to push the veterans and potentially take the job long-term.

“I think that Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson continue to improve at corner. We need to give him some more opportunities. Duke Dawson is a guy that athletically we’re bringing on as quickly as we can,” he said.

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On how he feels about the Gators after Saturday’s game: “I think we have a very good football team. We didn’t always play that way or coach that way on Saturday and that falls on my shoulders to get it fixed. That’s what we plan on doing. I feel as confident as I did before the Alabama game about this team and where we are.”

» Muschamp said UF will spend a lot of time working on third downs this week with first-string players going up against each other. “[Giving up] big plays defensively, you can’t afford to do that on the road. Execution offensively and third down really hurt us on both sides of the ball. We need to do a better job.”

» Alabama QB Blake Sims dominated Florida on Saturday, but Muschamp chalked a lot of his success up to UF’s own failures. “We didn’t do a whole lot. We stuck on defense, so we didn’t defend very well. But you got to give him credit, too. He made some throws. .. You give him credit. His legs definitely hurt us in the game, there’s no question.”

» Muschamp said the Gators are looking at using Powell in the slot in order to take advantage of his speed.

» On how redshirt freshman OT Roderick Johnson played on Saturday: “He played extremely well. He’s a very good athlete and has handled himself, other than getting a little excited in the Kentucky game on the goal line, he has really handled himself extremely well. He has played well. … There’s no question Rod is playing good football for us.”

» On how well the offensive line has played as a whole: “I’ve been very encouraged, not surprised I wouldn’t say, by how we’ve played up front. I felt like we had some talented guys.”

» On his evaluation of Florida’s pass rush through three games: “It’d be nice to get more rush. Right now, I feel like that Dante [Fowler Jr.] has been very effective. Jon Bullard has been very effective from an inside rush standpoint. And past that, we have not been very effective. We need to give Alex McCallister more opportunities to rush on the edge. Most of the pressure we’ve been able to generate is with five guys rushing, so our four-man pass rush needs to improve.”

» On whether the Alabama game has affected recruiting for 2015: “I think guys look at the total body of work, how they’ve been recruited by a school. I think it goes a lot further than wins and losses. Obviously, winning helps. I’m going to say that it doesn’t, but again, I think it’s a total body of work and those sorts of things in recruiting. I think there’s a lot of factors that go in and all situations are not the same.”

» On whether he told offensive coordinator Kurt Roper certain plays to call on Saturday: “I didn’t interject at all. We talked about going some tempo. We had the plan to go into the game. We weren’t playing well defensively.”

» On Florida’s first defensive play of the game and what exactly happened: “We put Antonio [Morrison] in a bad situation to start the game. Bottom line, he shouldn’t have been in that situation. That’s on me, and we should’ve been rolling over top of [Amari] Cooper. That’s what we had planned in those situations based on that formation and based on that call and we didn’t. … The frustrating part I have is those are things we had practiced and we had gone over but obviously we didn’t go over them enough and that falls on my shoulders.”

58 Comments

  1. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    IF GATOR NATION hear these Quotes “It”s on Me we”ll get it fixed”
    “We have the most talented team since I”ve been here at Florida”

    And the one I hate the most “Nameless,Faceless Teams and Players” which basically let”a us know he doesn’t take our Rivals and Rivalry Games…..seriously

  2. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    These Quotes and others make GATOR NATION want to Vomit Plus we have a MUTT,LEG HUMPER, TICK MAGNET run our Program to the Ground with New Program Lows….. People in ATHENS rejoice while this is Happening in GVILLE

    • NYC Gator says:

      Seriously? We get it, you don’t like Muschamp. Enough with these idiotic nicknames or may I suggest you instead join Warchant with the rest of the t-shirt fans? You’d fit in well.

    • Daniel M. says:

      I too am ready for big changes. But enough with the insults.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Apparently my comment about ridiculous redundancy on Snell’s article was a little to subtle…

  3. Tractorr says:

    What is up with Mack Brown?

    With injuries I assume he will be getting some playing time.

  4. We will get it fixed says:

    Muschamp is out of his mind if he thinks Demarcus Robinson should have caught that ball. Muschamp has his favorites on the team and thats who he plays. You can’t tell me that we don’t have a better linebacker than Antonio Morrison. And if we really don’t have a better one how about recruiting some SEC caliber players. I have been a Muschamp supporter but his time at THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA needs to end NOW!

  5. Michael Jones says:

    We are loaded with RB talent and would love to see more rested players like Mack Brown, Adam Lane and Brandon Powell help share the load. Herndon too if he’s okay. He’s a baller.

    Bring fresh legs in waves against the opposing defense. We have the depth at the skill positions to do that.

  6. Michael Jones says:

    Oh yeah. . and GO GATORS!!!!!

  7. G2 says:

    Can we just get thru a game without 10-15 injuries? Lost our top tight end for the season in the first quarter of the first game, man this is depressing.

    Needs to get Treon involved somehow vs UT. I don’t know what you do in the secondary, playing a bunch of true freshman (aside from a VH3) isn’t usually a good idea for this season.

    The dumpster is getting warm!

  8. darth gator says:

    Robinson should have caught that ball? It was 4-5 yards past him. What the hell is he looking at?

    UF should play Harris every third series for a game or two, and then give him the gig if he’s out playing Driskel after that. I think Driskel is a good dude – and he’s a helluva lot better than any of us could ever be – but he’s not upper echelon in college, and every UF quarterback should be very good.

    • Champ supporter says:

      He was looking at a ball that wasn’t 4 or 5 yards in front of him. You have the wrong game (Kentucky. I just watched the play again and it’s not that far in front! Demarcus could have laid out for that one! Just saying!

      • Dave Massey says:

        It wasn’t a great pass, surprise. But the effort from Robinson was less than stellar. I still think he has some attitude issues that kept him from playing as a freshman. That was obvious in the Kentucky game when he whined about not getting that ball faster in the corner of the end zone in OT. The ball still hit him right in the hands and he dropped it but complained about the throw, grow up youngblood, and fast.

        • gatorboi352 says:

          “That was obvious in the Kentucky game when he whined about not getting that ball faster in the corner of the end zone in OT.”

          Everyone in the world not named Dave Massey knows that Driskel was fully at fault on that much delayed throw to Robinson. His frustration was justified. Driskel needs to get better and fast. Problem is, he most likely has hit his ceiling. He’s the new Blaine Gabbert. Practice pro.

          • Dave Massey says:

            As I said boi, the pass wasn’t the greatest and it should have been thrown sooner. Unfortunately the rest of us don’t live in the perfect world you live in. He started having a hissy fit before the play was over and didn’t focus on the ball. Therefore, when it hit him in the hands, he dropped it. My coach used to teach us that if you put two hands on the ball don’t blame anything or anybody for not catching it, you didn’t do your job. When you are perfect as you obviously think you are then you can criticize everybody else and not be a team player. The guy is clearly a me first personality and that is a large reason he didn’t play more last year. Lot’s of natural ability but there is no I in team, a problem Florida has had ever since, hmm, Meyer coached here.

  9. GI-GATOR says:

    Michael Jones, if you understand the RB position, you know that most good RB’s get better as the game goes on. You have to allow one or two to get in a groove. Jones and Taylor are the best 2 backs and they need to get the majority of the carries. I do believe we need to use Taylor more, though.

    Yeah, the comment about Robinson baffled me. That ball was thrown easy too far for him to hane a chance. It was a play where the ball needed to be dropped right in to his hands, in stride and it would have been a TD, changing the way the game played out.

    Why Muschamp didn’t call a time out on that first play, when he saw Morrison matched up on one of their fastest players, blew my mind. He had to see what was coming. He tried to call a time out when their TE was almost alone on the outside, but, the official had stuck his chewing gum in his ear and didn’t hear Muschamp or didn’t want too. The official probably saw the TE all alone and didn’t want to hurt Bamer’s chance to make a play.

    I don’t think it was a good idea for Muschamp to throw specific players, like Poole, under the bus, by naming them, when he’s already got his hands full keeping the team together. That wasn’t very wise, IMHO.

    As for the childish name calling and accusing Muschamp of being a “Dog” plant is ridiculous. Criticize all you want, but, calling our coaches names serves no useful purpose.

    Let’s just hope they get things together. If not, we will be in a mess for years to come.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Gi-Gator, I will agree that some special breeds of running backs do get better as the game progresses. I made the exact same comment on here a week or so ago that I thought Matt Jones is exactly that kind of running back. I think your point is well made where he is concerned.

      But I don’t think it has to be one way or the other. One of the most frustrating things for me in watching this kind of offense is that they NEVER give the ball to the guy who is in motion coming across for a speed jet sweep, and it always looks wide open. They ALWAYS fake it to him and the defense never reacts to the fake. My point is that there are enough positions for running backs in this offense to BOTH give Matt Jones 25 carries a game AND utilize some of our other backs if we actually utilized our formations and our play book.

      The only offense I’ve seen with the stones and the creativity to actually mix it up a little bit and give that speed jet sweep motion guy the ball on occasion is Auburn, and they’ve had great success doing so.

  10. Mike The Red says:

    What do you say? It has all already been said.

    Muschamp sounds like a broken record. The Kentucky game was disappointing. The Alabama game was disappointing. He always defends Driskel against all reason. By his own admission, the biggest problem on the field is the position that he is personally coaching. He came real close to the infamous Zook “I am proud of my team” that proceeded him getting fired.

    Let’s see what happens against Tennessee. We need a big victory. Muschamp needs a big victory.

  11. Mike The Red says:

    One final note. I am not convinced that the DBs are the problem and not the scheme. At least Muschamp admitted that putting a LB man-on-man on a good WR was a bad idea. While we are at it, I did not see much blitzing. He says “Not enough pass rush?” This is Alabama. How much do you think you are going to get with 4 down? Try shaking things up.

    • Michael Jones says:

      The lack of blitzing drove me crazy too and then when he would finally blitz in predictable situations, Lane Kiffin (pains me to even type out his name) had the perfect call on.

      But you’re right. You’re not going to consistently get pressure on Bama’s future NFL offensive linemen rushing 4.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Morrison wasn’t in man coverage on a WR, he was on a running back split wide. Florida was in a cover two and the safety, who is a senior, should have recognized the matchup, gotten deeper and rotated over to help sooner. Gorman’s lack of foot speed was evident on that play. He should have been able to at least stop that play from being a score. I hate to say it, but give the lame kitten credit, he obviously watched film, that was no fluke call on the first play, they set us up.

      It is difficult to call more blitzes because that will lead to more man coverage which we don’t seem to be able to handle now with a four man rush. There have been way too many blown assignments without the blitzing, blitzing will only make it worse.

      • We will get it fixed says:

        Gorman looked like he was running in sand. Losing Riggs is hurting a lot more than I think anyone expected it to.

      • Mike The Red says:

        I watched the video of that first play a couple of times. While the CBS camera angle does not show the whole field, I am becoming more sympathetic to Gorman. Kiffin anticipated and exploited our defense scheme. Muschamp was out-smarted by Kiffin.

        If you cover a slot like a RB, you may end up with a LB covering a receiver going deep. Not the match up you want. The receiver across the middle looked like he had a step on his coverage. Gorman had to choose between the receiver across the middle (right in front of him) and the one going deep along the sidelines. That is a no win situation. Obviously, he choose wrong in hindsight. However if he choose the guy going deep, there may have been a big play across the middle. A safety should never let anyone get behind him, but that defensive scheme did not put him in a good position.

        Since when can you not blitz from zone coverage? Yes, you are taking a calculated risk, but given that everything else was going wrong, why not take a few calculated risks?

        Is Muschamp throwing his defensive players under the bus to save his own butt? No wonder we had so many bail at the end of last year.

        • Dave Massey says:

          The slot receiver was covered by a DB, the RB on the outside was covered by a linebacker. This is why they have game preps and scouting. The safety in that situation should have recognized before the ball was snapped that there was a mismatch. In a cover two it is his responsiblility to cover that half of the field. It wasn’t a scheme designed for the receiver to be ‘released’ to the safety. It is the safety’s responsibility to get deep enough to react to either receiver once the ball is in the air. It was obvious within ten yards that Morrison was already a couple of steps behind and had no chance of catching up. The safety has to make sure he can cover the sideline receiver because the other safety can come into play on plays over the middle. He didn’t get deep enough fast enough and clearly was too slow to make up for his error. That play is on the safety to make, don’t expect a linebacker to run the guy down thirty or forty yards down the field. Morrison only had one responsiblility on that play, the safety is supposed to think and react as the play develops, hence the term ‘safety’. As I said, at least he should have prevented the score. It wasn’t the scheme it was Gorman’s execution of it. Again, it is not all coaching, the players have to take some responsiblity in this.

          Right now, Florida can’t cover receivers with seven in coverage. There are receivers being left uncovered and mismatches all the time. Having five or six in coverage by blitzing is not going to help things out. If the other team is completing long passes against your defense when you are playing zone with seven you have problems. If you are going to blitz then, I suggest you get to the quarterback real fast because the receivers are going to be even more wide open. A defense that cannot put pressure on the quarterback with four is in deep trouble. If four can pressure, then blitzes will be effective, if not those blitzes will get picked up. Right now other fans are referring to our secondary as the four toasters.

  12. SW FL Joe says:

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Live by the Driskel, die by the Driskel. Is Muschamp related to Joe Philbin because neither has the fortitude to bench a poor performing QB

  13. Miami Gator says:

    Put Tabor in on Safety and see what happens. We need playmakers on the field.

  14. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    Fellow GATOR Brothers and Sisters besides MULLEN as my First choice to replace Champ What does Everyone think of Mike Leach? His Offenses at Texas Tech and Washington State are really productive.

    Opinions of Why Yes OR No? GO GATORS!!!

    • Dave Massey says:

      Mullen has not been that successful of a head coach to warrant serious consideration as Florida’s head coach. They nearly blew a 3 touchdown lead with a couple of minutes left to get that third win against a ranked team. LSU had the opportunity to win the game on the last play. That was a train wreck barely averted. You can’t be serious about Leach, he has too much of a checkered past, he is not UF material. And before anybody brings it up, Strong is not going to leave Texas for Florida. Florida had the chance to hire Strong when they hired Muschamp. There is a lot of bad blood between Florida and Strong now. He feels he was discriminated against, I don’t see that one ever happening.

      • Tractorr says:

        Go look at Miss St’s recruiting. They have not had a top 25 recruiting class in the last 5 years but they were just able to beat LSU who has a top 10 class every year. I think Mullen is a pretty darn good coach.

      • Michael Jones says:

        I usually agree with you, Dave, but have to disagree with this one. They won in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night. They didn’t “almost” win, they won. When the game was over MSU had more points than LSU. Ask Wisconsin about dominating all night but still coming up short against Les Miles. His teams play hard all game. To complain that LSU “almost pulled it out” is really getting nitpicky.

        That said, I don’t think that Mullen deserves a shot based on 1 game. As I and others have said, Mullen has consistently done more with a lot less at MSU. He’s at MSU, for Pete’s sake. He’s also done it with class and integrity. He knows how to prepare a team and, more importantly, HE KNOWS HOW TO COACH ON GAME DAY. Put him at UF and see what happens. You’ll have a prepared team, a team with an emotionally even keel, and a HC that knows how to dissect a defense and manage a game through its ups and downs. For several years now he’s had to go against Bama, LSU, and Auburn with vastly inferior talent. Give him UF’s talent and watch what happens.

        My comment the other day about Bear Bryant and Vince Lombardi not being available goes to the point that some of you seem to only find an established superstar HC as an acceptable replacement, but established superstars typically aren’t available. You have to look for the next superstar. . the guy who has proven to be a good coach in the circumstance he is currently in. For me, and plenty others, Mullen is that guy. To say that he has to win a championship first at MSU to deserve a chance to play for UF is unreasonable and unrealistic.

        • Michael Jones says:

          *deserve a chance to “coach,” not “play,” at UF. His 40 time isn’t good enough to play at UF. . also might not have any eligibility left.

  15. Champ supporter says:

    Everybody wants to fault the scheme, but isn’t this the same scheme that has had top 10 defenses over the last few years. So what’s different? Personnel? Maybe, we can’t discount the inexperience. I am in no way giving the coaches a pass, but man, players have to sooner or later nut up and play ball!

    Also, so many people are calling for Dan Mullen. What has he done to prove that he is such a proven HC? Saturday was only his 3rd win against ranked opponents if I am not mistaken. I am seriously just asking.

    And what is Muschamp supposed to say – “oh we suck and we need to just pack it up.” Of course, he is going to put as much of a positive spin on things as he can. For the sake of the program’s future, Muschamp and Co. really need to make this work. I do not believe we can afford another transition.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Gotta agree with you on this one, normally you don’t see defenses blow more than one coverage in a game. This defense seems to think they are supposed to do it. That is not all coaching. That is on the players, I agree.

      And Mullen is not the answer, don’t have a suggestion for who is if a change is made, but that would be more of a lateral move.

    • Michael Jones says:

      What did Muschamp ever do to prove he was worthy of the head coaching job? I know we entitled Gator fans think that only Pete Carroll, Nick Saban or Bill Belichick is qualified to coach the Gators, but those guys have jobs.

      Schiano would be another excellent choice. Probably another guy not sexy enough for most of you since he hasn’t won 3 National Championships or two Super Bowls, but he took a soft Rutgers program and turned it into a tough winner.

      I tend to have a fundamental problem with naysayers who only complain but have no better solution to offer.

      The thing is, Mullen was the obvious choice from the get-go. The people I talk to in Gator Nation and who are not on this website are very pro-Mullen and laugh at the baseless criticisms some of you have of him. One guy almost fell off the chair laughing at lunch today when I shared that one of the criticisms of Mullen was that national powerhouse LSU almost came back in Baton Rouge on Saturday night before losing to MSU.

      • Dave Massey says:

        Michael,

        I am so glad you and your classmates are so easily entertained and I gave you a good laugh. I sincerely hope your friend didn’t hit his head falling off his chair in your school lunchroom. You can catch my act at Groucho’s on Sunday nights. Unfortunately, you must be over 18 to get into the club so you and your junior high classmates will not be allowed to enter. Since you wanted to comment again on the same subject you already expounded on I will have to answer.

        Michael says, “That said, I don’t think that Mullen deserves a shot based on 1 game.”

        Michael says, “The thing is, Mullen was the obvious choice from the get-go.

        Which is it Michael?

        Hypothetical question: Florida was beating Alabama at Alabama by three touchdowns Saturday night with less than three minutes to go. Alabama comes back and scores two touchdowns. Gets the ball back at the end of the game. Moves down the field with little resistance and has a chance to win the game with a long pass on the last play of the game but doesn’t. Now if that happened what would you and everybody else on this site be saying about Florida, Mushchamp, and Driskell? Oh, doesn’t matter, Florida won and that is the only thing that counts? When the game was over Florida had more points than Alabama. Saban’s teams always play hard. To complain that Alabama “almost pulled it out” is nitpicky. Let’s go whip Tennessee, no worries mates. Now tell me, would that be your reaction?

        Oh, wait a minute! Florida won two weeks ago in 3OT vs Kentucky! Florida won, doesn’t matter what happened, we had more points at the end, all’s good. Is that what the reaction was?

        LSU is not a national powerhouse program this year. They have already been completely dominated by two teams who are not elite teams. They have had a lot of losses to the NFL especially on defense. No experience at QB, they are very young, etc. They have yet to play Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and not to mention, last but not least, Florida. I see at least three more losses in there for them if not more. They are already eliminated from the playoffs because even if they go undefeated the rest of the way they will never pass the ‘eye’ test of the committee. In other words, they are average at best.

        You claim that Mullen has consistently done more with less at MSU. When was that? He has been at the bottom of the West or at best in the middle. He has won no West divisions much less an SEC championship. How many BCS bowls did he win? Or better yet, how many have they played in? He is being outrecruited by Ole Miss in his own state. So please explain to me what he has done that is so exemplary as a head coach that would be deserving of head coach at Florida, which by the way, is not an open position….yet. Don’t get me wrong I like the guy, that howdy doody smile and all but he has not shown me anything that would convince me he is right for Florida.

        Ball’s in your court mate, answer honestly, which for my view you usually do.

        As far as who I would think is right, I don’t have enough time to watch enough games, teams, coaches, etc. but to me James Franklin would be very interesting. 9-4 at Vandy is outstanding considering. Twenty years ago Florida would never be able to hire the coach away from PSU but now things are different, question would be his interest, Florida is still a top five job in today’s world. It is still the S-E-C!

  16. Ken (CA) says:

    The really sad point about this entire discussion the past couple of days is that everyone is forgetting the “silver lining” from all the injuries last year. Supposedly all of the younger players were able to get extensive playing time and very important real game experience. That was supposed to give us a huge advantage going into this season because of all the real game experience they picked up, and another one of the reasons we supposedly had such a bad season last year… We were “forced” to play all these inexperienced players due to all the injuries, and they couldn’t possibly be expected to preform like the experienced players.

    What happened to all of that with all of these sophomores and Juniors that are now supposed to be much more experienced due to all the playing time they got?

    • G2 says:

      Now that is a great point.

    • Dave Massey says:

      No doubt, there really is no excuse for this. Alabama was a far superior team and probably one of the best if not the best team in the country. We’ll see how we stack up against Tennessee and LSU and if the results are the same, that will not be a good thing. I didn’t think we had a team to compete for the NC and we clearly don’t but I expected better than this.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I’m with G2, Ken. Really good points that haven’t been commented on up until you brought them up.

  17. Michael J. says:

    It’s on now. Muschamp said he’ll get everything fixed. He has the time with the bye week. I’m not worried now. Muschamo says that Florida is a “very good” football team. We’ll find out in Knoxville if he really has completely lost it. How’s this for a contrast. Spurrier says that his team is “not very good right now” after winning a game on the road, while Muschamp says that his team is “very good” after getting embarrassed. You have to wonder what has to happen to have him say that Florida is just a “good” team. Even Fisher at FSU says that he thinks his team has “a chance to be a pretty good team.” Hell, FSU and South Carolina might as well concede now since Florida is already a “very good” team that will only get better once Muchamp “fixes” a few things.I sometimes wonder if Muschamp actually believes the things he says. I did agree with him about Roderick Johnson, he did play pretty well and when Humphries comes back, they need to decide if he should return as a starter, because he hasn’t been a good player so far in his career, but maybe he’s improved.

  18. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    I Agree with you KEN J. I also thought Roderick Johnson played well and is a better Tackle the DJ Humphries. IMHO DJ is a Liability and Don’t Forget was the player.who got Beat OFF the Edge vs UT which got Driskel Leg Broken and Pick Six….
    PS I Feel Chat Green and Roderick Johnson should START…. DJ Humphries and David Sharpe should be our Backups….. In addition, I”d take Sharpe Over Humphries any day….. What do you guys think?

    • Dave Massey says:

      Humphries is so injury prone it is hard to tell what kind of a player he is. If we can’t depend on him to play it is difficult to make him a starter. Green graded out the lowest by pro scouts in the Alabama game with Driskel, his play is not exactly starter quality.

  19. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    SORRY I meant I Agree with Michael J Post.. GO GATORS!!!

  20. SW FL Joe says:

    Tyler Murphy was an Urban Meyer recruit, Jacoby Brissett was a Charlie Weiss recruit, Treon Harris is a Kurt Roper recruit, Jeff Driskel is a Will Muschamp recruit. Guess which one can do no wrong?

    After the EMU game, Will said about Treon “I told Kurt Roper, ‘The guy needs to play, we need to play the guy.’ We don’t need to sit on the ball. We need to take some shots. We did that, and he hit on it, He needs more and more of those reps and more and more of those opportunities to go in and play and play the game.” In the 2 subsequent games, Treon hasn’t played a single down.

    Muschamp says “I have all the confidence in the world in Treon. When he has his opportunity, he’ll play well.” Treon Harris has a QB rating of 1051.6 Jeff Driskel’s QB rating is 48.5. Exactly what will it take for Treon to get “his opportunity”? I’m afraid the answer to that question, based on past history, will be an injury to Jeff.

  21. joaqui says:

    I don’t understand where all the screen plays go. Is there no bubble screen, wr screen, rb screen, even sticking a wr at te and calling a te scree. Alabama runs that notorious rb screen that we apparently never see coming and when we do, we decide we can’t tackle. Auburn runs great screens to their fast players to get them going.

    We obviously need to take the decision making process away from driskel bc he is proving that he has difficulty reading a defense (which I can’t do either but I’m not an sec qb).

    On the topic of champ, I was in rage after last year, and thought he needed to go but I was able to see some light with Roper coming on. I think it’s plain and simple for champ if he wants to keep his job, win the games we are supposed to win and give us a chance to win the games we aren’t supposed to win. With that said, Tennessee is a game we are supposed to win although they have been much improved from last year.

    A last thought. An up and coming hc that I like is kliff kinsbury from Texas tech. He did a really good job at A&M as their OC and after watching the fsu tech game I thought he did a good job against them as well.

    • Michael J. says:

      I know of at least one screen play they ran. But it wasn’t executed properly because Kelvin Taylor was beyond the line of scrimmage when he caught the ball so UF was penalized for having a lineman down field. It didn’t come close to making a first down anyway. I was surprised when Saban accepted the penalty, hasn’t he seen UF’s kickers? But it didn’t matter because UF couldn’t take advantage of another opportunity to convert a third down anyway. It’s not the play calling, it’s the lack of execution by the players. It isn’t just the quarterback, with the exception of the offensive line not playing so bad, it seems Florida’s lack of good skill position players is still a major problem. Matt Jones would be great if he got play Kentucky every game. The receivers still have a problem catching the ball. The quarterback draw is a play that I thought they should call more often, since it was on of the few that was successful.

  22. Mr2Bits says:

    Mark this as yet another week that Muschamp blames everyone but Driskel. He continues to blame the o-line or WR or play selection but it never seems to be Driskel just sucking ass. I have no idea what BFF arrangement the 2 of them have but he needs to act like a parent and not a friend. He needs to stop coddling Driskel and start scolding/punishing him for being awful. Driskel is not even close to being intelligent, because of this, he needs to use his athleticism to make up for that and unfortunately he has not done this in some time. At this point, I’m really starting to think my neighbor was correct in saying he has been told Foley is planning on retiring the end of this year and part of the new AD coming in will be to replace Muschamp in the guise of a “new regime”. Muschamp apparently is well aware of this and its clear, he could care less what people think right now.

  23. 5wideU says:

    Regarding the DB’s, it’s painfully obvious our safeties are getting exposed big time in these 3 and 4 WR sets. Maye should not be playing nickel. He’s been torched more than anyone. Gorman has played horribly in my opinion and doesn’t cover ground well at all. As someone else suggested, Tabor, Quincy and Dawson need to get more involved but unfortunately, they’re all true freshman so not sure there are many answers here. Youth and a below average senior are killing us in the secondary.

  24. UFGATORFAN100 says:

    We have a 4th Year Junior who plays like a Freshman. We have a Freshman who given the opportunity may play like a Junior. Harris Won 2 National Championships vs Top Flight Dade County competition. Living in Miami I saw Harris and Coach ICE his Dad”a Nickname and Coach who now Works do UM….. This Kid has the “IT” Factor that Driskel has shown Doesn’t posees.

    PS Give the Kid a Chance I believe he can”t do much worse plus you”ll have Frisked on the Wings. Who knows you may have a THus Kurt Cousins situation where the Backup plays better than the Starter. GO GATORS

    • Dave Massey says:

      I don’t understand why Harris wasn’t put in the game when the score was obviously insurmountable and Driskell was playing so poorly. I would have liked to have seen what Harris has other than the two plays against EMU. There was nothing to lose at that point. What were they going to do, hurt Driskell’s confidence? I think he did a fine job of that all by himself.

  25. Mike The Red says:

    I won’t debate terminology. If you have a LB lined up outside the CB on man coverage, you are begging for a problem. Why have a LB cover a receiver/RB if you have doubts whether he can cover him? Did you see what was happening on the otherside of the field? There were three receivers with a fourth coming across the middle. If Gorman helped on the sideline, the next play would have exploited it.

    You are only get consistent pressure from 4 down when you are substantially better than them. Who is going to pick up the blitz when there is no RB in the backfield.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Hi Mike,

      It’s not about terminology, it’s about scheme and strategy. You kind of defeated your own argument with the three receiver comment on the other side of the field. You obviously have not played organized football so I will explain it to you.

      After the kickoff, there are coaches in the press box who are watching the ‘package’ that the offense is putting on the field. Then the coaches order a responsive ‘package’ based on matching your personnel best with the personnel they put on the field. No matter where that RB lined up the LB (Morrison) was going to line up with him in coverage. What if he had lined up in the backfield? and then maybe went in motion? This is how offenses usually figure out what scheme you are running on a particular play. Bama didn’t need to do that, they knew they had the matchup they wanted because their coaches watched what package Florida put in in response to their package. The difference is that 99% of the RB’s in the country can’t run that route or catch that pass. That is why the play was successful. Since Florida was in a cover two and there were three receivers on the other side of the field, Gorman only had two receivers to worry about. The RB was clearly running a go route and that should have been his first consideration. He should have gotten deeper and prevented either receiver from scoring on the play. Break on the ball when it is thrown. It’s easy to say afterwards like so many on this site do that we should have had a fifth DB on the field for that play. Don’t know why Alabama didn’t cooperate and wait for us to get that package in. Danielson said it right away, that guy was an elite RB and Morrison was overmatched, Gorman should have picked up on that, that was his responsibility. Florida would have adjusted on the next play if it had come to that, but it didn’t. I don’t think the average fan knows how many things are actually going on before the snap. The offense makes adjustments, the defense responds, the offense responds, the defense responds again, then the play is run, the team that prepares and adjusts the best is the most successful.

      You don’t have to be substantially better than them to get consistent pressure from four down, you only have to be better at one position, two would be better because with one they will double team you. There are five offensive linemen so if a team blitzes and the O-line knows their assignments that fifth man is who will pick up the blitzer and the defense is in cover one. If you watched film of the Kentucky game our offensive line never got that concept. Kentucky was consistently able to pressure with the fifth rusher being unblocked. In that situation you are now down to six in coverage. If you bring six then with five in the pattern it is full man, cover zero. You have to be five for five in coverage, that is assuming the offense sends five in the pattern. If they keep a RB in and he picks up the sixth rusher, the QB has more time to throw. In other words, it is a big chess game but if you have the wrong personnel, you’re screwed. This is why it is hard to blitz good teams/qb’s/coaches because the offense essentially has the advantage.

      • Mike The Red says:

        All very eloquent. Unfortunately, it did not work. Kiffin exploited its weakness, and if Gorman had helped on the outside, Kiffin would have come back and exploited the middle.

        Don’t get me wrong… a safety should never let anyone get behind them… but let’s acknowledge that you are expecting the safety to bail out the DC’s mistake…

        Actually, I have played organized football. Philosophies have evolved over the last 20-30 years. Like most things, we have gotten too smart for our own good and lost sight of the basics.

        • Dave Massey says:

          I agree it was a mistake to have Morrison on that guy, no doubt. Muschamp realized it and tried to call a timeout but it was too late. Gorman should not have allowed it to be a touchdown and I don’t think he has the ability to make that play. That means two guys were in the game that didn’t have the ability to defend the play, no doubt that is not good. Thanks.

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