10/3: Will Muschamp’s Monday press conference

By Adam Silverstein
October 3, 2011

Head coach Will Muschamp meet with the media each Monday to wrap-up the previous Saturday’s game and look ahead to the Florida Gators next opponent. Below are some of the most important notes and quotes from the availability.

OPENING STATEMENTS

Muschamp began by discussing Florida’s flaws after a lackluster performance.

“Obviously I’m disappointed at the outcome of the Alabama game and I think it all starts with me,” he said. “We need to do a better job of coaching and player. It’s a line of scrimmage game and that was really the story of the game. We were dominated up front on both lines of scrimmage. Our inability to run the ball consistently in the game – when you become a one-dimensional team against them, it’s tough. And defensively [we need to improve] stopping the run, playing blocks up front, leveraging the ball and tackling.”

He also touched on a few positives.

“First half we moved the ball extremely well throwing the football,” he said. “John [Brantley] was completing over 70 percent of his passes and really played well on third down. John Brantley played an outstanding football game. It was unfortunate with his injury. We started the game fast defensively, came out in the second half and had some good stops. Settled down a little bit and played a little better technique as far as upfront playing blocks.”

Finally, he talked about what the LSU Tigers bring to the table.

“They’ve got a balanced football team,” Muschamp said. “Offensively they run the ball extremely well. They’re big up front. Spencer Ware and Mike Ford are two outstanding backs. They throw the ball well down the field. Jarrett Lee has played really well for them to this point. Getting Jordan Jefferson back, a guy that has won a lot of football games for them, does give them a different wrinkle offensively. Very talented at the wideout position, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.

“Defensively very good up front. Tyrann Mathieu is a guy, No. 7, who shows up an awful lot on film as far as his playmaking abilities. He’s an outstanding player. Got a lot of respect for John Chavis, their defensive coordinator. A lot of guys up front that can play. They do a nice job with their defensive line and rotating their guys. Special teams they’re top 15 in the country in net punting and they’ve got some very talented returners.

“Again, we’ve got our work cut out for us. But again, I think it’s a great opportunity for our football team. I told the team this morning, ‘Football is a tough deal. If you don’t’ play as well as you’ve liked to play, you got to wait a week to play. It’s not like basketball where you go out and play the next night. You got to get that taste out of your mouth. There’s no better opportunity than going to Baton Rouge and playing LSU.”

WEEKLY INJURY AND ABSENCE UPDATES

Redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee) is out again this week, and Brantley will also miss the LSU game as expected. [More on Brantley’s injury and status here.] Freshman safety De’Ante Saunders, who was suspended for Saturday’s game due to a violation of team rules, will be available to play but will not necessarily get his starting job back right away. “We’ll work through the week and see who practices the best and gives us the best opportunity to be successful,” Muschamp said of Saunders.

STEPPING UP FOR DRISKEL
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]In order for freshman QB Jeff Driskel to step in and be successful while replacing Brantley, Muschamp indicated Monday that the entire team (not just the offense) is going to have to take their game to another level. “We got to pick it up around him,” he said. “We got to play better up front. We got to play better at wideout. We got to play better at tight end. We got to play better on defense. We got to do a better job on special teams in creating some momentum and controlling the field position. It’s not a one-man deal. It’s a collective deal around him as a football team.”

He also said that offensive coordinator Charlie Weis would work with Driskel this week to figure out exactly what he’s best at and scale down the playbook to better suit his skill set. “More than anything, you do what he can do and you do what he does well,” Muschamp said. “That’s what Charlie will do. We’ve talked about it this morning as far as how we’ll approach the game. There’s no question that you hit it with the mindset of doing the things he feels comfortable with. It’s no different than we did with John.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On junior linebacker Jon Bostic losing his cool during the game: “It’s not something that we’re going to have at the University of Florida and Jon understands that. Jon’s a good football player and a great young man. There are times that we lose our composure and our poise a little bit. We got to be able to maintain that.”

» On junior S Josh Evans taking some bad angles during the game: “We need to leverage the ball better. There’s no question about that. When the ball hits the second level, we need to get it on the ground.”

» On how the offensive line can improve its protection: “Movement up front as far as just gaining some movement so you can positively get the ball down the field. We were throwing the ball extremely well, so we kind of went with what was working at the time, and that was throwing the football. We threw for close to 200 yards in the first half and John was completing 70 percent of his passes.”

» On senior defensive tackle Jaye Howard coming in for extra film work on Sunday: “We have a lot of guys that come in on Sunday. That’s the day off for them.”[/EXPAND]

10 Comments

  1. Bradgator2 says:

    Not that I expected him to be in a happy mood, but WM looked down right pissed off during that whole press conference.

    • SC Gator says:

      Yeah, I’m sort of happy right now that I’m only reading his comments and not watching him deliver them.

  2. John Schaeffer says:

    My new nickname for Will Muschamp is “Captain Obvious”. This is really among the most embarassing losses I can remember. While we were technically in it until Brantley went down, they made us one dimensional almost immediately, so it was going to be an uphill slog all day, and a win was never likely despite the fact that there is equal talent on the field.

    1) can anyone tell me why the Gators cannot tackle? absolutely mystifying.
    2) Lack of big game preparation leading to numerous mental errors was obvious.
    3) Offensive line was TERRIBLE, Brantley running for his life the whole game, Driskel as well.
    4) Florida WRs’ are the biggest liability on the team, How could this possibly be? We are stacked with 5 star studs everywhere and can’t field a top flight WR corps, it tells you why the star system is so mistrusted. Deonte = stonehands, Debose = Bust, play the young guys more!

  3. aaron says:

    actually debose did great last game. deonte made some great catches.

  4. Andy says:

    Why were we Playing Powell and mccray on the outside right on the line of scrimmage? They were gutting us right up the middle. Bring the safety in the box and put four LINEMAN down. They weren’t even trying to stop the run.

  5. Andrew says:

    We were in it still when Brantley went down. Our receivers played well early, but Driskel didn’t have much time to throw and panicked after his first read. The D held until the 4th quarter, even though our offense did not get any first downs. If Brantley stays in, we still have a shot. Our offense moves the ball and our defense doesn’t wear down as much. Most of the breakdown was in the 4th quarter, when they had been on the field forever.

    Bama handled our OL in the run game. We need to go back to the drawing board here. Until Brantley’s last two plays, the pass protection was solid, other than on the pick six play. I don’t understand how we could not block for the RBs.

    There were a couple things I noticed in this game that made a big difference. Line play was key. Our OL fell apart when Driskel came in. Some of this was what Bama was able to do, knowing we had a freshmen QB in that didn’t know protections and how to read a defense as well as a fifth year senior. But our DL was getting held regularly. Every time Bama passed, the center had Howard by the jersey up in the air. There were several times I saw LBs being held as Richardson ran by them. There was a hold that opened up the gaping hole on Richardson’s first TD run. The play Bostic lost his temper on, when they finally showed the replay, it was no wonder. The offensive lineman held him the whole play! I think by that point, our guys were frustrated that they could not get a holding call. This was the same thing that killed us in the ’09 championship game. On the 70 yard screen pass to Ingram that broke the game open, I went back and watched it a few times and counted 3-4 holds/blocks in the back. This has been an ongoing thing with Alabama, and the refs need to emphasize it. I remember an Auburn fan commenting back in ’09 after the Iron Bowl that Bama hadn’t been called for holding in 6 straight games. Their OL is really good, but they get away with a lot.

    The other thing that put this game away was the 3rd down pass to Maize. Both the refs in position ruled it incomplete, but apparently after they panned the camera away, someone not in position overruled them. Why or how, is beyond me. The replay crew was looking at whether his foot got down, as the announcers kept pointing out, but what they failed to notice was that he bobbled the ball twice on his way to the ground, after he picked up his foot. That call kept the ball in Bama’s possession and led to Richardson’s TD that put them up 31-10 and put the game away.

    At the end of the day, we got beat by a very physical team. We have some work to do in recruiting if we want to be able to compete with Bama. Going to a pro-style offense was a step in the right direction, but we need to continue to recruit and train more physical guys. Bama’s players are big. When we had Spikes in the middle, we matched up a bit better, but we need more guys built like Spikes with a mean streak and a nose for the football. Nothing against Jenkins and Bostic, but they don’t match up well with the big linemen and TEs that Bama has. I think we may have similar problems with LSU, although I’m hoping on offense we let Driskel move around more and run a few option plays to loosen up the defense. Hopefully, we can take care of the football and shock the world.

    • Jesse C says:

      Interesting insight. I didn’t get a chance to look at the game a second time but your mention of holding by their OL makes sense. We were getting in the backfield quite often in the first half and it seemed that either their line was just incredible or that there might be some holding going on. And there were a few other questionable calls by the zebras including the sack that took out Brantley…. looked roughing the passer to me… by the horse-collar rule. But as you said, it was a closer game than the score indicated and Bama was the better team this time. Once Muschamp gets more players that fit his system, we will once again be able to match up with the big boys of the SEC. Next year will be different. Until then, Driskel will be this year’s Aaron Murray.

      • Andrew says:

        Yeah, then there was the roughing the passer called on Easley that was completely bogus. Not even close. He left his feet right as the ball was released, hit McCarron in the chest, and did not drive him into the ground. The coaching staff needs to be proactive with the refs BEFORE we play Bama and constantly during the game, asking for calls. And for Pete’s sake, could we get a pair of announcers that aren’t so obviously pro-Bama? Danielson and Lundquist are TERRIBLE! If there’s a call that goes against Bama, they can’t let it go, but if the call is against us they’re on to the next topic, and they never can call the right names. I think Verne is going senile. It’s gotten continually worse the last 5 years.

  6. aziatic41 says:

    I really hope that Driskel does well this week and we can pull off the huge upset on the road. I hope Driskel plays lights out and we can keep him in the line-up for the remaining of the year. Because JB is still shaky in big games. The pick 6 he threw changed the entire momentum of the game. Although he is more confident this year he still appears very afraid in the pocket when his wrs aren’t open. He also seems to not be aware of game situations and critical moments. Driskel has a lot of potential. He has game breaking scrambling ability and a rocket arm. We have one of the best OCs in country in Charlie Weis and with that being said maybe he can come up with a solid game plan that fits Driskel’s strength,s like Muschamp stated in his press conference. I’d like to see Weis get Driskel on some easy roll out bootleg passes early to the tight end to build his confidence. Rolling Driskel outside the pocket will also give him the option to run. But whats gonna make this difficult to do is that we don’t have an inside running game that puts fear in defenses. Demps and Rainey are scat backs. They do most of their damage on the outside and on dump passes out of the backfield.

    On the bright side LSU has a suspect offense. They manufacture points on offense. If we can avoid turnovers and get some points early, we’ll have a chance in the 4th quarter against these guys. Also our defense needs to play well. Dan Quinn and Muschamp need to get those guys to make more plays. Our defense needs to get more 3rd down stops and create more turnovers.

  7. Andrew says:

    I’m wondering if we end up seeing Murphy or Brissett at QB this week? Or do we run the option some? We still have the personnel for it. It seems like LSU’s D is susceptible to both the option and the spread. They allowed 27 points to Oregon, and a TON of yards to WVU. We have a better D than both of those teams combined, so IF we can find a way to move the ball and keep our D off the field, we have a shot. How big is that IF? That is the real question!

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