With the Florida Gators just days away from their sixth game of the season under head coach Will Muschamp on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against the LSU Tigers, he spoke during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference to provide some insight about where his team is at going into into week six action.
BRISSETT JUMPS MURPHY ON QB DEPTH CHART
Though Muschamp refused to name a starting quarterback for the third day in a row (offensive coordinator Charlie Weis deflected the question on Tuesday), he did note that freshman Jacoby Brissett has jumped redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy on the depth chart. Murphy will remain the team’s No. 3 quarterback even though redshirt senior John Brantley is out due to injury, and Brissett will take the No. 2 spot as long as freshman Jeff Driskel is indeed named the starter for Saturday’s game.
“Jeff’s obviously [ahead] because of the playing experience, but we’re repping all three guys for the game and preparing all three of those guys,” Muschamp said. “I feel very comfortable about our preparation up to this point. Obviously today’s a big day. We’re working the red zone and third down, so that will be critical for all three.”
PREPARING TO START A BACKUP
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]In addition to Alabama being better, one of the reasons Florida struggled so badly in the second half was the fact that the entire offense was tailored around Brantley and his abilities. Muschamp echoed Weis’s sentiments from Tuesday that, given the new situation, the Gators will be much better prepared heading into the LSU game.
“After the game, Charlie and I sat down and he said, ‘You know, I just don’t know if we gave Jeff much of a chance because of the game plan and the experience that john has in running the offense,’” he said. “It’s tough when you’re getting ready to play a defense like Alabama or LSU and you’re preparing for your starter to play the game and then something happens. You got to be able to adjust and adapt to the situation and do the best job for your football team.”
Muschamp said that Florida prepares itself for “injuries at all positions including the quarterback position throughout training camp,” but now the team must step up to make up for a big loss. “Now you’re getting into a point in the season where you have an injury that’s unfortunate because John has been playing so well. He’s playing his best football since he’s been at Florida,” he said. “Very disappointing for him, but we got to move on and understand that he’s not going to play this week. Our guys need to accept the challenge not just at the position but as the team as a whole.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On LSU’s talent and ability: “LSU’s got a good football team, very balanced, got a lot of respect for Les [Miles] and the job that he’s done. They’ve got an outstanding staff and team. They’re very balanced offensively with what they do with the run and the pass, the two-back package as well as the zone read. Compliments to what they do. Defensively they’re playing very well, especially in their front seven. They’ve got a lot of playmakers on the back end and John Chavis does a great job.”
» On LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu: “Ball hawk. Just an electric guy on the field. Plays with great energy and tough, hard-nosed, great blitzer and has just a knack for getting the ball of people as far as strips are concerned and interceptions. Just one of those guys that shows up in the right spots. Certain players have a certain knack, have a certain ability to be in the right spots at the right times and make plays. He plays the game extremely hard. He’s a physical player. Got a lot of respect for the young man.”
» On the Florida-LSU annual game being in jeopardy if divisions shift: “It’s been a great game through the years, especially recently. That decision ill be made by people far above my head. Certainly the Flordia-LSU game has been a game that’s been nationally watched and has national implications every year.”
» On if the run defense has improved after he ripped into them this week: “We had a really good practice yesterday, but it needs to transfer to game day and that’s the bottom line. I thought we had good preparation last week. It’s about playing blocks. It’s about understanding your job within each call, striking the guy across from you, keeping him off the second level. We did not do a good enough job of that the other night. We had too much second-level blocks and the ball bounces to the second-level, not getting the carrier down. A lot of that had to do with our front. We got to play blocks better up front. That’s something we’ve seen throughout the year, it’s not something that just happened Saturday night.”
» On if Alabama and LSU’s defenses look very similar: “Athletically, you look at the front seven of LSU and the thing that strikes you is that they have a lot of guys. They’ve recruited well. They’ve got some length up front, they’re athletic, they got great speed, they’ve done an outstanding job coaching those guys. I’ve got tremendous respect for John and the job he’s done wherever he’s been. And then they’re very athletic on the back end. You see the length and the size of the secondary, being able to cover space. They are very similar. This is the SEC and those are two of the best defenses going, obviously.[/EXPAND]