No. 4/6 Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp and sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel with the media on Monday to review the team’s big 14-6 win over the LSU Tigers and preview Saturday’s road contest against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
“We had an electric atmosphere, an outstanding atmosphere to play in. We really appreciate [the fans’] support. [The fans] caused some communication issues for the other team and that’s always an advantage playing here in The Swamp. As a team, I thought we played hard, played very physical. It was very evident on film as you watched the tape in all three phases. So, very pleased with the effort.”
Muschamp said that redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who played Saturday with a cast on his hand after missing two games with a broken thumb, is “probable” for the Vanderbilt game after tweaking his hamstring. He added that redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral) and junior cornerback Cody Riggs (foot) remain out.
Offensive Player of the Game: senior running back Mike Gillislee
“He’s a guy that’s just having an outstanding senior season, a great example or our football team, the type of young man you want on your team.”
* Gillislee was also named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and one of two Walter Camp Players of the Week.
Scrap Iron: offensive linemen, fullbacks and tight ends
“They did a really nice job of getting a hat-on-a-hat in the run game, creating some opportunities for Mike and our runners.”
Defensive Player of the Game & Hard Hat: junior safety Matt Elam
“I thought he played outstanding, played his best football game since I’ve been here. It was great effort. He always does give great effort, but it just was a very productive game for him. Obviously the strip on the long completion was just a phenomenal play. What an extra-effort play. It wasn’t his play but he came across the top and just made an outstanding effort play that sort of exemplifies kind of who we are.”
* Elam was also named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Ball Hawks: Elam, junior CB Jaylen Watkins, senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic, freshman Buck LB Dante Fowler, redshirt sophomore Sam LB Neiron Ball, sophomore S De’Ante Saunders
Special Teams Player of the Game: sophomore CB Loucheiz Purifoy
“[He is] a guy that’s covering as well as I’ve been around. Here’s a guy that plays corner, starts at corner, plays in upwards of 50-60 snaps in a game. The way Kyle [Christy] is playing right now, he’s covering punts for about 50. [Purifoy] just does a great job of getting down the field and disrupting returns. He’s on our kickoff coverage team. The importance of special teams – here’s a guy that understands it and gets it.”
Read the rest of this post…after the break!
NOTES AND QUOTES
» The Gators were perfect on 3rd-and-Short plays and were 100 percent on scoring touchdowns in a pair of red zone trips.
» Muschamp on holding LSU to field goals: “I always tell the guys, ‘They’re going to have opportunities in the red zone. We have got to make them kick field goals.’ We were able to do that in two situations. Certainly before half was a critical time in the game.”
» Muschamp on Florida’s superb tackling: “I think we’ve missed seven tackles in the last three games.”
» Muschamp on the team’s improved depth on the defensive line: “There’s nothing more exerting than rushing the passer for a player. That’s where you’re able to rush the passer more … and play blocks better up front because guys aren’t playing as many snaps.”
» Muschamp on if Gillislee is a Heisman Trophy candidate: “[Laughs]. We’re in the fifth game of the year. Next question.”
» Muschamp said Florida offensive line has improved not only getting a hat-on-a-hat but also finishing blocks at the line and down the field. “You’ve got to finish people. That’s something that jumped out at me on tape and I was very pleased with,” he said.
» Muschamp on Driskel’s performance: “I thought he did his job and won the game. He did what called for us to win the game, and that was to get us in the right runs late in the game and to execute a critical third-down scramble, to continue to move the chains down the field. I thought he did what he had to do to win the football game.”
» Muschamp on what it will take defensively to stop Vanderbilt: “Pass rush discipline is going to be key. [Quarterback Jordan Rodgers] hurt us with his legs last year. He hurt us throwing the ball. We got some pass rush issues last year as far as our discipline was concerned up front and keeping him in the pocket, but he was also accurate with the football. A guy that you always, in every call, you have to understand that there could be an option situation … but they also are able to create some gun-run situations with his legs. So you got to be very careful and cognizant of those situations.”