No. 2 Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to review the team’s big 44-11 win over the then-No. 7 South Carolina Gamecocks and preview Saturday’s game against the No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs.
Muschamp said that junior cornerback Cody Riggs (foot) and redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral) are once again out for Saturday’s game. Freshman wide receiver Latroy Pittman (ankle) will return to practice Monday before being evaluated again, and junior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (hamstring) will sit on Monday but return to practice on Tuesday (probable for Saturday).
Offensive Player of the Game: junior running back Trey Burton
“Trey does a lot of things for our football team offensively, special teams, really a lot of things go through him. We have a package for him in every game, and we certainly were able to use it Saturday and it was very efficient.”
Big Plays: redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed, redshirt sophomore WR Quinton Dunbar, junior WR Solomon Patton
Scrap Iron: redshirt sophomore right tackle Chaz Green
Defensive Player of the Game: junior defensive end Dominique Easley
Ball Hawks: Burton (two), Patton, sophomore CB Loucheiz Purifoy (two), redshirt senior Buck linebacker Lerentee McCray, junior DT Sharrif Floyd, sophomore CB Jabari Gorman, sophomore RB Chris Johnson
Special Teams Player of the Game: Purifoy and sophomore punter Kyle Christy
* Christy was also named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Big Plays: Burton, Patton and Johnson
Scout Team Players of the Week: Special Teams – freshman LB Jeremi Powell, Defense – freshmen DL Alex McCalister and Quinteze Williams, Offense – freshman walk-on RB Mark Herndon
Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
DOMINATING THE TURNOVER BATTLE
Just one year after concluding the 2011 regular season with a -12 turnover margin (113th nationally), Florida is ninth nationally with a +11 in that category through seven games, proving that it is one of the best teams in the country in not only forcing turnovers but also taking care of the ball on offense.
Muschamp said Monday that the Gators spend a portion of each practice working on stripping the ball defensively and protecting it offensively, but Florida is also successful because some of the work it does in the film room.
“We talk about guys that don’t carry the ball the right way. We need to make sure that they need to carry the ball the right way,” he said.
The Gators refer to those players as “violators,” and Florida had no problem finding them on Saturday, starting with South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw on the very first play of the game.
“Generally, in most situations – and I’m not [just] referring to Connor Shaw – quarterback is the worst violator of ball security. Certainly all quarterbacks usually carry the ball with one hand – that’s why we always try to emphasize security with two hands in the pocket,” Muschamp said.
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On special teams coordinator D.J. Durkin: “He’s very knowledgeable. He’s got really good experience as a young coach, coming up through and having the opportunity to be the special teams coordinator for Jim Harbaugh out at Stanford. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s very passionate about it. He really enjoys it. He does a great job of motivating the players. In any good coach – regardless if its offense, defense or special teams – when you can relate with the players and motivate them to play hard and play fast and play physical.”
» On why special teams has been so outstanding: “Every week, we grade everything. Not just on offense and defense but on special teams. If a guy’s not playing well, he’s replaced during the game. We watch that no different than any other phase of our football team.”
» On his ideal run-pass balance for the offense: “Winning.”
» On the versatility of sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel: “He’s capable of doing it. His skillset is very large. He can do a lot of things for us. He’s a really good athlete. He can make all the throws when he’s asked to, and he’s very intelligent with the football and taking care of the ball. He’s a guy that poses a lot of issues for a defense.”
» On the intensity of the Florida-Georgia game: “When you come across the bridge there on the St. John’s River, if your blood’s not boiling, something’s wrong with you. I can assure you of that.”
On the talent of senior Mike LB Jon Bostic: “I think Jon Bostic is playing as well as any linebacker in the country. He disengages off blocks. All of the things that we really presented to him last season in getting stronger, getting firmer with his hands in short areas and contact where he’s got to get off blocks and shed. He’s always been a really good space player. […] He can play every down. He can cover. There’s not a lot of guys that can play inside that can cover and play on third down and he can. He’s very intelligent. The other thing about Jon – and I try to get our guys to understand this – is that it’s a 53-man roster [in the NFL]. You better play special teams. Jon’s on our punt team. He’s helped us on kickoff. He does a lot of other things that brings value to him as a player in the organization.”
» On playing redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyler Murphy at wide receiver on Saturday: “He’s not going to change positions. It’s just something that… He’s a guy that works hard in the program, does everything we ask and certainly is a very good athlete. When you throw him out there, you make the defensive coordinator think, ‘What is this?’ That’s really what it was for.”
» On how much sleep he gets each day/week: “Not a lot. Early in the week is rough – Sundays and Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays are kind of long games. We get done when we get done. We don’t set office hours. We ain’t workin’ bankers’ hours, I can tell you that. We kind of do what we have to do. When we get done and we feel good about where we are, [we leave and] we get back early the next day.”