No. 6 Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to review the team’s hard-fought 14-7 victory over the Missouri Tigers and preview Saturday’s game against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.
Though the Gators dealt with a rash of injuries both last week and during the game Saturday, Muschamp said that only redshirt sophomore running back Mack Brown (ankle) is listed as “questionable” for this week’s contest.
However, there are at least seven players who are “probable” for the Louisiana-Lafayette game including redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose (knee), redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis (ankle), redshirt senior left guard James Wilson (knee), senior left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee), redshirt senior Buck linebacker Lerentee McCray (ankle), redshirt junior right guard Jon Halapio (ankle) and junior S Matt Elam (unknown).
Muschamp said none of the players will practice on Monday but he expects everyone listed as “probable” to participate in some way beginning on Tuesday.
Offensive Players of the Game: Redshirt senior WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. and sophomore fullback Hunter Joyer
“[Joyer is] a guy that is having an outstanding year. He’s very unsung but blocks extremely well. A lot of the runs that we’re springing are because of him. He made a great block for Omarius [Hines]. Really, this is a season award for him. He had a really good game Saturday, but he’s played consistently well all season for us.”
Scrap Iron: Halapio, redshirt junior center Jonotthan Harrison
Big Plays: Hines, junior RB Trey Burton, senior RB Mike Gillislee
Defensive Players of the Game: Senior S Josh Evans and junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd
“I thought [Evans] played very well. He’s played consistently well for us this entire season and really is having a good year for us.”
* Floyd was also named SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week
“Sharrif was very difficult to block inside in this past ballgame and has been for the most part this season. He’s really playing his most natural position inside…and having a fantastic year.”
Ball Hawks: Evans, Elam, senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic, junior defensive end Dominique Easley, sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy, junior CB Jaylen Watkins
Special Teams Players of the Game: Purifoy, sophomore S De’Ante Saunders
Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
NOTES AND QUOTES
» Opening statement: “I thought we had a really good crowd, especially for an early kick. I know our players really appreciate that; always excited to play there in the swamp. I want to complement our team again for the resolve and character we have in the locker room, just continuing to find ways to win. That’s a credit to them coming together and having a really strong unit as far as our entire football team. I’m really proud of our football team.”
» On Florida’s third-down struggles: “Obviously need improvement on third down. You’re 2-of-13. You can’t extend drives in our league for various reasons catching the football, protecting a little better in some situations, better route running and some different things that we can improve on. Details up front.”
» On the importance of going undefeated in The Swamp: “We have one of the great arenas in all of sports to play in. It’s No. 1 because of our fans. We got a great following. It’s very important. We talk about you want to have a special season, it starts at home. It starts with winning at home. Having been a visitor here before, I understand how difficult it is to come in here and play well and win a game. I’ve tried to stress it from day one with our players, the importance of playing well at home and defending The Swamp.”
» On if he agrees that Florida is lacking offensive playmakers: “It is what it is. We’re where we are. We’re 8-1. It’s easy to go pick at that. That’s what everybody has decided to do at this point. We’re not scoring 60 points a game. Obviously we’re all upset. I want to score 60, too, but I want to win first of all and that’s really what’s important and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
» On how sophomore quarterback Jacoby Brissett is handling not being the starter: “As good as you can handle it. He’s approached it like he knows he’s a snap away from walking on the field and having to win for us. [I’ve been] nothing but more than pleased with how he’s handled things. He’ll be a Florida Gator.”
» On if he’s ever been on a team that got help to get to a certain championship game: “I was at Texas. We should have played for the national championship, should have played Florida, but the Big 12 had a rule that wasn’t like the SEC has. I can’t get into the semantics of all of it because I don’t remember exactly what it was.”
» On offensive coordinator Brent Pease being a head coaching candidate elsewhere: “I think Brent is certainly an outstanding football coach. Any opportunity he has as a head coach, I know that I will fully endorse that as well as Jeremy Foley our athletic director and [Bernie Machen] our president. He’s a really good football coach. And that goes for any of our coaches. If they have an opportunity to be a head coach, I’m all for it.”
» On defensive coordinator Dan Quinn: “He’s a great person. […] He’s about all the right things in college athletics. He’s a ball coach. You see him on the field and working with the players. The development of our fronts even is a huge credit to Dan and what he’s done. He’s a great fundamental football coach. Certainly he and I see the game a lot the same.”
» Muschamp named 10 freshmen that have really stood out to him already in their first year with the team including WR Raphael Andrades, DE Jonathan Bullard, Buck LB Dante Fowler, Jr., LT D.J. Humphries, RB Matt Jones, S Marcus Maye, DL Alex McCalister (redshirt), LB Antonio Morrison, WR Latroy Pittman and DB Brian Poole. “I’m very pleased with our freshman class,” he said.