Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 34-17 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores and upcoming road contest against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, Nov. 16. The homecoming contest will kick off at 7:00 p.m. and air live on ESPN2.
BIG NAME LEADS LIST OF INJURED GATORS
Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy has been dealing with a shoulder injury since the LSU game but has yet to miss a start. Muschamp announced Monday that Murphy will not practice Monday or Tuesday but should be back out on the field Wednesday.
The player admitted later Monday that he would not be able to play if the game was that day, noting that the injury was aggravated – and potentially worsened – by getting hit in and falling on his shoulder multiple times against Vanderbilt.
“I’m missing Monday and possibly Tuesday,” Murphy said. “I need all the practice I can get. It’s just frustrating, being banged up a little bit, I have to sit out and try to get healthy. I’m just going to live in the training room and get healthy and try to get out there as soon as possible.”
There are rumors circulating that Murphy’s injury is worse than is being let on by the coaching staff, but to put that chatter in proper perspective, what exactly would Florida – a two-touchdown underdog to South Carolina – have to gain by lying about a season-ending injury the same day one is announced for another starter.
“It’s more of a day-to-day thing,” Murphy said about his ailment. “I’m just trying to get healthy so I can get back out there and try to contribute to helping this team.”
Muschamp also announced Monday that junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) will miss two days of practice but should return Wednesday. Freshman linebacker Jeremi Powell (knee) is scheduled for surgery this week, and sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (MCL) is doubtful for Saturday.
“He’ll be back this season, just based on the injury report this morning he’s doubtful for this weekend,” Muschamp said. “He can get into a stance and move and stuff, he just can’t press off of it right now. He’ll play [again] before the year is out.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On seemingly starting every game in a hole and not being able to rebound: “We need to learn to overcome our circumstances, and that’s something we’ve had a hard time doing as far as a slow start, a turnover, and overcome those situations. And that’s my job to get it right, and that’s what we’re working on.”
» On whether injuries killed the team’s confidence or positive mentality: “I certainly think it’s had its affect, but we got to find ways to get it right.”
» On whether Florida struggling to stop the run has been the most disappointing development this season: “I think so. Just playing blocks up front, we’ve been inconsistent across the board. We’ve done some nice things at times but not consistent enough to be able to stop the run consistently, especially when you ended to in some critical situations.”
» On whether losing senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley hit the team exceptionally hard: “You don’t replace Dominique Easley. It’s not just from a playmaking standpoint. It’s from a leadership standpoint. It’s the heart of your team. So, it’s tough, but we certainly have capable players to come out and play well, play better than we’ve played in some situations.”
» Muschamp said running backs coach Brian White moved down to the field from the booth against Missouri and will remain there the rest of the season. “Just the youth at running back, felt like he needed to be on the field to make sure we get the communication with those guys.”
» On the kicking situation: “It’s one competition every week right now. We haven’t had any consistency in what we’re trying to do.”
» Muschamp said Florida missing a bowl game would be extra-hard on the program because the Gators would also be losing out on 15 bowl practices that are critical to the development of the players ahead of the following season.