11/16: Florida at South Carolina post-game report; frustrated Muschamp tells fans to “get a grip”

The Florida Gators (4-6, 3-5 SEC) lost their fifth-straight game on Saturday, dropping five in a row in a single season for the first time since 1979, by falling 19-14 to the No. 10/11 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 SEC) on the road at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC. Following his team’s loss, Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media to provide some of his thoughts on the defeat.

OPENING STATEMENT

“Very proud of our guys’ effort. We followed the script of what we felt like we needed to do to win the game and that was ball possession, field position, eat the clock, play good defense – which we did for the most part through the night against a very good offensive football team. Extremely proud of our players and the way they’ve continued to fight in the game.

“A lot of negativity out there and these guys pulled together and showed you a little something what those guys are about. We need to make some plays in those situations to win the game. The bottom line is winning and we didn’t do it. We did not get the job done. So that’s on me. We’ll go back and continue to work hard and get these last two. We’re looking forward to that. …

“I’m extremely proud of our staff and our players of pulling together, trying to put ourselves in a position to win the game on the road against a very good football team. We just got to come up with a couple of those plays here and there. … We have our opportunities we got to make the plays and that’s on me. We got to keep working.”

FRUSTRATED MUSCHAMP TELLS FANS: “GET A GRIP”

Suffice to say, Muschamp was fired up at halftime Florida took a 14-6 advantage into the locker room. Asked after the game while his hand was all bloody and taped up, Muschamp explained, “I hit a chalkboard. Dumb.”


Following the loss, Muschamp was asked about his team’s grit and toughness while going up against a ranked team with a third-string quarterback and a number of other replacement players due to injuries suffered by the Gators throughout the season.

“It’s not excuses. It’s real. It really is,” he said. “You can say what you want to say and you can write whatever the hell you want to write. It’s real. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for that locker room. To hell with me. I worry about the kids. These kids have fought their butts off.

“There’s a lot of negativity out there and some of our fans need to get a grip. They really do. They got a bunch of kids in that locker room fighting their butt off. They can criticize me all you want, I’m great with that, they pay me enough money to deal with that. But those kids don’t, they really don’t. And they’ve fought their butts off. And they’ve continued to fight and play hard.

“Nobody’s ever questioned their efforts. I’m just extremely proud of them and the resolve and the fight and pulling together like Florida Gators do. Extremely proud of them. We just didn’t get it done. That’s on me, that’s my fault, nobody else’s.”

APPRECIATIVE OF THE ADMINISTRATION

On Wednesday, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and president Bernie Machen released statements of unequivocal support for Muschamp and the job he is currently doing with the Gators football program. Given the opportunity to respond in kind, Muschamp did just that publicly.

“I’m very appreciate of Jeremy and Dr. Machen. Thank goodness I have two guys that see the big picture and understand where we’re headed with the program, where we were, in a two-year period what we’ve accomplished, and understand the circumstances we’re in right now and more than anything where we’re headed,” he said.

An example of the “circumstances we’re in right now?” Muschamp said Friday that only 51 players traveled to Columbia (a travel roster can consist of up to 70) and noted another interesting fact, too.

“We’ve had one starter play the same position [on the offensive line] for nine games,” he said. “It’s difficult. It’s hard. It’s not an excuse. It’s real.”

For those reasons and others, Muschamp is pleased to have the support of UF’s administration even while fans are quickly turning their backs on him.

“They’re in the day-to-day operation. It’s very rewarding to have a strong athletic director and a strong president that’s willing to stand up and fight for what’s right. And I appreciate that very much,” Muschamp added.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida still holds a 24-7-3 advantage in the all-time series against South Carolina, having won 19 of the last 23 meetings between the programs. Spurrier is now 4-5 against the Gators as head coach of the Gamecocks but has won three of the last four showdowns.
» With the loss on Saturday, UF dropped five-straight games during a single regular season for the first time since 1979. Florida was winless that season.
» The Gators lost for the first time under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards (previously 15-0) and the second time when leading at the half (previously 18-1).
» Florida failed to gain a turnover for the second consecutive game. UF entered last week’s contest having forced a turnover in 19-straight games.
» The Gators amassed more rushing yards in the first half than it did in any complete game since Kentucky on Sept. 28.
» Florida has not started the same five players along offensive line in more than one game this season.

» Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor registered a career-high 96 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns. He now has four on the season.
» Redshirt junior RB Mack Brown broke off a career-long 32-yard run in the second quarter. He finished with 11 touches for 51 yards.
» Skyler Mornhinweg was the 11th freshman to start at quarterback for Florida but just the second to take his first career snap as the Gators’ starter (Jacoby Brissett, 2011).
» Two freshmen – cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and linebacker Jarrad Davis – were named captains ahead of the game.
» The Gators picked up six tackles for loss in the game, four quarterback hurries and two sacks. Redshirt junior LB Michael Taylor and redshirt freshman defensive back Brian Poole led the way with eight tackles each.

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On how Mornhinweg fared in his first start: “Very proud of him, you know? I just told him to cut it loose and have fun. We put a lot on him as far as asking him to do a bunch of different things. … I thought he did a really good job of managing.”

» On the seriousness of redshirt junior QB Tyler Murphy’s shoulder injury: “He’s not out for the season. Tyler’s a guy that didn’t take many reps at all this week, any reps. … He’s not out for the season. I don’t know about this week. He’s got a sore shoulder, AC sprain, very similar to what he had before. It’s all about timing and healing, and I don’t know yet.”

» On deciding to run the fake punt that ultimately failed late in the fourth quarter: “We just needed to get something going. I thought it was there. It was. Got to make a play. Felt like we would hit it. We had it open. Should’ve hit it. Didn’t get it done. I just felt like we needed some momentum. … I just felt like we needed a little charge at that time. We hit it, you’re at midfield there, you got you a chance.”

» On Taylor showing out in the first half: “He’s ran very well. He really has. He’s ran very well in his opportunities. He continues to mature at the position, carries himself very well. He’s got really good vision and very good initial quickness in the hole. … The power plays is probably his best run, that and the inside zone because he’s got really good vision for the cutback on the backside.”

» On junior cornerback Marcus Roberson being suspended for the game: “Marcus was out this week but he had an ankle. I don’t know that he would’ve played anyway. I’ll meet with him Monday.”

@ONLYGATORS TWEET OF THE GAME

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39 Responses to “11/16: Florida at South Carolina post-game report; frustrated Muschamp tells fans to “get a grip””

  1. Keith says:

    What has he done around here to earn the right to tell us to get a grip?? No you get an idea of how to win a football game!!

  2. nugent1021 says:

    I don’t understand the “in a two-year period what we’ve accomplished” thing. I thought he’s been here for 3? Maybe he just considers this season a nightmare like the rest of us?

  3. Aligator says:

    I swear this is EXACTLY how Zook sounded!

  4. Sharon M. says:

    You all should read the article by Carlos Alverez. There is alot of wisdom in it.

  5. SW FL Joe says:

    Good call Foley and Machen. You’ve got a guy that punches out chalkboards. calls out fans to fight him, curses out officials and verbally rages against reporters out there publicly representing the University. If I had a 17 year old, i would not want Muschamp mentoring my son for the next 4 years of his life. No wonder this team gets so many undisciplined penalties with this hot head in charge. Some fans may need to get a grip but Muschamp needs to get anger management counseling.

    • TST says:

      i will say it . Mack Brown ‘Won’ the war !

      • Jim Carruthers says:

        I absolutely agree. Muschump’s behavior is unacceptable on the sidelines and has been for three mediocre years, We were damn lucky to win game in ’12. LUCKY! Fire this UGA now.

  6. Rob says:

    2nd generation Gator and graduate. I will tell you to get a grip! There will be some changes with the offense in the offseason and hopefully we will field a full team next year. Young team with unheard of injuries. Throw your mud and then get a grip on reality.

  7. ObieGator74 says:

    How about you get a grip, Coach and stop punching lockers. A team’s self discipline is a reflection of the coach. Maybe that’s part of the problem

  8. ObieGator74 says:

    Chalkboards. My bad

  9. ObieGator74 says:

    Link to the Carlos Alverez article please?

  10. Ken (CA) says:

    Funny thing about his comments on getting a grip. I think the fans do have a grip. No one has been criticizing the team players efforts. They have been blaming the one who after saying that continues to say “It’s all on me”

  11. Bobbie Jo Justice says:

    so coach, you tell me, other than our starters, has the rest of the team never seen a football until they came to florida?

    it looks to me like fsu is doing just fine playing a freshman at qb.

    Do you notice who never says the cupboard was bare when they got there? The great coaches like Spurrier and Meyer.

    The bowl game last year said it all, what was your excuse for losing that one ? You didn’t have injuries last year.

    At the bowl game last year, instead of being excited to be there, your team acted like they had their last chocolate chip cookie stolen from them.

    • Joe says:

      Zero reason? It can’t get much worse than starting a 3rd string QB, playing with 51, missing starting Tackles on both sides of the ball, playing with a rotating O-line, missing starting LB, burning redshirts to fill the roster.

      To me this all seems to point at a much better season next year.

  12. Champ supporter says:

    I believe the “get a grip” is in reference to the fans who are continuing to dish out the negativity. We can speak all we want about needing this change or that change, but the “realness” of the situation is that negativity only adds to the problem. Mr. Alverez says it well. We should be sticking together no matter what or no matter who the coach is. Yes, losing sucks, but again, you need support when you are down, not when you are up!

    Go gators and go Champ!

    • gatorboi352 says:

      “I believe the “get a grip” is in reference to the fans who are continuing to dish out the negativity.”

      Oh, so like 96% of the Gator Nation?

    • Crock says:

      When you are having the worst season in modern Florida football history then you should probably just shut your mouth.

      FIRE THE CHUMP!

  13. Frank says:

    Personally, I like a coach that has a little fire in his bones. Go Coach. Go Gators.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      Personally, I like a coach that game plans to win every week. Or how about a coach that has improved even a single aspect of the team since taking over.

      Yeah, either of those.

  14. Nick Norris says:

    Hope he can coach left handed

  15. Brett says:

    Get a grip? I’ve not seen the first thing published about the players…. Muschamp is fighting like a wounded dog… This team doesn’t have the talent to compete, nor the coaching to overcome that….. That said we’ll beat FSU and save Muschamp’s job until next year

  16. Crock says:

    Can they just fire him already before he further destroys the program?

  17. Adam says:

    I would like to start and say good hard fought game, now as far as injuries and misfortune this season its almost over. This next season will be a huge turning point with Will Grier taking over at qb and most likely picking up a proven OC. The D is solid minus injuries and it will turn for the better just give it time and remember those guys are leaving it all on the field so BACK OFF unless you are on the field. Its easy to pick and complain but until you are out there giving your all, BE QUIET and support your team. Muschamp is a good coach who studied under Saban but misfortune of injurires killed us this year but listen to me when i say this next year will be a MONSTER year..

    • Crock says:

      Ummmm…Grier won’t be the QB next year. Driskel will.

      There is zero reason to believe that next year will show any significant improvement.

    • TST says:

      IF u haven’t noticed .Boom is stubborn , very stubborn . Also there is a very good reason Boom was a traveling DC . Good at his craft but very over-bearing .’Get a Grip !’ WHAT ? It’s fans that pay the bills . And AD’s do watch and hire and fire off student reaction.
      fwiw: Mack Brown WON the war !!

  18. aziatic41 says:

    Muschamp has a great football mind and he is a good coach. But Florida is not the right fit for him as a coach. I think he’d be much better suited to lead a program in a smaller conference. His offensive philosphy will never produce wins consistently in the SEC. After Muschamp calling the fans out, I think now he is instantly and officially on the hot seat.

    As far as injuries go, thats not an excuse for our losing season. A real gator fan will know that after seeing us get dominated by a lesser talented Louisville team in the Sugar Bowl last season.

    Against Miami this year we got dominated with all of our healthy players. And we struggled against a small school in Toledo. We only scored a meager 24 points against them

    The players did play hard against SC and Muschamp had a good game plan. And I do think we will probably upset FSU. Kelvin Taylor gives me hope. He’s a beast

    And I most certainly think the FSU game will determine whether Muschamp is fired this year!

    • gatorboi352 says:

      “After Muschamp calling the fans out, I think now he is instantly and officially on the hot seat.”

      This is his second incident this year with fans. After the first incident, Foley came out publicly and backed Muschamp 1000%. I highly doubt he is “officially” on any hot seat.

  19. Joe says:

    Let’s say for a second I challenge you to a fist fight in the parking lot. But I get to tie your hands behind your back, blindfold you, chain your legs, and spin you around five times – think you can still beat me? If you even bloodied me I’d be impressed.

    I’m not making excuses for Muschamp but I am being realistic. The issues you may have with Muschamp have only been exacerbated by one of the most injury filled seasons in Florida history. It is truly unfair to gauge him based solely on this season. When you bring up the Louisville game remember that Meyer lost to Michigan in the Capital One cup under similar circumstances – Florida had it’s eye on a NC after 2008 and was deflated after not making it, thus playing uninspired and eventually losing. S%^$ happens, it’s all how you deal with it. Muschamp’s real opportunity to “deal” with this season comes in the offseason and over the course of next season. I say give the man a chance to prove himself with a healthy team. If you are right then you can go on proudly puffing your chest out and declaring your purported football savvy – like us Florida fans seem to like to do way to f’n often.

    • TST says:

      Tebow lead Gators played good ball against a retiring Coach Carr.Plus Michigan made circus catches all day long !
      Louisville . just plain embarrassing .Team flat as a board .
      Vanderbilt – Beats us on homecoming in our house.’With’ a badly wounded club and ‘Freshman QB.’
      Boom i really liked in the beginning . But , he’s Nuts . Stubborn and egotistic as they come.
      I’m surprised some Gator hasn’t slapped him on the sideline for crewing them out . Veins popping in his neck and forehead , jaw clinched hard and eyes of hate ..Anger !!
      No ! We ,the fans don’t dump on players . HE does !

  20. Joe says:

    I think at some point we’ll have to realize that Vandy is not the Vandy of old. James Franklin has done a heck of a job with that program. It didn’t happen over his first few years but he has solidified Vanderbilt as a contender in the East. I don’t think Florida should be losing to Vandy but I also don’t think they are pushovers. Also Tebow-led is a huge statement. We don’t have a Tebow on our team, FSU now has a version of the game changing QB in Winston and look how potent they are. Jimbo Fisher is lucky to have a freshman QB with that talent level. Goes to show how lucky we have been in the past to land program defining recruits. There are a lot of issues with this team… All I’m saying is it would be tough for any coach to have a successful season (by Gator Nation’s standards) with the cards that were dealt.

    • Gatorgrad79 says:

      The problem that concerns me is the effect this will have on recruiting. One more year anywhere close to this one, and it will take us a decade to recover on the recruiting side. And for God’s sake stop reminding us Driskell is back next year or Will Grier will decommit next! (I though the huge number of decommits and players leaving was on them, but now I think maybe that is on the coach too.)

  21. aziatic41 says:

    @Joe,

    I understand injuries playing a part in a team’s success. But what happened against Miami when we had everybody healthy ?

    What about our offense moving forward ? Muschamp has been here three years with the same ole boring inconsistent offense.

    Answers ????

  22. aziatic41 says:

    @Adam

    So are you saying that if we had all of our players healthy this season we would have a good offense ? I’m pretty sure most of our passing yards that game came late in the game off blown assignments by Miami’s defense. That one touchdown pass Patton had that game was a great example of that.