Head coach Will Muschamp meets with the media each week to wrap-up the previous Saturday’s game and look ahead to the Florida Gators‘ next opponent. Florida defeated the Furman Paladins 54-32 on Saturday in The Swamp and is beginning to prepare for Senior Day against the Florida State Seminoles on Nov. 26. Below are some of the most important notes and quotes from Monday’s availability.
FURMAN REVIEW, AWARDS, INJURY UPDATES
Muschamp revealed Monday that he was quite happy with Florida’s ability to put points on the board Saturday but was equally upset with the Gators’ inability to keep Furman from reaching the end zone seemingly at will in the first half.
“Pleased offensively with the explosive plays – averaged 20 yards a completion, which was good to see with the vertical passing game. Played penalty free on offense,” he said. “Defense totally unacceptable. Tackling was poor, leveraging the ball, lack of communication in some areas, couple of blown situations for touchdowns. Just totally unacceptable. Got some young guys that think they’re just going to roll their hat out there and win games. That’s not the way it works. Regardless of the opponent, you have to prepare the same all the time. We let them know that after the game, during the game and then this morning. That is not going to be tolerated.”
He also handed out the team’s weekly awards:
Offensive Player of the Game: Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley
Scrap Iron Award (best OL): Redshirt sophomore tackle Kyle Koehne
Big Play Award: Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Andre Debose
Extra Effort Award: Freshman tight end A.C. Leonard
Defensive Player of the Game: Redshirt sophomore Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins
Hard Hat Award: Sophomore Buck linebacker Ronald Powell
Ball Hawk Award: Jenkins and freshman safety De’Ante Saunders
Special Teams Players of the Game: Sophomore linebacker Darrin Kitchens
Special Teams Big Play Award: Sophomore defensive tackle Dominique Easley
Scout Team Players of the Week: Tevin Westbrook, Ja’Juan Story, Valdez Showers
Muschamp did not get into specifics regarding injuries this week, though he did note that redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed (ankle) will probably miss practice Monday-Tuesday before returning Wednesday. He and the following players are all expected to play Saturday: Sophomore safety Matt Elam (groin), redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey (ankle), redshirt junior Sam linebacker Lerentee McCray (shoulder), redshirt senior guard Dan Wenger (foot), junior tackle Xavier Nixon (ankle) and senior defensive end William Green (undisclosed).
Redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey: “I try to judge things with my own eyes. I don’t really like to form an opinion on something that you hear. In my eyes, since I’ve been here, I’ve seen a guy that loves the University of Florida. He loves to compete. He goes out to practice and in the weight room and everything he does, he does 100 percent. He’s got a great sense of humor. He positively affects everyone around him. This team loves him. It’s very obvious to see that. He’s banged up. He’s hurt. His ankle’s bad. We’re sitting there in the Vanderbilt game down on the goal line and we had decided in pregame not to play him. He’s tugging on my back telling me, ‘Put me in the game. Let me carry the ball.’ That’s the type of guy you’re dealing with. That, to me, is a competitive, tough guy that you want playing on Saturday and the type of guy you want on your football team. You need more of those kinds of guys.”
Redshirt senior guard Dan Wenger: “He’s a guy that ahs bonded very easily with our players, very quickly with our players. Maturity, knowledge of the system and what was expected. He’s been a very valuable member for us. He’s a guy that wants to be a strength coach, so he’s in graduate school right now doing very well. He’s a guy I think will be an outstanding coach because of how he deals with people.”
Freshman fullback Hunter Joyer (and his maturity): “The year he has had this season has been very somewhat unnoticed maybe outside of the building. In the building, he’s as appreciated a football player on our football team for what he’s accomplished as a freshman. To come in, block, carry, catch and do the things he’s done offensively and step into the role, he’s a good football player right now but his best football is ahead of him. He’s an outstanding young man and an outstanding student-athlete.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» Muschamp said all nine scholarship seniors are set to graduate in December.
» Muschamp on the season so far: “We’re certainly not pleased with the season in any respect. It’s totally unacceptable here at Florida and I realize that. Our goal is to go to Atlanta. In all areas we need to improve.”
» Muschamp on the recruiting importance of UF-FSU: “I don’t think that any young man makes his decision based on the outcome of one game. I’ve never felt that way. At the end of the day, young men make their decision based on the opportunity that they have at a certain school from an education standpoint, a football standpoint, a playing time standpoint, a coaching standpoint, the position coach. I don’t think that three hours on Saturday make a decision for young men. Those ones that it does, I don’t know if you want them in your program.”
» Muschamp on not blaming players for mistakes/losses: “At the end of a game, I’m not like a lot of coaches. I’m not going to come in and blame all of our players. There are a lot of coaches that do that. I’m not going to do that. When we play well, it’s because our players played well. When we don’t, it’s my fault. That’s just been my approach all the time, and the players understand that, too. I’m the first one that’s going to stand up and say I need to do a better job. I think it’s very unprofessional for a grown man to come up here and blame a 19-20-21-year-old kid for a mistake. I think that’s ridiculous, and I’m not going to do that. So if it makes somebody mad, let me know.”
» Muschamp on what he told his team for Thanksgiving: “I love this time of the year, and I told the players this morning, ‘I want everybody to call somebody in your life and thank them. We’re in such a society of self-entitlement and how does it affect me. Somebody has helped you get to the University of Florida. Somebody has helped you accomplish the things you have accomplished in life. I want everybody in the room to call somebody and thank them for what they’ve done for them.’ I love this time of the year from the standpoint of rivalry games and Thanksgiving is a lot of fun.”
» Muschamp on if he considered selling the beach house he owns with Jimbo Fisher: “Have you seen the market up there? Do you want to buy it? The market is not real good right now. It’s a buyer’s market though, you’re more than welcome. Jimbo will cut you a heck of a deal.”
» Muschamp on leadership: “Leaders don’t have bad days. Leaders have maybe one a little tougher than another one, but leaders don’t have bad days. They step up every day and they bring it every day. For younger guys, that’s hard to understand. They’ve got to understand it’s an everyday process about being a good football player, about being a leader, about positively affecting everybody around them. You don’t have bad days. That doesn’t happen.”
» Brantley on everything coming full circle: “Me, Rainey and Deonte, it just seems like yesterday that we were sitting in the back row being freshmen. We’ve had a lot of great times and we’re just excited for our last game in The Swamp being against FSU.”
» Brantley on his health: “I’m feeling a lot better. I’m really close to 100 percent, just feeling better each week.”
» Rainey on his favorite player in the Florida-Florida State series growing up: “Emmit Smith. I got a chance to meet him. That’s all that matters to me.”
» Rainey on what was discussed in Monday’s meeting: “If you study on something on film and somebody comes out with a different formation, you just got to be alert to it, be focused all around. Give it all for the seniors and let them leave the right way.”
» Rainey on spending Thanksgiving with the Pouncey brothers: “They sure do eat a lot.”