With the Florida Gators coming off a home win and looking to salvage their season with a victory over the rival Florida State Seminoles this Saturday, head coach Will Muschamp spoke during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference to provide some insight about where his team is at heading into the contest.
Muschamp said that redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed (ankle) missed practice Monday and Tuesday but should return and get reps on Wednesday. He added that sophomore safety Matt Elam (groin) has had a strain for a few weeks due to the wear and tear of the season. He missed reps on Monday but returned Tuesday.
URBAN MEYER AND OHIO STATE
For the second time in as many weeks, Muschamp was asked to address the rumors that former Gators head coach Urban Meyer would be taking the same job at Ohio State. Muschamp repeated his answer the first time, saying he would be shocked if that was true based on previous conversations with his predecessor.
“He’s an outstanding coach, there’s no question. The job he did at Bowling Green and Utah and Florida speaks for itself as far as his track record of winning championships and doing it the right way. Again, in my conversations with Urban, I would be surprised to see him take a job based on the things he talked about when he left Florida,” he said.
Muschamp also responded to rumors that linebackers/special teams coach D.J. Durkin and strength & conditioning coach Mickey Marotti could leave for new positions on Meyer’s OSU staff. “That’s all speculation. Anytime somebody takes a job and you’ve worked with somebody before, of course it’s the natural thing to do to start piecing the puzzle together to see what is going to happen,” he said.
FLORIDA-FLORIDA STATE GAME POSITIONING
“I’m kind of a traditionalist. I like the fact that you eat turkey on Thursday and you play Florida State on Saturday,” he said. “I do know people bring up the fact that you’re playing in the SEC Championship game the next week. I don’t think you lack any focus playing Florida State, and I think they’d say the same thing if they were playing the ACC Championship. From a focus standpoint, it should be fine. At Florida we’ve had a pretty good track record as far as playing the Florida State game and playing in SEC Championships and winning championships. That’s not something that’s been an issue.”
He also addressed the fact that beating the Seminoles could be a positive note for the Gators to end the season on. “It’s a huge game. There’s no question about that. As far as our preparation is concerned, we try to maintain a certain continuity each week in how we prepare and approach the game,” Muschamp said. “Our guys understand the magnitude of the game. It’s a big game. It’s our in-state rival here and a very important game for our program.”