11/30: Florida vs. Florida State report; Purifoy declares, Foley speaks, Muschamp promises

By Adam Silverstein
November 30, 2013

The Florida Gators (4-8) lost their seventh-straight game on Saturday, falling 37-7 to the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley held an impromptu session with the media before the game, and head coach Will Muschamp spoke after the season-ending loss.

SENIOR DAY

DECLARATIONS BEGIN

Minutes after the conclusion of Saturday’s game, Florida junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy declared his intention to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. He told ESPN‘s Joe Schad as much after the game, but the Gators are unlikely to announce his decision (as well as those of others) for a few days.

Purifoy had an up-and-down season for Florida but did register an interception return for a touchdown earlier in the year and actually picked off Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston on Saturday. He struggled at times in coverage and with his discipline but will nevertheless be a second-round pick at worst in April. OnlyGators.com will have more on Purifoy’s declaration, as well as that of others, when the time comes.

“That is something I’ll discuss in the coming days. I’ve had discussions with a couple guys but I really don’t want to comment at this time about that,” Muschamp said.

INJURY UPDATES

Senior wide receiver Trey Burton was knocked from the game early in the first quarter after taking a zone read 50 yards down the field for one of his best plays of the season. Burton immediately went to the locker room and was ruled out with a shoulder injury, ending his career at Florida. As it turns out, the Gators actually planned to use Burton extensively on Saturday.

“We were probably going to have about 30-35 snaps with Trey, some of the misdirection runs now go out of the game plan so you got to make adjustments and you got to change,” Muschamp explained. “I hurt for Trey because he’s a senior and it was his last game in The Swamp. It was very difficult for him. He’s a great young man. But that kind of sums up what’s happened this year. It’s been very frustrating.”


Junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) reinjured himself on Thursday and was limited for the game. Freshman defensive lineman Joey Ivie sliced his heel on a scooter and required 25 stitches during the week, ruling him out for Saturday. Freshman safety Keanu Neal, like Burton, hurt his shoulder during the game.

OPENING STATEMENT

“A very frustrating, difficult day that ends a very frustrating, difficult season. That’s the best way I can sum it up. … We’re a much better football team right now than we were my first season, regardless of what the record is. Where this program’s headed, the quality of player we have in the locker room, our staff and everything included. I know we will all focus on the results, but I know where this thing is and where it’s headed. It’s been a tough year, very difficult to deal with, but it is what it is.”

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE (EXTENDED VERSION)

OnlyGators.com did not have the opportunity to view Foley’s unexpected media session live before Saturday’s showdown but nevertheless obtained a raw version of his comments. Below are some choice quotes (with context) from that availability.

» On whether he believes the Gators can bounce back in 2014: “Yeah, obviously it’s been a difficult year. We haven’t made an excuse all year, and we’re not going to make them now. We know what this program is all about. I have total confidence in Coach Muschamp and have made that clear. We’ve got to fix some things. When you have seasons like this, that’s what you do – you evaluate, you analyze and you fix things. You don’t panic. You don’t put orange and blue glasses on. It’s not acceptable; it’s not who we are and it’s not what we’re about. Confident we can fix it. … I’ve heard that it’s my ego speaking. No, it’s my belief. Like I told my staff the other day, my name’s not on the front door down there. I don’t own this franchise. It’s my job to make sure it’s going in the right direction and I believe with Will it’s going in that direction. If I didn’t, then obviously we’ve made tough decisions before. I don’t waver on that, despite the difficulty of the year. We’ve got to get some things fixed. Obviously, at the end of the day, we’ve got to win some football games.”

» On whether he’s giving Muschamp more of a chance to turn things around than he did Ron Zook: “I don’t think it’s apples-to-apples. I’m not being disrespectful to anybody. Zooker and I are friends, but it’s just not apples-to-apples. It’s my job to evaluate and see where the program is headed. At that point in time, I didn’t think it was headed where we wanted it to be. This time, I think it’s headed where we want it to be. The proof is going to be in the pudding, but I don’t think it’s apples-to-apples.”

» On whether the offense is in greatest need of adjustment and change: “Well I don’t think it’s any secret, and Will will tell you, we’ve got to fix that side of the ball. I’m not being disrespectful to anybody, but you look at some of the games we’ve lost, we haven’t scored many points. … That has to get fixed. And that’s going to be Will’s responsibility as the head football coach. I’ll help him, support him, advise him, whatever have you. I will tell you if you ask him today, it’s his biggest concern. We’ve got to fix that side of the ball.”

» On why he has taken such a public stand in support of Muschamp: “Obviously I don’t have my head in the sand. No disrespect, but I don’t read all of you guys. I don’t read Internet blogs or whatever have you, but no question there’s a lot of noise out there, and I get that. But we wanted to make sure Will knew where we stood. That’s important to Will, it’s important to recruiting, and it’s important to our organization. It’s important for our coaches to understand that things are tough and we’re going to be there for him. The guy was 11-1 a year ago and SEC Coach of the Year. … We felt strongly whatever that was, two weeks ago, two and a half weeks ago, and we feel just as strongly today. We’ve had some difficult circumstances today, and that hasn’t changed.”

CHANGES COMING

By now it should be no surprise that the Gators will be making staff changes this offseason, specifically to the offensive side of the ball. Muschamp basically confirmed as much with his statements after the game.

“I think we need to take a look at ourselves schematically. There have been some things that have happened that are very difficult to overcome. But schematically there’s no question we need to take a look at ourselves,” Muschamp said regarding Florida’s offense.

Asked if he would be willing to change his offensive philosophy – time-of-possession, grind-it-out, dominate the line of scrimmage – Muschamp said the following: ”Perception is not always reality. Perception is not always reality. I’m willing to do what I need to do to score points and win games.”

C’MON, MAN

SB Nation caught Florida redshirt junior linebacker Ronald Powell spitting on a Florida State offensive player during Saturday’s game. Not a good look.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida State has now won three of its last four games against Florida, but the Gators still own the all-time series with a 35-22-2 record.
» UF finished below .500 on the season for the first time since 1979 and below .500 in SEC play for the second time since that year (2010).
» The Gators have not won a football game in 52 days dating back to Oct. 5 and will not have an opportunity to pull off a victory until Aug. 30.
» The Seminoles’ 30-point win was their second-largest margin of victory in the series dating back to 1958 but their biggest victory ever in The Swamp. Florida State beat Florida by 35 in Tallahassee, FL in 1988.
» UF did not start the same lineup once in 12 games this season.

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On Tim Tebow and Matt Elam being on the sideline: “It was great to see those guys. Tim came in and of course he commands an audience everywhere he goes. Great Gator and I appreciate him. It was great to see Matt. Matt was actually in the building on Friday. He played Thursday night and was here early Friday morning, spent the day with us and the players. It was great to have him back. Wish we could put him out there in a uniform.”

» On whether redshirt freshman kicker Austin Hardin is in danger of having his scholarship not renewed: “He’s going to work through it. I think Caleb Sturgis struggled his first year. No different than any other position. You got to coach them through hit and you got to help them improve and get better and that’s what we’re going to do.”

@ONLYGATORS TWEET OF THE GAME

33 Comments

  1. nugent1021 says:

    any word on what they mean by changes, and if anyone will lose their job? I get this strange feeling they’re just going to change their “approach” and basically keep the whole offense group.

    Adam, if you do think they’ll actually make an OC change, any word on when or who? I’m guessing they’re waiting for the end of the season for all of this? Anything sooner would probably be premature?

    Should we all just shut it until like after the NC?

  2. Alex says:

    There will be no “changes”. Welcome to the dark ages of Florida Football.

    FSU and UM are cleaning up on the recruiting trail and Vandy will be blowing us out next year too.

    UCF would thrash is too. And there is nothing any of us could do about. Embrace it, love it and enjoy being at the bottom of the SEC, I am sure Kentucky won’t mind having us.

    • 305Gator says:

      Alex, you are either one very dumb Gator fan, or more likely, a cane posing as a Gator. Stop being a coward and show your true colors. FSU is doing great this year, but we can get back on top again. Miami did well thanks to a soft schedule but they are still one sorry team and nothing for us to worry about. We will still do well in recruiting and since we play in the SEC we can come back at any time just like Auburn did this year. We are definitely not on par with Kentucky, we are much much better, your canes are more like UK than us. Vandy will blow out your canes every year, they won’t beat us again for the near future. We are the Gators, one of the top programs in the nation, we will come back soon enough.
      Go Gators!

  3. WP says:

    Ok Coach let’s fix it and move on.

  4. qnt82 says:

    How does Auburn go 0-8 in SEC last year to now SEC West champ? not better players but better coached players and scheme. Im so glad this shitty season is over. Go Gators!

  5. Uf_84 says:

    I would say “Wait til next year”, like we used to say way back when we were this bad before. Sadly I’ve seen nothing this year that gives me any reason to think next year isn’t just going to be more of the same. Hope I’m wrong
    The FSU fans I talked to at the game today were all estatic that we are keeping WM. I imagine the fans of other teams in the SEC (especially UGA’s) feel exactly the same way. Quite a legacy he’s building here. The coach who drained the Swamp and took the fun out of the gun.

  6. G2 says:

    Purifoy should stay and refine his game, get bigger, etc. He got tossed around out there today by bigger receivers, same as he will see at the next level. Maybe just wants to get the heck out of dodge.
    Now that bama has lost, might as well hand over the trophy to fsu, its their year unless auburn can squeeze in somehow.

  7. Rob says:

    5 linebackers alone lost for the season. Now go down the positions. We are young and had no depth. There will be changes on the offensive staff. I am sure Coach had to agree with that fact to keep his job. Almost as embarrassed as the notes on this website as the outcome of the season. Florida WILL rebound. Look at Auburn this year. Having a family member who is an Auburn fan, same garbage was posted on their Forums last year.

  8. ??? says:

    “We were probably going to have about 30-35 snaps with Trey, some of the misdirection runs now go out of the game plan so you got to make adjustments and you got to change,”

    So did we not have a backup plan? I feel like we never have a backup plan.

  9. Ken (CA) says:

    Lots of great games today, and great endings…..too bad none of them took place in the Swamp

  10. g8ter27 says:

    Lets see. Auburn goes 0-8 in the SEC last year and wins the SEC west this year beating Saban. They must have gone out and got all new players, but they didn’t….but now they are 11-1. How did they do that? Same players, but now they win….hmmm wonder what the difference was? I bet their AD didn’t see that they were heading in the right direction under Gene Chizik. I wonder if last year he said “we didn’t win the National Championship 2 years ago by accident”. I think he didn’t look at past results but rather where the team was heading, And by the way Foley and Champ, I think many fans believe last year was an accident. We were he worst 11-1 team in a decade and ranked near the bottom of FBS in offense. This year’s record is much more indicative of where we are heading.

  11. SJ210 says:

    So Trey Burton, who had 3 carries for 3 yards and 1 reception for 24 yards in the past 2 games combined, was going to be the focal point of the offense today? Right.

  12. Rob says:

    Nice finish to your post. 11 wins last year but horrible offense. Exactly! Changes coming to coaching of offense. Health and defense will be fine. Kerwin, Joker or “input” anyone who would jump for the position.

  13. Champ supporter says:

    Skill means a lot and coaching means a lot, but sorry, no matter who it is, you must have things go your way when you are successful. Auburn is good, but come on, look how they won the last two games. Things just go your way. And when you are struggling things don’t go your way!

    Whether fans think 11-2 was an accident or not, it happened so what’s its matter. This season is over. Muschamp will be the coach so let’s move on. I sure hope recruits don’t read all of this toxic negativity from such a loving portion of the fan base!

    Go gators!

    • Ziggy says:

      Amen. It’s a bit redicoulous.

    • Uf_84 says:

      All of you Muschamp apologists crack me up. No one has done more to destroy recuriting offensive players than WM himself.

      • Oldflyer says:

        Muschamp is going to coach the Gators whether you like it or not.

        FSU may still have a spot open on their bandwagon. Be careful you don’t get trampled in the stampede of all those who jumped off over the past several years and are struggling to get back on.

        • TST says:

          Don’t DARE express your opinion in opposition to what ‘OLDFLYER’ thinks . Your thrown on the ‘FSU Bus.’ Incredible.
          BOOM SUCKS and is terrible for Gator football . Means ‘I love my Team .’ Boom Sucks !!! Doesn’t mean we’re bandwagon fans either ..Your thinking is one-sided and polluted with self-contentedness . Well ‘Oldflyer.’ I’m ‘NOT’ happy with Boom or the God like JF ego ! There !!

        • Uf_84 says:

          Lol! No one hates FSU more than me, pal. I’m more than willing to endure another year of WM’s three and out, bore and snore offense. Just don’t expect me to be quiet about it. Sorry to disappoint you but I’m not going anywhere. Have another sip of your Muschamp kool aid and chill out.

      • Champ supporter says:

        Who is apologizing? Yeah, Muschamp sure is killing us offensively! Taylor, Fullwood, Robinson, A. Lane and possibly Grier, E. Lane, Cook. That’s a terrible group!

        • Uf_84 says:

          I didn’t say you were apologizing.

          Apologist: Noun – One who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something.

          As for the guys you mentioned, I sure hope he can close the deal on Grier, Lane, and Cook. The others were all signed before this year when we all still had hope that we could actually have a productive offense.

          • Champ supporter says:

            Like I said, let’s move on. Go gators! I would be behind any HC of the gators. Can’t spend time complaining and being negative about things I can’t control. Muschamp is the coach and I will continue to pull for him to be successful!

            Here’s a thought: if he’s successful the team is successful! Go Champ!

  14. Rob says:

    Finally! Go Gators! All will be well and those who decide to cry can move on to another sport. Free to complain on every post about our joke of healthcare!!! Something actually worthy of your negativity.

  15. Ken (CA) says:

    Even the announcers today nailed it, in one of the few segments of the game I watched, they were talking about the turmoil, and aside from the injuries talking about how we just need a few more skill players and more linemen to move ahead. After making that observation, they then continued “But what great skill player would want to play for this offensive philosophy?”

  16. SW FL Joe says:

    I cant believe the Burtoncat was going to be 50% of our offense. That alone should get Pease fired

  17. Daniel M. says:

    That SB Nation clip is far from definitive that Powell was hocking a loogie toward the opposing player.

    The key word in this entire post is from Champ supporter. Toxic. Tone it down Gator Nation, you sound like pansies.

  18. Champ supporter says:

    And so it begans – Pease reportedly fired!

  19. Champ supporter says:

    Well “pal”, not exactly sure what your amount of hatred for FSU has to do anything, but whatever! Never said you had to go anywhere, but again whatever. But thanks for the advice on the flavor and I will be sure to strive to be “cool” like you!

    • Uf_84 says:

      Umm… I think you’re responding to a reply I had for “oldflyer” who told me I should go jump on the FSU band wagon. That would be why it didn’t make any sense to you.

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