Head coach Will Muschamp meet with the media each Monday to wrap-up the previous Saturday’s game and look ahead to the Florida Gators next opponent. Below are some of the most important notes and quotes from the availability.
Muschamp began by discussing Florida’s flaws after a lackluster performance.
“Obviously I’m disappointed at the outcome of the Alabama game and I think it all starts with me,” he said. “We need to do a better job of coaching and player. It’s a line of scrimmage game and that was really the story of the game. We were dominated up front on both lines of scrimmage. Our inability to run the ball consistently in the game – when you become a one-dimensional team against them, it’s tough. And defensively [we need to improve] stopping the run, playing blocks up front, leveraging the ball and tackling.”
He also touched on a few positives.
“First half we moved the ball extremely well throwing the football,” he said. “John [Brantley] was completing over 70 percent of his passes and really played well on third down. John Brantley played an outstanding football game. It was unfortunate with his injury. We started the game fast defensively, came out in the second half and had some good stops. Settled down a little bit and played a little better technique as far as upfront playing blocks.”
Finally, he talked about what the LSU Tigers bring to the table.
“They’ve got a balanced football team,” Muschamp said. “Offensively they run the ball extremely well. They’re big up front. Spencer Ware and Mike Ford are two outstanding backs. They throw the ball well down the field. Jarrett Lee has played really well for them to this point. Getting Jordan Jefferson back, a guy that has won a lot of football games for them, does give them a different wrinkle offensively. Very talented at the wideout position, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.
“Defensively very good up front. Tyrann Mathieu is a guy, No. 7, who shows up an awful lot on film as far as his playmaking abilities. He’s an outstanding player. Got a lot of respect for John Chavis, their defensive coordinator. A lot of guys up front that can play. They do a nice job with their defensive line and rotating their guys. Special teams they’re top 15 in the country in net punting and they’ve got some very talented returners.
“Again, we’ve got our work cut out for us. But again, I think it’s a great opportunity for our football team. I told the team this morning, ‘Football is a tough deal. If you don’t’ play as well as you’ve liked to play, you got to wait a week to play. It’s not like basketball where you go out and play the next night. You got to get that taste out of your mouth. There’s no better opportunity than going to Baton Rouge and playing LSU.”
WEEKLY INJURY AND ABSENCE UPDATES
Redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee) is out again this week, and Brantley will also miss the LSU game as expected. [More on Brantley’s injury and status here.] Freshman safety De’Ante Saunders, who was suspended for Saturday’s game due to a violation of team rules, will be available to play but will not necessarily get his starting job back right away. “We’ll work through the week and see who practices the best and gives us the best opportunity to be successful,” Muschamp said of Saunders.
STEPPING UP FOR DRISKEL
In order for freshman QB Jeff Driskel
to step in and be successful while replacing Brantley, Muschamp indicated Monday that the entire team (not just the offense) is going to have to take their game to another level. “We got to pick it up around him,” he said. “We got to play better up front. We got to play better at wideout. We got to play better at tight end. We got to play better on defense. We got to do a better job on special teams in creating some momentum and controlling the field position. It’s not a one-man deal. It’s a collective deal around him as a football team.”
He also said that offensive coordinator Charlie Weis would work with Driskel this week to figure out exactly what he’s best at and scale down the playbook to better suit his skill set. “More than anything, you do what he can do and you do what he does well,” Muschamp said. “That’s what Charlie will do. We’ve talked about it this morning as far as how we’ll approach the game. There’s no question that you hit it with the mindset of doing the things he feels comfortable with. It’s no different than we did with John.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On junior linebacker Jon Bostic losing his cool during the game: “It’s not something that we’re going to have at the University of Florida and Jon understands that. Jon’s a good football player and a great young man. There are times that we lose our composure and our poise a little bit. We got to be able to maintain that.”
» On junior S Josh Evans taking some bad angles during the game: “We need to leverage the ball better. There’s no question about that. When the ball hits the second level, we need to get it on the ground.”
» On how the offensive line can improve its protection: “Movement up front as far as just gaining some movement so you can positively get the ball down the field. We were throwing the ball extremely well, so we kind of went with what was working at the time, and that was throwing the football. We threw for close to 200 yards in the first half and John was completing 70 percent of his passes.”
» On senior defensive tackle Jaye Howard coming in for extra film work on Sunday: “We have a lot of guys that come in on Sunday. That’s the day off for them.”