No. 7 Florida Gators football (8-1, 7-1 SEC) concluded its Southeastern Conference slate with a tough 14-7 victory over the Missouri Tigers (4-5, 1-5 SEC) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday. Florida won a share of the SEC East with the victory but now must hope that Georgia loses in order to earn a trip to the 2012 SEC Championship. Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media and provided some of his thoughts after the game.
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» The Gators are now 12-1 against unranked opponents under Muschamp and 4-1 in 2012 when trailing at the half after going 0-5 in such situations one year ago.
» Florida is undefeated (10-0) under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards, 8-1 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards and 12-3 when holding an opponent to under 21 points
» The Gators were 0-2 in the red zone Saturday and are now 27-of-33 (81.8 percent) on the season with just 17 touchdowns (51.1 percent) from that field position.
» Florida converted just 2-of-13 third down opportunities and is now 48-for-128 (37.5 percent) this year.
» Despite entering the game fourth nationally in time of possession margin, the Gators were out-possessed by 7:54 on Saturday.
» Florida’s defense once again dominated the second half (14-0). The Gators are outscoring opponents 138-38 in the second half and 71-20 in the fourth quarter.
» UF is +11 in turnover margin through nine games after being -12 in 2011 and has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (340) since 2000.
» Florida has grabbed 15 interceptions so far in 2012 and has nearly doubled its 2011 total of eight. Saturday (four picks) was the third time this season that UF has registered three or more interceptions in a single game this year.
» The Gators have scored six total points on six red zone trips over the last two games.
» Senior running back Mike Gillislee got back to his productive ways, averaging 4.2 yards and totalling 68 net yards. He also scored his eighth touchdown on the season on a 45-yard screen pass from sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel. His 113 all-purpose yards led the team and were even more than Driskel threw for in the contest (106).
» Four Gators – junior cornerback Jaylen Watkins, junior safety Matt Elam, senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic and senior S Josh Evans – registered interceptions Saturday. Watkins and Elam each lead UF with three picks on the year.
» Six Florida players registered at least a portion of a tackle for loss (10 total) and four came together for four total sacks. Junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd picked up three tackles for loss, and freshman defensive end Jonathan Bullard notched 1.5 sacks, a career-first.
“You know, after our first game of the year, I kind of made a statement that this is kind of who we are right now. As we move forward, we’re going to continue to improve offensively, and we’re going to become more explosive and more of what we want to be. But we’re doing what we have to do to win football games. I know one thing: There is no one that can question the resolve of that locker room, the adversity, the different guys that go down in the game and the guys that man-down and man-up. It hasn’t always been pretty, but I believe we’re the 12th team in UF history to win seven [SEC] games. That’s a credit to those players. It’s a credit to buying in, to hanging together, to facing adversity, to facing a tough schedule and what-not that you want to say, bouncing back after a tough week. I’m proud of the players to do what we had to do to win the football game. [...] The effort and the attitude and the resolve of the football team is as good as I’ve been around. Guys accept the challenge and accept the opportunity, embrace it and go after it. It’s not always pretty but that’s a credit to our kids.”
A few minutes later, Muschamp continued speaking about the team’s resolve.
“I’m a realist. I believe in being honest and calling it the way it is. When it stinks, it stinks. I think if we go back last year and pull your tape recorders out, I probably said it a couple times. When we’ve been able to win and do what we had to do to win the game, I’m not trying to downgrade it at all. This football team has as much resolve as a football team that I’ve been around. You want to look at the circumstances and situations? You want to talk about last week in six turnovers and you’re driving to tie the ballgame at the end. I’ve been part of a bunch of football teams that would have never been in that situation. It’s a credit to our players.”
Read the rest of what Muschamp and the players had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 11/2: Florida vs. Missouri post-game report