11/25: More Florida injuries; Muschamp on coaching changes, fixing the Gators in 2014

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 26-20 loss to the Georgia Southern Eagles and upcoming season finale at home against the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, Nov. 30. The game will kick off at 12:00 p.m. and air live on ESPN.

INJURY UPDATES

The Gators will be without at least two more players on Saturday as redshirt junior linebacker Michael Taylor (sprained MCL) and freshman LB Alex Anzalone (dislocated shoulder) have already been ruled out for the game. Taylor will avoid surgery, but Anzalone will be forced to go under the knife.

Muschamp also called redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) questionable and listed sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (sprained MCL) as doubtful.

Junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) has already been cleared to play, and sophomore defensive end Jonathan Bullard (knee) is probable to see the field.

COACHING CHANGES COMING?

Muschamp refused to address the recent reports that it has already been decided that adjustments will be made to Florida’s offensive staff.

“There’s no changes that have been made at this time,” he said. “I’m not ready to make any statement on that at this point. We’re still playing out the season and those guys are going to coach their butts off. I’ll make that decision when I think it’s ready.”

In a similar vein, Muschamp was adamant that he was not at all concerned about his future with the Gators.

“Absolutely not,” he said when asked if he was worried about his job. After being questioned about his confidence in returning next season, Muschamp similarly answered, “Absolutely.”

He also once again put the blame on his shoulders – “It’s on me. We’ll get it fixed. I can assure you of that” – but admitted that it was nice to have the support of the players in addition to that of the administration.

“I think it’s important. Obviously I think that they understand where we are and where we’re headed with the program.” Muschamp said. “They have total confidence, in my opinion, of where we’re headed. I think they understand the plan and what we need to do … as we move forward.”

Continue Reading » 11/25: More Florida injuries; Muschamp on coaching changes, fixing the Gators in 2014

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11/23: Florida vs. Georgia Southern post-game report; Muschamp places blame on Gators offense

The Florida Gators (4-7) lost their sixth-straight on Saturday, dropping their first game to an FCS opponent in program history and guaranteeing a losing season for the first time since going winless in 1979. The Georgia Southern Eagles (7-4) upended the Gators 26-20 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL, dominating both sides of the ball on the way to their first-ever victory against an FBS program.

Following his team’s loss, the worst in program history, Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media to provide some of his thoughts on the defeat.

DEFLECTING BLAME

Though Muschamp has made a habit in the past of taking accountability and putting pressure on his own shoulders following a loss, he did exactly opposite on Saturday – even if there were times in which he squeezed in similar phrasing.

After the game, Muschamp criticized Florida’s offense, which was led by a third-string quarterback in redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg but nevertheless only generated 279 total yards and 20 points on the afternoon.

“You got to change the scoreboard offensively. You got to be able to change the scoreboard. We’ve just struggled scoring points offensively. It’s been a week-in, week-out occurrence. My job to get it fixed and it will get fixed,” he said.

“Very disappointed for our program, an embarrassment in this situation. We had our opportunities there, the kids kept playing hard. It’s very difficult for us to create explosive plays to get anything down the field. Just don’t ever do it.”

Asked to pinpoint the Gators’ offensive struggles, Muschamp explained that there was no one thing wrong with it but rather the entire side of the ball was failing as a whole. Should he somehow remain Florida’s coach after this season, Muschamp has certainly set up his offensive staff to take the fall.

“Where do you start? From a protection standpoint, the run game, being able to consistently run the ball, move the front. It’s been an occurrence really for us all season for the most part,” he said. “We just have a hard time in protection. We hit the play-action pass where the quarterback got his chin splattered when he threw the ball, too.

“It’s a combination of things. It’s just hard right now. It’s hard, as many moving parts as we’ve had, it’s difficult. It becomes infectious. It’s hard. When you give up 17 points, you hope you can score 17. So it’s hard right now. You can look at where we’ve rolled since about middle of the season to this point. That’s what’s happened to us.”

Nevermind that UF offense, indeed with a third-string signal caller and an incredibly banged up offensive line, managed to generate 20 points while the team’s defense coughed up 26 to Georgia Southern via 429 yards of total offense.

Continue Reading » 11/23: Florida vs. Georgia Southern post-game report; Muschamp places blame on Gators offense

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11/20: Two Gators out, Murphy questionable

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp made his scheduled appearance Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference‘s weekly coaches teleconference and touched on a number of topics surrounding his team heading into Saturday’s game against the Georgia Southern Eagles.

INJURY UPDATES

Muschamp said that both sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (MCL) and junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) will miss Saturday’s game. Humphries “tried to do some things” on Wednesday but did not feel comfortable, and Roberson simply has not healed since he went down two weeks ago against Vanderbilt.

Not listed as “out” but rather “questionable” is redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy, who missed the South Carolina game with a shoulder injury. “[He] threw a little bit [Tuesday] and we’ll see what else he can do [Wednesday] and we’ll go from there.”

Though Murphy has a 50-50 shot to start on Saturday, Muschamp said the Gators would have redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg play in his place if the game was earlier in the week. “We’ll see what Tyler can do Thursday and it is what it is. Closer to the weekend, we’ll see where it is,” he said.

Muschamp added that Murphy is not being held out over structural concerns but rather how he feels throwing the football.

“It’s all about his discomfort level right now. It’s gotten better every day. From Sunday to [Wednesday] it’s much, much, much improved,” he said. “We’ll just continue to work through that. It’s all about his comfort level. Right now, the shoulder is stable and all of that. It’s just all about his comfort level.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On how junior CB Loucheiz Purifoy has dealt with NFL Draft talk all season: “I think Loucheiz has played well. I think he’s focus has been on our season and what we need to do to be successful. I think he’s played well. I think he covered very well last week against a very good core of receivers. I think through the year he’s played consistently well.”

» On needing a win Saturday to snap the five-game losing streak: “Our guys understand the situation with where we are. We need to go out and execute the game plan and play well.”

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11/18: Muschamp previews Georgia Southern; Murphy improving but not yet cleared

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 19-14 loss to the No. 10/11 South Carolina Gamecocks and upcoming home game against the Georgia Southern Eagles on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game will kick off at 2:00 p.m. and air live only on pay-per-view.

RETURN IN QUESTION

It is not known whether redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) will be available to play on Saturday against Georgia Southern, and it is not expected that a decision will be made until later in the week.

Muschamp said that Murphy “threw lightly” on Sunday and felt more comfortable than he had in a while. But he has not yet been cleared to practice in full and the team currently preparing for redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg to be the starter.

Murphy called himself “day-to-day” and noted that he felt much better than last week. He estimated that he played at 60-70 percent against Missouri and was even healthier than that two weeks later when taking on Georgia. However, he reinjured the shoulder during the Vanderbilt game, which is why he was unable to play last Saturday.

“It’s getting better. After the game last week I really couldn’t move it, but now I’m able to move it and rotate and stuff like that. I got range of motion and stuff like that. It’s a lot better, getting better,” Murphy said.

Now estimating his health at 70-75 percent, Murphy hopes to get back on the field Saturday but cautioned that it will be a mutual decision between himself and the trainers.

“It’s all about if the ball’s coming out efficiently. If I can’t make the throws in practice, it’s not going to happen in the game,” he said. “Sitting out not practicing doesn’t help. It’s just kind of something we’re trying to figure out what’s best for the team and how we can be successful.”

INJURY UPDATES

Junior cornerback Marcus Roberson was suspended for the South Carolina game but would not have been cleared to play anyway due to an ankle injury he suffered against Vanderbilt. Muschamp said Roberson “ran well” on Sunday and will hopefully return to practice during the week. As long as he’s cleared medically, he can play on Saturday as his suspension as just a one-week punishment.

Additionally, Gators sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (MCL) remains doubtful despite moving around on Sunday. The team hopes to have an update mid-week. Freshman wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood, who took a hard hit late in the fourth quarter against the Gamecocks and looked to be shaken up, did not suffer a concussion but rather hurt his shoulder. He will be good to go this week.

Continue Reading » 11/18: Muschamp previews Georgia Southern; Murphy improving but not yet cleared

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11/16: Florida at South Carolina post-game report; frustrated Muschamp tells fans to “get a grip”

The Florida Gators (4-6, 3-5 SEC) lost their fifth-straight game on Saturday, dropping five in a row in a single season for the first time since 1979, by falling 19-14 to the No. 10/11 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 SEC) on the road at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC. Following his team’s loss, Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media to provide some of his thoughts on the defeat.

OPENING STATEMENT

“Very proud of our guys’ effort. We followed the script of what we felt like we needed to do to win the game and that was ball possession, field position, eat the clock, play good defense – which we did for the most part through the night against a very good offensive football team. Extremely proud of our players and the way they’ve continued to fight in the game.

“A lot of negativity out there and these guys pulled together and showed you a little something what those guys are about. We need to make some plays in those situations to win the game. The bottom line is winning and we didn’t do it. We did not get the job done. So that’s on me. We’ll go back and continue to work hard and get these last two. We’re looking forward to that. …

“I’m extremely proud of our staff and our players of pulling together, trying to put ourselves in a position to win the game on the road against a very good football team. We just got to come up with a couple of those plays here and there. … We have our opportunities we got to make the plays and that’s on me. We got to keep working.”

FRUSTRATED MUSCHAMP TELLS FANS: “GET A GRIP”

Suffice to say, Muschamp was fired up at halftime Florida took a 14-6 advantage into the locker room. Asked after the game while his hand was all bloody and taped up, Muschamp explained, “I hit a chalkboard. Dumb.”


Following the loss, Muschamp was asked about his team’s grit and toughness while going up against a ranked team with a third-string quarterback and a number of other replacement players due to injuries suffered by the Gators throughout the season.

“It’s not excuses. It’s real. It really is,” he said. “You can say what you want to say and you can write whatever the hell you want to write. It’s real. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for that locker room. To hell with me. I worry about the kids. These kids have fought their butts off.

“There’s a lot of negativity out there and some of our fans need to get a grip. They really do. They got a bunch of kids in that locker room fighting their butt off. They can criticize me all you want, I’m great with that, they pay me enough money to deal with that. But those kids don’t, they really don’t. And they’ve fought their butts off. And they’ve continued to fight and play hard.

“Nobody’s ever questioned their efforts. I’m just extremely proud of them and the resolve and the fight and pulling together like Florida Gators do. Extremely proud of them. We just didn’t get it done. That’s on me, that’s my fault, nobody else’s.”

APPRECIATIVE OF THE ADMINISTRATION

On Wednesday, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and president Bernie Machen released statements of unequivocal support for Muschamp and the job he is currently doing with the Gators football program. Given the opportunity to respond in kind, Muschamp did just that publicly.

Continue Reading » 11/16: Florida at South Carolina post-game report; frustrated Muschamp tells fans to “get a grip”

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Gameday: Florida Gators at No. 11 South Carolina

Location: Williams-Brice Stadium – Columbia, SC [Capacity: 80,250]
Weather: 74°F (feels like 74°F), partly cloudy, winds ENE at 10 mph
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN2 (Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, Maria Taylor)
SiriusXM: 85 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS No. 11/12 USC GAMECOCKS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Steve Spurrier
Record: 4-5 (3-4 SEC) Record: 7-2 (5-2 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +13.5 | O/U: 42.5

PLAYER UPDATES

The Gators officially announced just an hour before the game that redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg would be starting (and making his first career in-game appearance) in place of redshirt junior Tyler Murphy (shoulder). Mornhinweg becomes just the second freshman signal caller in school history to take his first snap as a starter (Jacoby Brissett, 2011).

Florida also made it known before the game that junior cornerback Marcus Roberson was suspended and would not participate due to a violation of team rules.

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you missed via the links below!

Story: LB Antonio Morrison (torn meniscus) out for the season | Notebook: Will Muschamp talks about fixing the Gators | Notebook: Brent Pease talks about his quarterbacks, job security | Notebook: Muschamp and Steve Spurrier respect each other | Statement: Jeremy Foley backs Muschamp | Story: LB Jarrad Davis next man up for Florida | Story: QB Skyler Mornhinweg likely to start

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida holds a 24-6-3 advantage in the all-time series against South Carolina having won 19 of the last 22 meetings between the programs. Under Spurrier, the Gamecocks are 3-5 against the Gators and have won two of the last three showdowns.
» UF dropped its second game this season to an unranked opponent last week and is now 18-3 against unranked teams under Muschamp after losing two in a row.
» Florida is 15-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards (7-13 when rushing for fewer than 150 yards). The Gators are also 18-4 when holding opponents to 21 points or less, 13-3 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 14-4 when scoring first (8-9 when an opponent scores first) and 18-1 when leading at the half (4-12 when tied or trailing at the break).
» UF has registered 105 interceptions since 2008, second-most nationally. Florida is also first in interceptions returned for touchdowns (17) and interception return yards (1,860).
» The Gators have forced the most turnovers among SEC teams this century (363).
» Florida had forced at least one turnover in 19-straight games before failing to do so last week against Vanderbilt.
» Despite struggling for the last few weeks, the Gators are still ranked in the top-10 nationally in pass efficiency defense (98.2), total defense (278.8 yards), passing defense (169.1 yards), first downs allowed (15.7 per game), third down conversion defense (.311) and yards allowed per play (4.74).

Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: Florida Gators at No. 11 South Carolina

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11/13: Muschamp and Spurrier talk Florida-South Carolina, mutual respect; Murphy injury update

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp made his scheduled appearance Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference‘s weekly coaches teleconference and touched on a number of topics surrounding his team heading into Saturday’s game against the South Carolina Gamecocks and head coach Steve Spurrier.

INJURY UPDATES

While sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (sprained MCL) has already been ruled out of Saturday’s game, Muschamp said redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) and junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) remain day-to-day. Neither Murphy nor Roberson has practice this week as of press time.

Asked if Murphy’s shoulder was more seriously injured than it had been, Muschamp explained that nothing is torn but the player did experience some swelling and discomfort coming out of the last game. Florida did not think Murphy would start against Missouri, but he felt good enough at the start of the game and wound up playing. The same may happen this week, but he will have to see some practice time first.

Muschamp also said linebacker sophomore Antonio Morrison (torn meniscus) and freshman Jeremi Powell (torn ACL) were going under the knife Wednesday with Morrison’s surgery already completed. He will likely be out 2-3 months and back in time for spring practice.

MUTUAL RESPECT

Squaring off against Spurrier for the third time as coach of the Gators, Muschamp once again reiterated how much he respects the guy who helped build Florida football.

“I admire the job that he’s done as a head coach, period,” he said. “What he’s did and accomplished here at Florida in his 12 years and then the job he did at South Carolina and then the job he did at Duke and the Tampa Bay Bandits and the list goes on. He’s done it the right way, too. He does things the right way, does things first-class. He handles things the right way and I just have a lot of respect for the man.”

Spurrier shared a similar sentiment about Muschamp, saying the two have a good relationship and he very much respects how Muschamp is running the Gators.

Continue Reading » 11/13: Muschamp and Spurrier talk Florida-South Carolina, mutual respect; Murphy injury update

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11/11: Muschamp on Murphy’s injury, fixing Gators

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to discuss his team’s 34-17 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores and upcoming road contest against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, Nov. 16. The homecoming contest will kick off at 7:00 p.m. and air live on ESPN2.

BIG NAME LEADS LIST OF INJURED GATORS

Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy has been dealing with a shoulder injury since the LSU game but has yet to miss a start. Muschamp announced Monday that Murphy will not practice Monday or Tuesday but should be back out on the field Wednesday.

The player admitted later Monday that he would not be able to play if the game was that day, noting that the injury was aggravated – and potentially worsened – by getting hit in and falling on his shoulder multiple times against Vanderbilt.

“I’m missing Monday and possibly Tuesday,” Murphy said. “I need all the practice I can get. It’s just frustrating, being banged up a little bit, I have to sit out and try to get healthy. I’m just going to live in the training room and get healthy and try to get out there as soon as possible.”

There are rumors circulating that Murphy’s injury is worse than is being let on by the coaching staff, but to put that chatter in proper perspective, what exactly would Florida – a two-touchdown underdog to South Carolina – have to gain by lying about a season-ending injury the same day one is announced for another starter.

“It’s more of a day-to-day thing,” Murphy said about his ailment. “I’m just trying to get healthy so I can get back out there and try to contribute to helping this team.”

Muschamp also announced Monday that junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) will miss two days of practice but should return Wednesday. Freshman linebacker Jeremi Powell (knee) is scheduled for surgery this week, and sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries (MCL) is doubtful for Saturday.

“He’ll be back this season, just based on the injury report this morning he’s doubtful for this weekend,” Muschamp said. “He can get into a stance and move and stuff, he just can’t press off of it right now. He’ll play [again] before the year is out.”

Continue Reading » 11/11: Muschamp on Murphy’s injury, fixing Gators

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