Florida QB Murphy not ruled out but “adequate” Mornhinweg in line for second start

Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) has not been ruled out to start Saturday’s game against the Georgia Southern Eagles, but the Florida Gators are being cautious and preparing as if redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg will line up behind center following the opening kickoff.

Murphy spent Monday’s normally light practice “absorbing the game plan, jogging around,” according to offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who refused to say that Mornhinweg had already been named the starter.

Instead, Pease is preparing a game plan that either player will be able to manage, a quite obvious decision considering Mornhinweg did not have that much on his plate during Saturday’s 19-14 loss to South Carolina.

When he was on the field, Mornhinweg handed it off most of the time. It was not until late in the contest when he was forced to throw the ball – due to the score and time remaining on the lock – and ultimately threw a game-ending interception.

But Pease said Tuesday that Gators’ game plan had less to do with Mornhinweg’s inexperience than it did UF’s offensive line and the presence of Gamecocks defensive end Jadaveon Clowney.

“Understand that last week was really based around No. 7 on their team, too. That guy’s the best player in the nation. He can change the game, cause a fumble, pick the ball up and run. Going in, our plan was really designed to make sure that we were going to do things that he couldn’t change the momentum of the game,” he explained.

With South Carolina in the back window and Georgia Southern standing as Florida’s next task at hand, Pease plans to open things up for Mornhinweg, if he is indeed the one who starts Saturday.

Continue Reading » Florida QB Murphy not ruled out but “adequate” Mornhinweg in line for second start

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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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No. 10 Gamecocks fight back to top Gators 19-14

The No. 10/11 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 SEC) withstood a ground-and-pound attack by the Florida Gators (4-6, 3-5 SEC) on Saturday evening at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC, shutting out and therefore outscoring the visitors 13-0 in the second half to pull out a 19-14 victory.

The outcome left the Gators having dropped five games in a row for the first time since 1979 and losing for the first time under the leadership of head coach Will Muschamp when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game (previously 15-0). Florida also lost for just the second time under Muschamp when leading at the half (previously 18-1).

Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor led the way for UF with 21 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns. USC only scored one touchdown on the evening but connected on 5-of-6 field goals to put its SEC East rivals away.

Continue Reading » No. 10 Gamecocks fight back to top Gators 19-14

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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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Florida QB Tyler Murphy a game-time decision; Skyler Mornhinweg likely to start Saturday

Florida Gators redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy, who has been dealing with but playing through a shoulder injury he suffered on Oct. 12 at LSU, is not in line to start Saturday on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Head coach Will Muschamp said Thursday on his weekly Gator Hotline radio show that redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg has practiced with the first team all week and is set to start barring Murphy suddenly feeling a whole lot better.

“Well, Skyler’s taken most of the reps all week. Tyler could be a game-time decision depending if he continues to loosen up through the week. He hasn’t taken any reps at all this week, to be honest with you,” Muschamp explained.

“Skyler’s looked good and we feel good about him moving forward and being ready to go. That’s the way it’s looking right now.”

He added that Murphy’s status is “not totally certain yet,” and he could lead the Gators if he suddenly feels much more comfortable during the team’s walk-through on Friday.

“We rep a script of about 30 plays on offense, 30 plays on defense. We’ll see what Tyler can do in those situations, but Skyler has had a good week of practice.”

Continue Reading » Florida QB Tyler Murphy a game-time decision; Skyler Mornhinweg likely to start Saturday

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11/12: Pease calls Murphy game-time decision, talks Mornhinweg and job security

Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease met with the media on Tuesday ahead of the 10th game of the season against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, Nov. 16. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. and air live on ESPN2.

QUARTERBACK A GAME-TIME DECISION

Redshirt junior starting quarterback Tyler Murphy announced Monday that trainers considered him day-to-day as he rehabilitated from a sore shoulder that has been ailing him over the last few weeks. Though rumors ran rampant that Murphy was actually out for the season, OnlyGators.com confirmed with a source close to the player that he is indeed day-to-day and trying to get back for the South Carolina game.

Pease said the exact same thing on Tuesday, noting that it would be up to the trainers to determine whether or not Murphy goes on Saturday.

“I think it’s probably a game-time decision. … He’s got to get in some practice time at some point in time and at least go out. … It’s about his comfort, ability of how to throw and spin it,” Pease said.

Murphy being a game-time decision means redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg has taken all of the repetitions in practice and may very well be starting against the Gamecocks and their, at times, extremely talented defense.

Mornhinweg has never stepped on the field for the Gators, but Pease noted that he has received a fair share of first-team reps in recent weeks.

“We were in it a couple of weeks ago when Skyler was taking all the reps going into the Missouri game. It’s not something that is a new situation or us, but you got to plan and make sure the things we do with Skyler – Murphy will be able to perform – fit things around both of them in a game plan that is really going to benefit our team,” he said.

“He’s ready to go. The thing that’s tough on a kid in his situation is just experience. You hope you never really have to play with a redshirt freshman, and nothing against him, because he’s a smart kid, he works hard. In a developmental situation, you hope you get into your sophomore or junior year before you get into that situation whether you’re competing for the job or in a back-up role ready to play.”

Should Murphy be ruled out and Mornhinweg start, redshirt junior walk-on Christian Provancha would serve as the back-up quarterback as UF is trying to preserve freshman Max Staver’s redshirt.

Continue Reading » 11/12: Pease calls Murphy game-time decision, talks Mornhinweg and job security

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