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Monday November 18, 2013 Muschamp Appreciates Public Show of Support from Foley and Machen

Updated: 9:28pm, November 18

Will Muschamp

Gators coach Will Muschamp remains confident program is headed in right direction despite struggles.

As the Gators' season turned south, third-year head coach Will Muschamp became the focal point for fans and media.

A year after being named SEC Coach of the Year, Muschamp has faced mounting criticism, especially in recent weeks.

The injury-riddled Gators have lost five consecutive games -- the program's longest losing streak since 1979 -- and unless they can win their final two regular-season games against Georgia Southern and Florida State, will miss a bowl game for the first time since 1990.

Those close to the program have not wavered in their support of Muschamp, starting at the top.

Last week Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen stated their continued support of Muschamp publicly.

The show of support was not lost on Muschamp, who is 22-14 since taking over the program in 2011.

"It says a lot about Jeremy and Dr. Machen from a standpoint of seeing where we were three years ago and understanding,” Muschamp said Monday. “Making good decisions within our program and to see the day-to-day operation and understand the steps you made in year two and why we are where we are right now.

“And nobody's happy with that. Absolutely nobody. The expectation level here is to win championships, and we haven't done it."

The Gators finished 7-6 in Muschamp's first season as he worked to instill a more accountable culture. Several players left the program and Florida responded with a 11-1 regular season and Sugar Bowl berth in 2012.

Expectations were high entering Muschamp's third year despite the loss of seven starters on defense and leading rusher Mike Gillislee, the program's first 1,000-yard rusher in eight years.

Signs of trouble were apparent early when a rash of injuries hit during fall camp. The injuries have continued to pile up during the season, transforming the Gators into a shell of the team they were expected to be when the season opened.

Muschamp appreciates his boss' belief that the direction of the program is on the right path.

"I think it's seeing the big picture and understanding where we are with the program and feeling good, not necessarily where we are right now, but understanding why we are where we are and where it's headed,'' he said. "We've got a bunch of good young players in this program, a bunch of good kids in this program.

"We're recruiting extremely well. Things are heading in the right direction. It's just been a frustrating time for us this season."

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