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Tuesday October 18, 2011 Muschamp says Brantley off crutches, set to return to practice Monday

Gators coach Will Muschamp wrapped up his press conference a little while ago here at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Here are a few quick highlights from his meeting with reporters:

Gators QB John Brantley

--Muschamp said starting quarterback John Brantley is off crutches and the plan is for him to return to practice Monday. Brantley was injured Oct. 1 against Alabama and has missed the past two games.

Since Brantley’s injury, the Gators have lost at LSU and Auburn, scoring just 17 points in the two games.

“He’s living in the trainer’s room for the last three weeks,’’ Muschamp said. “He is doing everything he can to get back. He really wants to play.’’

The Gators are hopeful Brantley might be able to return against Georgia on Oct. 29, but at this point it’s too early to know if he’ll be ready.

--With Brantley’s status still uncertain, true freshmen quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel will split snaps “50-50” according to Muschamp, who added that running back Trey Burton will also continue to take snaps in the wildcat formation.

--With a lot of attention given to ESPN highlights showing Muschamp’s salty language toward the officials during Saturday night’s 17-6 loss at Auburn, he addressed the matter unprompted Tuesday.

“I do want to apologize for my language on the sidelines,’’ Muschamp said. “It's hard when you have a 6-year-old and a 10-year-old at home and have to explain to them what you said.

--The Gators have lost three consecutive games and have tough challenge coming up next week against Georgia in Jacksonville. Muschamp said the focus this week at practice is on the Gators and how they can get better.

The focus next week will be toward preparing for the Bulldogs. Despite what others may think Muschamp remains confident the Gators are close to being an elite football team.

“We're not that far away,” he said. “The biggest problem we have is depth.’’

--With the Gators set to face Muschamp’s alma mater, Georgia, in their next game, he was asked if he maintains any sentimental views of Georgia.

“My loyalty resides with people, not places necessarily,’’ Muschamp said.

--Muschamp said redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown, who has not played this season due to a knee injury, is hopeful of returning for the Georgia game. He also expects kicker Caleb Sturgis, who strained his right leg on Saturday at Auburn and was unavailable in the second half, to be able to play against Georgia.

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