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Monday October 29, 2012Quotes and Video from Head Coach Will Muschamp's Monday Press Conference

Gainesville, Fla.

Head Coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to preview the Gators’ upcoming game against SEC opponent Missouri on Saturday, November 3 at 12 p.m. on ESPN2 in The Swamp.


Opening Statement

“To recap Georgia, obviously the turnovers were the killer in the game, self-inflicted. When you turn the ball over six times, you’re going to have a hard time beating anyone, so that was disappointing and really the ending of the game. Just inconsistent offensively, in the run game and pass game, just really couldn’t get any continuity going. We had different issues and on the first 3rd down of the game, they bring the nickel and safety and we got it picked up but the guy was just a little late picking it up and the ball gets knocked off of Jeff. Just things we’ve got to do a better job of. We’ve got to get more consistent, whether we’re running or throwing it, just to create some continuity offensively. I thought we were really good on third down against a good 3rd down defense, but the inconsistency and the turnovers were doomsday for us, offensively.”


“Defensively, I thought we missed some things we don’t normally miss, but we got those things cleaned up and the last drive, obviously, we had the opportunity to win the game and we didn’t get it done. Our red zone defense and third down defense, really in the second half until the last drive, we played pretty solid. I thought we were solid in special teams but nothing spectacular. We didn’t do anything to really change the game, which we had for the most part of the season. Disappointed with the result but not the effort. Our guys played hard. It’s very evident as you watch the film that we played hard. We played extremely hard and laid a lot of it out on the field. Very pleased with the effort, we have a very resilient group of young men in the locker room. You turn the ball over 6 times, you face a lot of adversity in the game, and we’re driving to win the game on the last drive of the game. That says a lot about our football team, and that says a lot about the guys in the locker room that they were able to overcome a lot of self-inflicted issues to continue to fight to win the game and have the opportunity. I don’t know if you guys have been around as long as I have in this game, but with six turnovers, you should’ve walked out of there losing by four touchdowns, honestly. It says a lot of the character on our football team, what we’ve got going on in that locker room. It’s not the result we wanted and I’m disappointed in that. That falls on my shoulders and I’ll handle that going forward and refocus as we go, but that’s all on me. No different than when we win, we need to focus on Florida, need to get technical in our approach. I told the staff yesterday and today that, obviously, there were some things we did well in the game and there’s some things we need to have corrected. That’s what we’ll do and we’ll focus on us and what we need to do to get better.”


“From an injury standpoint, Solomon Patton has broken his upper arm and he is out for the season. Damien Jacobs we’re hoping to get back tomorrow based on the report I got this morning. Lerentee McCray has an ankle injury and is probable for the game, I think we’ll get him back on the field Wednesday, and James Wilson and Xavier Nixon both twisted their knees but both will be on the practice field Tuesday.”


“On to Missouri, Gary Pinkle has been there for 12 years and is an outstanding football coach and has done a great job with that program. He went to Missouri and they were a 12 personnel, two type, one-back power team, play action, and he got a guy named Brad Smith there about 10 years ago and they completely changed who they were offensively. They’ve gone to the spread attack and can be very different from what a lot of people have seen in The Swamp as far as the empty and the one back and the exotic formations and the things they do, they do a really nice job. David Yost is their offensive coordinator. I’m pretty familiar with him from my days in the Big 12. James Franklin, the quarterback, is a duel threat guy, he can run it and can throw. They’ve got him back and he came in last week against Kentucky to finish and win the game for them. Kendial Lawrence is an outstanding back, he’s got some good top end speed, a guy that they create a lot of space plays for. You must tackle well in this game because of the space plays they’re going to create on the one-on-one. Defensively, Dave Steckel, the defensive coordinator, is a friend of mine; outstanding coach. Sheldon Richardson is an outstanding player inside. They’re fourth in the nation in tackles for a loss, they lead the nation in forced fumbles, and five last week against Kentucky, so we need to tie up some things there. Of course, Marcus Murphy, he has four kick returns for touchdowns, three punts, and one kickoff return. We need to refocus. We’re coming back home in The Swamp, were excited about that, 12:00 kickoff on ESPN2 and we just need to get back. The tough thing about football is that you’ve got to wait seven days, you know. Billy [Donovan] and them may lose on a Wednesday and they get to go back out Saturday and play, or Sully (Kevin O’Sullivan) and them may have a double header. They play in the morning and then play in the afternoon, and they get a win and get it out of their system, and we can’t. It is what it is, I’m disappointed in the result, not the effort of the football team, and very proud of the guys continuing to fight and battling in the game. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t get the results we wanted and that’s on me.”


On the team’s resiliency
“I think it’s a very positive sign about the character they have in the locker room and the competitive edge you have in the locker room. You’ve got a bunch of guys that when it wasn’t going well, continued to play hard and continued to fight and continued to do what they had to do. You’ve had days at the office like that, whatever you seem to do or try to do, doesn’t seem to always work exactly the way you want it to. You’ve got to continue to play and play through it and that’s what the guys did.”


On Driskel’s confidence after the four turnovers
“I talked to him yesterday and that’s part of being the quarterback at the University of Florida, you get in that situation. Could he have made some better decisions? Certainly, and he recognizes that, but we also need to play better around him. We have to protect better and get more precise in our route running. We need to do a better job of running the football. There are a lot of things that go around that position that we can do a better job of.”


On Gillislee not being able to get the yards he has been able to get previously in the season
“I think that people have done a better job adjusting to some of the things we’re doing and some of the extra lineman and things that we’re going in this direction, and runs haven’t been hidden as well, and that’s what’s been really good for us throughout the year. We’re continuing to look at that and find different ways to run, and in our league they catch up to you pretty quickly, as far as the things you’re doing. You’ve got to continue to stay advanced in the things that you’re doing. I think we’ll have some good plans this week to run it, and I think we had a good plan last week. We got whipped at the point of attack, and quite frankly, you’ve got to win some of those. You’ve got to win some one-on-ones in this league, so we’ve got to do a better job of wining some of those.”


On uniqueness of playing an important conference game against a team they’ve never seen before
“It is what it is, and the schedule fell where we played some conference games earlier than we normally used to and some unfamiliar opponents in some unfamiliar territory, but it worked out well for us. We’ll approach this one just like we’ve approached the previous eight. Prepare well for the game and focus on what we need to do to improve our football team.”


On what he would have rather seen from Jordan Reed on the last play
“The guy was trying to make a play, I’m never going to disrupt a guy from trying to make a play. Does he need to have better ball security? Sure, however you do that, just have better ball security. No one player or play lost the game at the end of the day. The guy’s trying to make a play and he plays with great effort and passion and had a couple really nice plays on the drive and we wouldn’t have been in that position if it weren’t for him and he’s trying to make a play. It’s easy to criticize when you’re sitting in the stands, get in the arena and play.”


On predicting where high school players will be at the college level
“I think that so much of the offensive line has to do with girth and size and you don’t know where a 17 or 18 year old young man is going to go, unless he already has it, some do now-a-days, but not a whole lot. I think it’s just about what fits and what you’re looking for and you’ve got to do a good job of evaluating those guys. It’s critical to get those guys in camp. Sometimes in the tape that we see, it’s hard to see the vertical plays down the field and it’s hard to evaluate defensive backs and it’s hard to evaluate wide receivers and quarterbacks. Those are the three that are the hardest to evaluate off of tape, and you really need to see those guys in camp.”


On needing to win down the field and Jeff not getting time to go through looks
“It’s a combination of things. We have the first third-down that had nothing to do with the offensive lineman. The tight end was supposed to pick up the pressure, so it’s not necessarily always the offensive line, its different things. The back missed the protection on a third and long situation when we had a throw down the field and we were open down the field, so again, a combination of things that we’ve got to do and see the things that come open in situations. It’s not falling on one person or position’s shoulders. It’s a combination of things and it’s something that we as a staff have been working through the entire season and knowing that we need to work on it and improve on it. I do think that we’ve made some strides, it certainly wasn’t good enough on Saturday.”


On running 80% on first down
“I think that it gives you a little bit, depending on the situation, when you get the ball on the two yard line against South Carolina, you may want to run it. I do think that a lot of that is based on situational football and we scout ourselves hard, we look at what we’re doing based on the personnel groupings that we have and the field position and the down and the distance, and that’s something that we study. It’s not just looking at overall first downs. It’s looking at the situations of first down.”


On being ready for a noon start
“Our crowd will be there, excited to see us play and we’ll need to do a good job of getting them excited. It is what it is, they [Missouri] have to play at the same time we do, so let’s get up and get excited about it. As a competitor you want to get back on the field yesterday, that’s what you want to do. We’re looking forward to it, our guys will be ready.”


On the loss of Solomon Patton
“He’s been having a fantastic year, he does a lot for us not only on offense but on special teams. He’s a great gunner and a guy that you can use in the reverse game. He’s a great young man and has given a lot to our program in the two years that I’ve been here. He’ll be back this spring and he’ll be fine but now André needs to step it up a bit and help us in some situations there and we’ll have to fill the void of what he gives you from a dynamic playmaker standpoint. He’s a guy that can get on the edge and do some things.”


On challenge of facing Missouri, who leads the nation in forced fumbles, after coming off of 6 turnovers
“We need to do a better job. We had four turnovers coming into this last game, so we just need to do a better job of being more cognizant of ball security and those situations. We’ve done a good job of that in the previous seven games, so it hasn’t been a recurring issue.”


On difference in the team’s attitude after a loss compared to last year
“There’s the initial disappointment of losing a tough game, and I certainly saw that in the locker room with a lot of guys, more so than a year ago. The entire football team was affected. They understood the importance of the situation. I haven’t seen them, yesterday was their day off, but I’ll see them here at 3:00 this afternoon but it’s time to move forward.”


On how far “winning down the field” is referring to
“It’s a lot of things. Its protection, it’s getting open, it’s taking the ball to the right spot. Protection ties into more than just the offensive line. It ties into our backs, our tight ends, our receivers seeing an overload of pressure on a certain side and being able to get the hot off, there’s a lot of things that go into getting the ball down the field.”


On the receivers only catching three passes
“Certainly you want to stretch the field vertically and that’s what we’re trying to do. Again, we’re counting Trey as a receiver. Omarius Hines is a receiver for us, and we need to get him more involved in the game. We just need to continue to get more guys with the ball in their hands that can make plays for us.”


On what it is about teams that are able to come back after a loss and win
“Maturity, I think maturity. We have a mature bunch that is able to put it behind them. You don’t ever forget the loss, to say that is cliché. I don’t want them to forget the loss, I want them to take it and use it as motivation. If you can’t use it as motivation in a positive way, then you do need to forget it, and some guys are like that. We’re all created differently, we all handle losing differently. I remember being a defensive coordinator at a school and we had a couple of players after the game that were really good players, laughing and joking and I got upset. They just handle losing differently.  I think both of the young men were upset, I don’t think that they were happy that we lost. I think they were genuinely upset with the game and they did everything they could to help us win the game. We all handle it differently and the bottom line is you’ve got to refocus and move forward and you can’t let it linger and that’s what we’re going to do today at 3:00.”


On what this game will tell him about the team
“I don’t know that it’ll tell me anything other than what I already know, and I certainly feel like we will move forward and we will be fine and we will refocus and have a good week of preparation for a good Missouri team.”


On what he’d like to see Jeff improve on
“Just decision making. It’s never a bad thing to end a possession with a kick, whether it’s a punt or a field goal. If we always end every possession with a kick, we’ll be fine.”


On biggest difference in James Wilson from last year
“I think he’s carried on to what he did at the end of last season, and he’s played really good football for us, he played pretty consistently for us. It’s always been a weight issue with James. If he gets his weight down, he’s able to play, he’s able to sustain. He’s always been a very talented guy and given the opportunity, which he was at the end of last season after he got his weight under control, he’s been a productive player for us.”


On the cliché of learning a lot about a person when they battle adversity and moving forward
“You go to the guys within the organization who you know are going to handle it the right way. That’s what I’m going to do, and what I’ve already done to a certain degree, and make sure that the message is the right message and that the locker room is the way it needs to be, and it is. I don’t have any second thoughts about that at all. This isn’t something you do in a week, this is something you do 365 days a year in your program. It’s not something you turn on, on Sunday and go, ‘Wow, we need to refocus here.’ It’s something where you deal with adversity and move forward.”


On if takes pride in how much trouble Missouri has had in the conference
“I don’t enjoy anybody losing, I enjoy when we win. It’s a very difficult league, it’s just week in and week out, there’s not a breather, and it’s tough every week.”


On defenders being overaggressive
“We did miss a tackle there obviously, but I think we tackled pretty well in the game. I think we had eight [missed tackles] in the game which is pretty low in terms against good people. We had some decent strip attempts, I thought, that were calculated and in some good situations.”


On defensive effort
“We want to get three turnovers in every game. I think the effort was good. They [Georgia] did a good job of protecting the ball. We got three interceptions, didn’t get any fumbles, but I thought we had a couple of opportunities in the pocket on the quarterback that we missed, but you’ve just got to capitalize on that.”


On Matt Patchan being back this year
“I don’t know. He’s got a torn peck and he’s trying to rehab the best that he can.”


On Missouri’s defense
“We’re still in the breakdowns right now but Dave’s a pretty calculated guy and they’re very well coached and very well disciplined in what they do and in pressure they are very effective. They do a nice job of their overload stuff and creating some one-on-ones.”


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