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Monday November 12, 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 Florida’s last home game of the season against Jacksonville State at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

 

Opening Statement:

“I thought we played good, we just didn’t play smart. We’re going to have to go back and look at the film at the inconsistencies, especially on the offensive side of the ball. There were several penalties that cost us. We kept a drive alive on third and ten, but negated a touchdown because we didn’t line up right. But I want to compliment our team again as far as their effort and resolve, that’s the one thing that sticks out that they all have. We were fortunate to come out on top, but, again, I’m proud of their effort and the way they continue to fight and play through the season for 60 minutes each game. They understand what it takes to win games, because that is a talent. Winning games is a talent. It’s something our guys have learned to do. I thought we managed the game well before half by getting the touchdown before going into the locker room. We negotiated the drive well at the end of the game by getting in the hurry-up at the 50 and taking our team down and scoring.”

 

“The team stat explosives, we had five, they had two. We didn’t turn the ball over and we got the one turnover on the first drive. When you have a double positive there, you’re going to win a lot of games. Offensively, the sacks hurt us, but we ran the ball well. I thought we were efficient in the throwing game. We had two big drops down the field that we could have capitalized on and could have changed the game. For the most part, we were good there, but just inconsistent across the board, really with everything. It wasn’t any one position that hurt us. When there are five sacks, you want to blame the offensive line, but there are a lot of issues, whether it’s protection at the ends or the running backs. The quarterback has to get rid of the ball at times. Again, inconsistency across the board is what is hurting us right now offensively.”

 

“Player of the game was Jordan Reed. Big play award went to Omarius Hines, Jeff Driskel, Jacoby Brissett and Jordan Reed. Scrap Iron was D.J. Humphries and Jon Halapio. D.J. continues to play well for us and improves every time out on the number of snaps he’s getting and the looks and turns he’s getting, he continues to improve. Defensively, you give up 13 points, you are going to win a lot of games. On third down, I thought we were outstanding. I thought we tackled very well. We only had three missed tackles for the game. The red-zone stops at the end were critical for us. We put our corners on an island on all three snaps and we won those down. We had eight three and outs for the game, which is letting us get our offense back out on the field. The 48 yarder was one of the few big play passes we’ve given up this year, which was disappointing. First down efficiency, we want to be at 60 percent and playing second down at seven plus and we were at 40 percent , so that’s a little lower than we’ve been all season and only getting one turnover after doing a good job after gaining possession back for our offense.”

 

“Players of the game on defense were Dominique Easley and Loucheiz Purifoy. Both of those guys continue to be very productive. They’ve played well all season and both have had an outstanding year. Ball hawk was Sharrif Floyd on getting a great strip on the third play of the game, coming out of the stack there and getting the ball off the running back and Jon Bostic recovered it. Special teams won it there at the end with the blocked kick and it was an outstanding job by D.J. Durkin, our special teams coach to put our guys in situations and it was a fabulous execution by our players. Hats off to them. Special teams player of the game was Loucheiz Purifoy. He’s a guy that’s really fun to watch play. You turn the tape on you’ll understand why we’re trying to get him on offense because he plays with relentless effort all the time. The play that really strikes out at me was when they rolled out on the field at the goal line and we brought him at a corner pressure and the guy is running like it’s the last play of his life. He’s trying to chase the quarterback and he’s 30 yards away from the guy. Just relentless effort from him and one thing he does is he has great ball skills and has a knack for making plays. I’m proud of the year he has had. For Jelani Jenkins, he obviously had the big play catching the ball and returning it for a touchdown was a huge play in the game.”

 

“Injuries. Stephen Alli has a shoulder injury. I’m not sure about his status, but I think he’ll be fine. Jeff Driskel’s ankle is probably doubtful for this weekend based on the conversation I had today. We’ll try to get him out on the field on Wednesday. If he can’t go by then, certainly we’ll go with Jacoby (Brissett). I’ve got all the confidence in the world that Jacoby will play well. Neiron Ball has an ankle injury. He’s doubtful for this weekend as well. Valdez Showers has a shoulder injury, but we expect to get him back on Wednesday. Ian Silberman has a shoulder injury. I’ll know more about him on Wednesday based on what he can do. I’m expecting Xavier Nixon, James Wilson and Mack Brown all to practice on Tuesday. Andre Debose is doubtful for this week with a knee injury and De’Ante Saunders is hurt as well and I’ll know more about him as the week rolls.”

 

“Obviously, we’re very appreciative here at the University of Florida for those who have served our country with Veterans Day being yesterday. We’re certainly saluting those who have served our country in local law enforcement and the military. Dewayne Dewey will be at this game this weekend for the coin flip as a Korean War vet in corporal air and we appreciate his service. We’ll have a fly over as well. A lot of our players have military ties, some are very strong. Jeremy Brown, Dominique Easley, Matt Elam, Jabari Gorman, and Lerentee McCray all have family members that serve. A.J. Mobley is a walk-on for us and served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan before joining our team as a walk-on. He’s done a fabulous job for our scout teams. Antonio Morrison, Xavier Nixon and Loucheiz Purifoy have ties and John Reichthardt from here in Gainesville served seven years with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan before joining our team as a walk on. Jesse Schmitt, who carried the ball for us some last year is going to be a commissioned second lieutenant in the Marines this spring. Ian Silberman and Francisco Velez have military ties as well. So all of those guys and really much of our staff have been in touch with the military in some form or fashion in their life and honoring them is great for us.”

 

“18 seniors will play their last game here in the Swamp. They’ve been an outstanding group as far as they’re buying in to our program with what we’re trying to do and getting this started in the right direction. It’s a strong statement for them and they’ve been outstanding. This weekend is an opportunity to go 7-0 at home and be only the third team in UF history to do so. They understand what is at stake.”

 

“Jacksonville State. Jack Crowe, their head football coach, is a guy I have a lot of respect for. He was an assistant at Auburn for a long time, was at Arkansas for a short time. They’ve done a nice job with their program being 6-4. They have multiple offenses and defenses and certainly another opportunity to go and prove and play well for what’s at stake.”

 

On if the offense will change if Jacoby Brissett plays and severity of Jeff Driskel’s injury
“Obviously that will change a little bit. We will run what we run and who we are. Right now, they just think he would be doubtful for the game. We will continue to work through the week and see if he can do anything. If he can, great. If he can’t, we will move forward. Man down, man up.”

On if it would be better to rest Jeff Driskel against Jacksonville State
“I approach all the games the same way.”

 

On the specifics of Jeff Driskel’s injury
“It is a sprain. It’s got some swelling on it. It’s a little black and blue, I think. It is a sprained ankle. We will find what he can do. He is in a walking boot right now. That is precautionary, that is what we always do with sprained ankles. We will see how the swelling goes. Some guys recover quicker than others. Based on what Anthony Pass and I talked about this morning, I feel like Wednesday we will see what he can do, if he can do anything. If not, we will move forward. We will be fine. Jacoby Brissett will play well.”

 

On the late non-conference games

“However they set it up is fine with me, we will play them. It doesn’t matter when you play them in our league, it is going to be tough regardless of the situation. It is what it is.”

 

On if it is easier to play your conference games early

“It doesn’t matter when you play them. You have to win them. That’s the way I look at it, regardless of where they are.”

 

On if the team is getting the respect of a 9-1 team

“I really don’t worry about what the perception might be out there. Unfortunately, in our profession, sometimes perception becomes reality. I don’t apologize for being 3-1 and the only one in the BCS top-10 that has that record. We have better record than anyone else and a tougher schedule than anyone else in the country. I don’t know what else you need to do. As far as the players are concerned, we continue to focus on Florida and what we need to do to be successful and preparation for Jacksonville State. When you look at our record, schedule, and what we have accomplished this year, we have had a hell of a year. I don’t really worry about. You control the things you can control. That is one thing I learned last year. Some things you can’t control. You don’t want to spend a whole lot of time worrying about them. You figure out what you can handle and deal with it and move forward.”

 

On how the players this year are setting the foundation moving forward

“I think it helps when you face adversity that you know how to handle it. I think that is important, but this football team has been a team that has worked extremely hard, starting in January. They have put in the time and effort to understand and have put themselves in the situations of facing adversity then handling adversity. What they can’t let happen are younger players that think that is just going to happen because it has happened before. That’s not the way it works. So again, you just have to recommit yourself to understand what it takes to be successful. Then it shows them the work ethic, commitment, and discipline it takes to be successful.”

 

On wide receivers coach Bush Hamdan

“He has done great this year. I thought you said Hammond. Frankie Hammond, he has been here long enough to be a coach. I think he has done a fabulous job. I think back to my first full-time coaching job was at West Georgia, a little different than The Swamp. He has done a fabulous job. He has a really good understanding of our schemes and system, having been exposed to it before. I think he has done a really nice job.”

 

On if Coach Hamdan will be back next year

“I am focused on our season right now and what we are trying to do, get these next two. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. He has done a fabulous job for us.”

 

On Brissett’s preparation this season and being put in quickly on Saturday

“You never know when you’re number’s going to be called, there is no question. I think that it’s a great example for us all and you know and when you’re number’s called you better be ready to perform and perform well. We’ve always talked about man down, man up and in that situation you have to man up and play and its different than other positions. The quarterback position affects the entire team and I’m certainly very proud of his effort and how he did when he went into the game.”

 

On Brissett wanting to throw deep and if he needs to harness that

“No, I think you take the reads that you have and you hit what is open. I think given the situation we had Frankie (Hammond) on our sideline open and he threw the ball and he had Jordan (Reed) down the middle and they didn’t carry the MIKE on the run through so I think those situations where he took the ball. That’s all within the progression, not necessarily just throwing the ball deep and in most situations they are very good decisions.”

 

On how they will prepare Gillislee this week compared to other weeks

“It’s all the same. We’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win the game and play well.”

 

How he feels Gillislee has played and how the run game has played since the LSU matchup

“Well I think he’s (Gillislee) has played well, I think that people have schemed us up a little differently and try to take the tailback out of the run game. That’s why our quarterback position hasn’t been very efficient running the football for the most part. Not all the time, but for the most part I think it’s open.  Some other things, up on the perimeter, Omarius Hines did some things on the perimeter, on the outside run game. We have not been as efficient running the ball between the tackles since the LSU game. We’re looking to hopefully get Jimmy (Wilson) and Xavier (Nixon) back and certainly those seasoned snaps will help us a little bit to help block guys better; maintain guys with a little more finish, a little better in the run game.  I certain think it will open the MIKE up a little bit more.”

 

How much better is the defense the second year in the system and expecting the offense to be better next year

“Certainly, anytime you go through a transition you’re going to go through your growing pains and communication really as much of anything. There is a lot more thinking going on than there is reacting and whenever you’re doing that it slows you down as a player. That’s where you get into the fine lines of coaching and are you doing enough to be unpredictable or are you doing too much to where your kids are thinking too much and I think our staff has done a really good job of managing that with both sides of the ball and special teams. But, I certainly will see a jump in the second year and I’ve been through those transitions of first year to second year and it’s a much smoother transition when players understand what is expected of them in situations.  I think anytime you go through that, it is easier.”  

 

On whether the players need to focus in more

“Well I don’t know that its focus. I think we had a good week of preparation and I think our team wasn’t tuned in Saturday. I believe that regardless of what the score was of the game. I’ve tried to tell that to everybody on Monday that this was not a bad football team coming in here. They have good athletes and they’ve got some good players. We needed to execute a little bit better on our end and consistency has continued to hurt us. It hurt us against Missouri and at times against Georgia in our play. I don’t think that is because of a lack of focus. When you have a penalty it’s not necessarily from a lack of focus its playing out of control sometimes.  There are different reasons why it happens. It’s easy to say well they weren’t focused, well I disagree with that. After the Georgia game, someone asked me ‘You didn’t look motivated’ I said ‘Are you kidding? We turned the ball over six times and we’re driving to win the game at the end of the game against a top 5 football team. I think we’re motivated.’ We didn’t play very well the whole time but I think we’re a very motivated football team. I think, again, when you go into year two and you start transitioning week-to-week and you make the adjustments.  We met with the defensive staff this morning or making some tweaks and changes to things we’ve done this season. It’s a lot easier to sit in that room and make those changes as opposed to sitting in the offensive staff room because that’s the first time a lot of those young men have been through that change schematically as opposed to what were doing offensively.  I may walk into a room and look at Jelani Jenkins or Jon Bostic or whoever and I may say ‘We did this such and such here are you good’ and they say ‘Yeah we’re good.’ Well we don’t really have that database of information offensively right now. That’s why it makes it easier.”

 

On what the team does for senior day

“Friday night we have all the seniors that want to, get up and talk to our football team. It is one of my favorite days of the year, to hear those guys talk about their time a Florida, playing the last time in The Swamp. It is a very touching time to see a lot of those guys express themselves, some you wouldn’t expect to express themselves. It is a lot of fun. It’s just us, the football team in there together. Guys that have been through the good and the bad and guys that are real close in the room. It is one of my favorite times of the year.”

 

On what about Jacoby’s performance gives confidence in him

“I don’t think it was just Saturday. I have seen him for over a year and a half that we have been here together. He is a guy that has prepared himself well and is very talented. He is going to have the opportunities to make good choices and decisions on the field, which he will do. I have a lot of confidence in him. I don’t think it is any one day you say this gives you confidence, I think it is over a period of time that builds confidence with you.”

 

On getting the team motivated this week

“Again, you don’t have many opportunities to run out there and accomplish what we have accomplished. You look at the history of this program and the great tradition, and you can be 1 of 3 teams that have accomplished an undefeated 7-0 season at home. I think that is a lot of motivation. It’s the last time a lot of these guys are going to run out of that tunnel. Friday, Joe Haden, the Browns were off, and he came by and spoke to the team. He said something that has always resonated with me when guys come back, wherever I have been: 1. it will be over before you know it. That’s always one thing, and 2. you never will have the friendships that you have right now in the NFL, because it is a business. They don’t understand that. It is easy to say it, but the more they hear it the more they listen. The more they hear it from guys like Joe, they listen even more. Enjoy the relationships that you have because it will never happen again.”

 

On senior day being emotional

“It is always emotional, it was last year. You think back, going through the tough year John (Brantley) had with the injuries and Chris Rainey, Deonte Thompson and all those guys, Willie Green and Jaye Howard. Those guys gave a lot to the program. They are going into their senior year and you come to the University of Florida to win a championship, unfortunately their last two seasons didn’t go as planned. I appreciate the work they put in and the foundation they helped set for us. It certainly has helped us this season and there is no question this year the guys, you spend a lot of time with these young men and you see them develop in just a two year time. They are very special to me and always will be.”

 

On D.J. Humphries as possible starter

“He needs to practice well this week, but he has done some nice things. He has really done some good things as far as protection is concerned. Obviously he is a guy that needs to put on a little weight and we have talked to him about that. We are working hard at that and developing him. Again, apart from the quarterback, you talk about difficult positions to play as a freshman and left tackle is probably 1A.”

 

On where Humphries has made the greatest stride since coming to Florida

“Well I think his mental preparation for the season. I think it is very difficult for any young player to walk into the SEC and understand the mental intensity it has. They can understand going out to practice and putting in a days work, that’s one thing. But going out and understanding all the different changes mentally that you have to go through, you have to be a very mature kid. He is and he has handled it really well.”

 

On getting message across about penalties

“We are going to sit down and watch them as a team again like we did earlier in the year. Really, as far as true discipline penalties, this has been the first one since Bowling Green where to me it has been a bit ridiculous. It hasn’t been since then that we have had discipline penalty issues. Again, I think there is a difference when you talk about an aggressive penalty that maybe you could use better judgment, and a discipline penalty where you don’t line up on the line of scrimmage against something you run six thousand times. We are going to reemphasize the film today. We are going to go back to the film and make sure they understand that when the other team doesn’t snap the ball and you take a step, it is a five-yard penalty.”

 

 

 

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