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Monday October 28, 2013Quotes From Will Muschamp's Press Conference

Gainesville, Fla.

Head Coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to preview the Gators’ upcoming game against Georgia (3:30 p.m. on Saturday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.).

 

Opening Statement:

 “Alright, we’ve got Georgia week coming off a bye week; we practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and ran and lifted the kids on Monday and Friday. Most of our staff was out Thursday and Friday recruiting. We got a good start on Georgia on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. The injury report at this time is: Ronald Powell ran pretty good last week, did some change of direction yesterday, will not practice today I want to get him back on the field tomorrow hopefully and definitely by Wednesday if he were to play in the game it’s still kind of up in the air whether or not that will happen or not. Tyler Murphy looks fine, probably won’t do a whole lot of throwing today but will be full speed tomorrow. Damien Jacobs should be fine, will not practice today, but will be back in practice tomorrow. Darrin Kitchens looks to be doubtful with the shoulder at this time. Jeremi Powell is hoping to get his surgery done next week; he still has some swelling on his knee so hopefully we can get that done. Colin Thompson I would say is doubtful at this time, we ran him yesterday a little bit and he had some soreness in the foot but we are trying to get him back off the injury there. But, Georgia starts with Aaron Murray on offense, four year starter, very experienced, very accurate with the football. He is having an outstanding year and outstanding career. Todd Gurley’s an explosive runner, you appreciate competing against a guy like him the way he competes when he runs it. He runs it extremely hard. The three seniors on the offensive line have had some injuries at the receiver position with (Chris) Conley, (Michael) Bennett, and (Rantavious) Wooten certainly are guys that have filled in and done an outstanding job and I think (Arthur) Lynch is a really good tight end and is a guy that can block and catch it and do a lot of things in the passing game for them. Defensively, they’re young but again, I think they’re very talented. Garrison Smith I think is the only senior they have starting but he’s done a nice job for them inside. Ray Drew’s had a really good year for them at defensive end and you see both (Jordan) Jenkins and (Leonard) Floyd are both guys on the edges that can rush the passer and show a lot of athleticism. (Amarlo) Herrera and (Ramik) Wilson are two experienced backers and (Damien) Swann’s really they only experienced guy they had coming back in the secondary, he’s playing well for them but again a lot of talent on the back end. Marshall Morgan had a 56 yarder there at Tennessee so he’s got a strong leg, a guy we know a lot about. We are looking forward to getting back at it. I think we went back and tried to simplify some things on both sides of the ball; we need to get our guys playing faster, need to get our guys playing with a little bit more confidence in what we’re trying to do. To me it all comes down to execution, we need to execute better in both phases. We’ve played pretty well on special teams, we need to continue to cover well and create some opportunities for our football team as far as field position and the return game. I’ve been pretty pleased with that to this point. Our last two trips to Jacksonville were minus four in the turnover margin, so you can cut it up however you want to, but we need to take care of the football. Two years ago we had two turnovers inside our 20 yard line that led to 14 points and last year we turned it over 6 times. It’s hard to win any games doing that. So we need to take better care of the football and obviously with their offense, Gurley and Murray are both really good players so we got our work cut out for us. We’re looking forward to getting over to Jacksonville.”

 

On Kelvin Taylor having a bigger role this week:

“I think so. Again, he’s good, continues to improve throughout the season week to week, he’s always been a very instinctive natural runner, it’s very obvious. But again, with assignments and different things, I think he’s done a nice job and deserves the opportunity.”

 

On Kelvin Taylor providing explosive plays:

“I think so; he’s a very talented runner. He’s a guy that can certainly do some things in the run game; he’s got great vision and great instincts in the run game. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Kelvin and what he’s doing but again, he’s earned this opportunity.”

 

On surprise that Vernon Hargreaves was selected as a semifinalist for the Thorpe award:

“I think any time a guy catches on as quick as he does, or any player does from a scheme standpoint, the thing about Vernon is he knows how to practice. He comes out to practice every day and works extremely hard. If you just walked on the field and you didn’t know who it was, you would be impressed by his practice habits. I’ve had other people come to practice and they don’t really know a whole lot of who is who, and say, wow number one practices hard. So I think that’s the first thing, he knows how to practice, he works extremely hard, he’s extremely bright, he’s picked up on things very well. But I think again, he’s a young player, and I think the biggest transition for a lot of young players is knowing how to practice the right way and the grind of the season hasn’t affected him. He’s come in week-in and week-out, been very attentive in meetings, knows what to do, knows how to practice the right way. But he’s a very talented player that’s having a really good year.”

 

On finding the right combination at offensive line:

“Right now, Trenton (Brown) and Tyler (Moore) are repping at right tackle; Kyle’s (Koehne) repping at all three positions inside, D.J. (Humphries) and Max (Garcia) are repping the left tackle. I feel like those guys have made some strides hopefully in the open week. We did a lot of good on good work, and we will today again. So those guys need to continue to come on, but that’s been the combination of guys we’ve looked at.”

 

On how many players were given a chance at offensive line this past week:

“We’ve repped a lot of guys in there, Octavius (Jackson) is a young player that’s ascending and coming along. He may get an opportunity as far as that’s concerned. Trip Thurman has done some nice things inside for us. Kyle (Koehne) again plays all three position inside, we want to strictly leave him inside and move Max (Garcia) to left tackle. That’s something we need to do.”

 

On most consistently good offensive lineman this year:

“I think Jon Harrison has done a nice job for us. Jon Halapio’s done some nice things. Max Garcia, too. But we just haven’t performed against the board consistently as well as we want to – there’s no question.”

 

On Kelvin Taylor starting this week at running back:

“Well, we’re working through the week and that’s probably what we’ll end up doing.”

 

On personnel changes or philosophical changes coming this week:

“I think what we’ve tried to do is just narrow some things down as far as communication is concerned – that’s been an issue with our front especially. So, simply as far as that’s concerned, as far as communication at the line of scrimmage, being able to get to the line of scrimmage. And again, to our offensive staff and to me it all comes back to execution. Let’s go execute what we’re trying to do, there have been too many situations when we aren’t on the same page against Missouri and what we’re trying to do.”

 

On the quarterback situation when Tyler Murphy can’t go in practice:

“Skyler (Mornhinweg) got all the reps last week while Tyler (Murphy) was down.”

 

On desire to beat Georgia for himself:

“No. For our players and for the Gator Nation, absolutely. But I hate to give you the boring answer, but I don’t approach this one any different from the other ones, it’s a critical game for us obviously being a great rival of the University of Florida, and a great rivalry game, it’s one of the best college football games year in year out to be a part of. It’s exciting to be a part of it, but there’s no question where we are in our season. It’s an SEC East opponent and a great rival it’s an important game for us.”

 

On if it’s harder being 0-4 as a player or 0-2 as a head coach in this rivalry:

“… 0-2 as a head coach. None of it is fun, but certainly being here at the University of Florida understanding the importance of this game to us and our people, we need to get a win.”

 

On this game having a feeling of winner moves on, loser licks their wounds:

“We just need to focus on Florida in this game, and what our opponent does well and what we’re going to try to take advantage of in the game, and not worry about all the other stuff at this point. We just need to concentrate on us right now, and to me, that’s been our message to our football team really the entire season, and it is week-in and week- out. I don’t know that this week you need any extra motivation to prepare well.”

 

On getting motivation from getting a boost back into the East race:

“I would assume, again I think everyone is motivated a little differently, but I don’t think this is a game that needs a whole lot of extra motivation. Our guys understand the importance and I know their team does as well.”

 

On identifying what the team does well over the bye week:

“I think we went back and looked at some things in the passing game and the throwing game that we identified that we do well. We need to go execute better and get our guys playing faster. So narrowing down, sometimes as a coach you feel like you’ve got some issues whether it’s because of different things that pop up, you feel like you’ve got to do a little more to change this or change that. And that’s where I think on both sides of the ball, we’ve done a little too much at times. And we’ll scale back, to get our guys playing faster. And to me, this game all comes down to execution; go execute better than the other guy does, and that gives you a better chance to be successful. And if you don’t execute, it really doesn’t matter what you call. Let’s quit thinking about plays and start thinking about players. And that to me is the most important thing.

 

On the basic message last week being ‘stop thinking, just play?’:

“We can sum it up that way, but I think if you take more off their plate, they’ll play faster and that’s what we really need to do at this time.”

 

On feeling better about the team now compared to after the Missouri game:

“I do. Again, I think we’re judged on game day. The last two times out we haven’t played as well as we need to play here at Florida, so that falls on my shoulders – it’s a reflection of me and this football team and where we are, but I still feel good about this football team. I feel good about the guys in the room, and we just need to go execute and play better. And coach better.”

 

On defensive performance at Missouri:

“I don’t think you ever anticipate not playing well. I think that there are some things that are correctable in what we did and moving forward I think we’ve identified some of those things defensively of what we need to do. Again, scaling back a little bit on what we’re trying to do with the players, put the guys in better situations to be successful, and I think we’ve done those things.”

 

On Georgia having similar injury problems this year:

“Any time you take a player that’s repped a position or a situation over a long period of time and you introduce something within a game, it gets difficult. So that’s not something you ever want to do, especially if it’s an inexperienced player that hasn’t played a lot. And that’s happened to us a couple times; but again, that’s part of the game. Injuries are a part of it – you just strap up with who you have and move forward.”

 

On how much attention Aaron Murray deserves compared to other quarterbacks:

“He’s a very accurate passer. I think he understands and has a very good feel for their offense and where they need to take the ball. We’re probably not going to show him anything he hasn’t seen over four years at Georgia. So, we just need to go execute and play well, we need to be able to pressure the quarterback with four guys rushing, against some of their man concepts it gets difficult at times. We need to stay balanced defensively in what we’re doing.”

 

Do Georgia’s numerous injuries make it more important to focus in on Aaron Murray:

“Well I think Todd Gurley is a really good player, too. So when I say it starts with Aaron Murray, from the standpoint of experience, and who their leader is offensively. But Todd Gurley is an outstanding player as well.”

 

On protection issues in a line of scrimmage league:

“You go back to all games, regardless of who you’re facing, and you’re stopping the run and making it a one-dimensional game. And when you’re able to do that, which has happened to us in some games, it becomes hard on your offensive line. And that’s what you want to try to make it defensively is turn it into a one-dimensional game, so you’re able to pin back and rush and it gets difficult on our offensive line. So, there’s no question this is no different from any other week, from being able to stop the run and make this thing a one-dimensional game.”

 

On the specific injury to Tyler Murphy:

“It’s his shoulder – AC sprain.”

 

On balancing a player’s eligibility with the opportunity to play, like Octavius Jackson:

“You always sit down with a player before a game situation and say, if the opportunity presents itself, do you want to play? And he wants to play. So as you work each week, you go into a game that’s something you always discuss, to be able to know so that at game time you’re not making that decision, the decision’s been made before the game to make sure everyone’s on board with what we’re trying to do and they understand those situations.”

 

On planning for those types of situations:

“Well, we have to do what we have to do to be successful. But again, that’s something when you’re sitting down on Sunday prior to game week with a players making sure that this far into the season, that’s something they’re totally into doing – and certainly he is. Those guys that have been taking reps with us through the scout period are all on board with us at this time.”

 

On Roderick Johnson’s availability to play:

“Not at this time. Rod’s a guy, very talented ascending player, when he had the surgery on the knee he missed about six weeks through training camp and into the season and really didn’t start practicing with us until the third week of the season. So at this time, I think it would be best for him to sit a year and get ready for the spring.”

 

On why he never beat Florida as a player:

“Playing with guys like me, they’ve got better players now, they’ve recruited better.”

 

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