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Monday November 11, 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 South Carolina (7:00 p.m. on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.).


Opening Statement:

“To recap Vandy a little bit, it’s really very simple - four turnovers and 21 points – it’s very difficult to overcome those things as far as field position is concerned, as well as momentum in the game and self-inflicted wounds. But we need to learn to overcome our circumstances and that’s something we’ve had a hard time doing. As far as a slow start, a turnover and overcoming those situations - that’s my job to get it right and that’s what we’re working on. As far as injuries are concerned, Antonio Morrison will be out for the season, he tore his meniscus. It was a radial tear, the same thing Matt Jones did; so we’re very disappointed for him. Tyler Murphy has a sore shoulder and he probably will not practice today and tomorrow; I think he’ll get back out there Wednesday. Jeremi Powell is having his surgery this week, D.J. Humphries is doubtful for the game and Marcus Roberson will probably miss practice today and tomorrow with an ankle but should be back Wednesday.


“On to South Carolina - 7 o’clock at Williams-Brice Stadium. I’ve obviously got great respect for Coach Spurrier, the job he’s done there and the job he did here. He’s an outstanding football coach, of course a Heisman Trophy winner here at the University of Florida. They’re balanced offensively, Connor Shaw is a guy that has played a lot of football for them and can hurt you throwing it and running it, they’re huge up front and they do a good job in staying balanced in the run and the pass. Dylan Thompson is a guy that has come in and done a nice job for them in some situations when Shaw has been banged up. Mike Davis is an over 1000 yard rusher, averaging six yards a carry, 117 yards a game; he’s also their second leading receiver. They’re very talented at the receiver position with (Bruce) Ellington and (Damiere) Byrd and (Shaq) Roland, so they’ve got some guys that can stretch the field vertically. Defensively Lorenzo Ward does a great job with their defense. Obviously Jadeveon Clowney is an outstanding player, one of the best players to play college football, but they’ve got a lot of other talented guys. (Kelcy) Quarles and (Victor) Hampton and those guys play really well, they’ve really played well as the season’s gone on. They were very young at linebacker early in the year, and those guys have continued to come on and play well for them. They’re talented in the return game with (Bruce) Ellington, (Victor) Hampton and (Pharoh) Cooper, who are guys that are talented players that can play in space. So we’ve got our work cut out for us; we’ll get back at the grind this week. We had a meeting with our players this morning with having school off. We had a good meeting this morning and we’re looking forward to getting cranked up at 4 o’clock this afternoon with meetings.”


On replacing Antonio Morrison at linebacker:

“Mike Taylor will play mike, and Jarrad Davis will start at will in the dime. Darrin Kitchens and Neiron (Ball) in sub situations can play inside; Neiron will play inside regardless and Darrin will play on the edge. Alex Anzalone keeps coming along doing a good job for us so he’ll get some snaps.”


On becoming a team that is able to overcome adversity:

“Well I just have to coach through it. We have to find ways to put our guys in better positions and situations to overcome the psychological battle of getting our guys in the right situations so they can be successful. And that’s our job as coaches, and that’s what we’ll do.”


On injuries playing a factor in the team being mentally worn down:

“I certainly think it has had its effect, but we have to find ways to get it right.”


On run defense being one of the biggest disappointments in the losing streak:

“I think so. I mean I think that just playing blocks up front, we’ve been inconsistent across the board. We’ve done some nice things at times, but not consistent enough to be able to stop the run consistently especially when you need to in some critical situations.”


On the poor run defense being expected after losing seven starters from the middle last season:

“Again, I felt really good going into the season where we were and certainly it has not had the results we wanted it to consistently through the year, and that’s been frustrating.”


On defensive difference being attributed to Dominique Easley’s injury:

“I said it when it happened, you don’t replace Dominique Easley. It’s not just from a play making standpoint, it’s from a leadership standpoint and it’s the heart of your team. So it’s tough, but we certainly have capable players to come out and play well, and play better than we’ve played in some situations. You don’t put your finger on one thing and say it’s because of this; I think it’s a cumulative effect of different things that have occurred, and we just have to overcome them.”


On assessing the linebackers without Antonio Morrison:

“Yeah well I think Mike (Taylor) moves into the mike position, which he’s more comfortable playing, probably, and Jarrad Davis has been a guy that we’ve been very pleased with; he’s a young player who’s going to be a really good player here. He’s played outstanding on special teams and when he’s had his opportunities at linebacker, he has played well. Alex Anzalone is a young player coming along who we’re excited about, Neiron Ball has played well for us, done some nice things for us, and Darrin Kitchens when he’s been healthy has played well for us. So the key to me, as much as anything, is keeping guys off the second level, and that’s something we haven’t done consistently.”


On preparing for a player like Jadeveon Clowney:

“Well you need to account for him every snap as far as the run game and the pass game. He’s an explosive player, he’s got great initial quickness for his size, he’s got great power; he’s a guy that has a great combination of speed to power and that’s the most difficult issue you deal with. And he’s got great instincts on blocks, so if you over-set him, he’s inside; if you under-set him, he’s outside. He uses his hands extremely well, so again, we have to always account for him in protection and in the run game and make sure he’s accounted for.”


On other guys on South Carolina’s front:

 “They have an outstanding front seven. (Kelcy) Quarles is a really good player; he’s a guy that’s very disruptive inside. (Chaz) Sutton has done a nice job for them. They create a lot of one-on-ones because of Jadeveon (Clowney).”


On Brain White being on the field in recent games:

“He moved down, I believe it was the Missouri game, just for the youth at running back. I felt like he needed to be on the field to be able to make sure we’re getting the communication with those guys.”


On moving anybody else up into the box with Brent Pease:



On what the financial aid agreement rule change changes for recruiting:

“Well once you get the financial aid agreement, you’re able to call and text unlimited as far as the prospect is concerned. It’s nothing binding for the prospect to the University.”


On if that rule change makes it easier to get guys to stay in the fold:

 “Not with the way social media is now-a-days; you have a bunch of different ways to get ahold of them. So it doesn’t really change things.”


On having a losing record towards the end of the year causing players to have a weak attitude:

 “I don’t think so. I think we’ve got good core leadership in what we’re doing. I’ve told the guys multiple times, we’re going to play the guys that practice and prepare the right way and we’ll move forward with those guys.”


On seeing that on previous teams and combating it:

“The guys that don’t prepare well don’t play, and they all want to play; playing time is the number one motivator.”


On why Coach Muschamp reached out to Steve Spurrier when he first arrived here:

“Well, he’s got a statue in front of the stadium. I have great respect for him because he has won and done it the right way. Everywhere he’s been, he’s been successful. I think he’s an outstanding football coach, but he does things the right way, handles things the right way, and I just have a lot of respect for him as a player coming up and playing against him and now as a coach, coaching against him multiple times. He’s just a guy that I have tremendous respect for.”


On trying to limit penalties at practice:

“Well we have different punishment that we deal with the guys with, but at the end of the day it comes down to game day and those guys staying onsides and those sort of things, and that’s what we need to do.”


On how important qualifying for a bowl is simply due to the extra month of practice:

“I think the extra practices are critical, right now we just need to focus on South Carolina.”


On players that have been developed during Coach Muschamp’s time, including Loucheiz Purifoy:

“Sure, first year Loucheiz (Purifoy) was huge and he ended up starting the Gator Bowl I think, but it’s a great time for young players to continue to develop in the program and practice the game of football. It’s a developmental game, you can get a lot out of the weight room and you can get a lot out of running and all that good stuff, but you have to play the game, and the number of snaps and reps you get in those situations are critical.”


On the kicking situation moving forward:

“It’s open competition every week right now; we haven’t had any consistency in what we’re trying to do. Austin (Hardin) hit it the best coming into the game, and pushed the first one, and then Brad (Phillips) had an opportunity. We’ll evaluate it again this week.”


On if he’s sticking with the 30-out, 30-in kicking strategy:

“Not really right now. We just need to have a guy that’s kicking the ball the best and the most consistent.”


On waiting until the end of the season to preform coaching evaluations:

“It’s a constant evaluation, but again, I think you have to take the whole body of work in what we’re trying to do as we move forward, and that’s what I’ll do.”


On the severity of D.J. Humphries’ injury:

“He’ll be back this season but based on the injury report this morning, he’s doubtful for this weekend. He can get into a stance and move, but he can’t press off of it right now. He’ll play before the year is out.”


On whom the leaders have been who have stepped up and what they’ve told the team:

“Well it’s not really your voice; you need to do it with your actions. But Jon Harrison and Jon Halapio up front have done a nice job for us and defensively Damien Jacobs has done a nice job. We just need more guys collectively as a group doing that right now, but we need to show it instead of talk about it.”


On how disappointing it was to lose out on Mike Davis, and what has been seen from him this season:

“He’s a really good player. Mike (Davis) is a really good player, a guy we thought a lot of coming out of Stephenson there in Atlanta, and he’s having an outstanding year. Certainly he’s been a huge difference in their run game, especially after losing (Marcus) Lattimore last year. Brandon Wilds has done a nice a nice job for them as well, he’s been hurt a little bit, but Mike (Davis) has been a really good player for them.”


On current injuries affecting players’ participation in the spring:

“It’s too early to tell right now, you know, I haven’t really gotten too far out as far as return date on all the guys, it would be hard for me to go through it right now.”


On Andre Debose’s plans for next year:

“Yeah he’s coming back.”


On chance that the team relishes the underdog role this week:

“No. I want them to relish playing at the University of Florida and playing well.”


On being surprised Mike Davis went to South Carolina after being committed for a year:

I mean everybody makes their decisions on what they want to do, and Mike (Davis) felt like South Carolina was a better opportunity for him. I wished him well.”


On assessment of offensive line:

“We had a hard time in the run game on some things. Obviously when you give up some tackles for loss, some sacks and pressures on the quarterback, it’s very difficult to play behind. So there are not a lot of options at this point as far as where we are. Max (Garcia) is playing left tackle, Trip Thurman came in and got some snaps at right tackle, Trenton (Brown) wore down a little as the game when on, especially when we started getting some up-tempo trying to get the ball down the field. That’s kind of where we are. Kyle Koehne is a guy that probably needs to play some more snaps, has played multiple positions since we’ve been here and been a solid player. We worry from the standpoint of him being the backup center, of having both of those guys on the field at the same time if there happens to be an injury. So that’s something that’s a little bit of a concern for us with Kyle (Koehne), but again, he’s a guy that can play a little bit more and he did a solid job at left guard, and we’ll move forward with what we have.”


On challenge of getting the offensive line confident before facing a good South Carolina defense:

“I think our guys have confidence. We just need to put them in situations to be successful in the run and the pass, and make sure you have awareness of where (Jadeveon) Clowney is, because he’s an outstanding explosive player, and have him accounted for; the other guys are good players too.”


On approach from guys who are playing their last few games before getting ready for the NFL:

“At the end of the day, the NFL looks at the tape. So you need to put out good tape in order to have that opportunity, and our guys understand that.”


On personal toll this season has taken:

“I’m fine. I’m a football coach, I go to work every day, try and find ways to get this football team better and get them to improve on how we play. And that’s part of your job whether you’re 9-1 at this point or you’re where we are. So, it’s frustrating, it’s very frustrating, but you work and people are dependent on you to do a good job and do a good job for the players and do a good job for the university. And that’s my job.”


On trusting Tyler Murphy to pass after throwing for 305 yards and 3 interceptions:

 “Well you can’t turn over the football. When you spot a football team, any team, on the four, twice on the te, and on the twenty yard line, it’s a hard time winning. So you can’t turn over the ball.”


On Solomon Patton’s knee:

“It’s fine.”

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