GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Will Muschamp had just watched his team lose 21-7 to Florida State on Saturday night, and the frustration of a 6-6 season was evident on his face and in his body language.
"It's a very frustrating time right now to be a Florida Gator, and I understand that," Muschamp said. "It falls on my shoulders. And there's nobody else you need to look at. You don't need to blame the offensive coaches, the defensive coaches or the special teams coach or whoever's recruiting or who was here before. And it's going to get corrected."
On Saturday night, it was more evident than ever there is a lot to fix. The six wins aren't indicative of how bad this season has been. Florida defeated Florida Atlantic, UAB, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Furman, who are a combined 26-54. Opponents that defeated Florida are 58-14. The Gators offense ranks No. 101 in the nation out of 120 Division I-A teams, and the running game has been nearly nonexistent against league opponents. UF is 10th in the country in total defense, but is No. 113 in turnovers gained, its Achilles' heel all season.
"I know everybody's frustrated, I get that," Muschamp said. "I'm frustrated, too, I guarantee you more than you guys are, more than anybody sitting in that stadium. Very frustrated. But it's going to get fixed. I know patience is a bad, bad word. I'm not asking for it, but I also think sometimes you've got to be realistic."
notable: Linebacker Darrin Kitchens was released from Shands Hospital after tests revealed a concussion but no major neck injury. Quarterback John Brantley also suffered a concussion. Kitchens was injured on a helmet-to-helmet hit covering a kickoff. Brantley was hurt late in the first half when he took a shot to the head from defensive end Brandon Jenkins. He left and did not return. Defensive tackle Dominique Easley (twisted knee) and offensive lineman Kyle Koehne (knee) are expected to be fine, Muschamp said. Florida did not update the status of running back Chris Rainey (hip).
Antonya English can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org