Friday, May 25, 2018
Colleges

Florida Gators fire offensive coordinator Pease

GAINESVILLE — Less than 24 hours after Florida coach Will Muschamp and athletic director Jeremy Foley said fundamental offensive changes were necessary after a 4-8 season, Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis on Sunday morning.

Florida, which finished No. 112 out of 123 Division I-A teams in total offense, seeks its fifth offensive coordinator since 2008 and third in four years under Muschamp.

"I have a lot of respect for Coach Pease and Coach Davis," Muschamp said. "They are both good football coaches and even better people. There have been a lot of unfortunate circumstances this year, but that is part of the game sometimes."

Pease, 49, replaced Charlie Weis in January 2012 after six years at Boise State, the final year as offensive coordinator. He will receive about $1.2 million on the final two years of his contract.

Davis, 55, spent two seasons at UF after serving as offensive line coach at Utah in 2011. Florida gave up 56 sacks during his tenure.

Among those reported to be potential candidates for the offensive coordinator job: USC offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Clay Helton; Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper; Arizona State offensive coordinator/quarterback coach Mike Norvell; and Dave Christensen, who was fired Sunday as Wyoming's head coach.

Last week, Pease cited injuries as part of the Gators' problems. They lost starting quarterback Jeff Driskel to a broken leg in the third game, and starting running back Matt Jones and two starting offensive linemen sustained season-ending injuries. Third-team quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg started the final three games.

On Saturday, Muschamp said the Gators had to reevaluate what they are doing schematically, and Foley said changes needed to be made regardless of injuries.

"I don't think it's any secret, and Will will tell you, we've got to fix that side of the ball," Foley said. "I'm not being disrespectful to anybody, but you look at some of the games we've lost, we haven't scored many points. It's his biggest concern."

Under Pease, the Gators scored more than 30 in just seven of 25 games. They didn't score more than 23 offensive points in the final nine games this season and rank No. 111 nationally in scoring offense — tied with Eastern Michigan — and No. 107 in passing.

Despite professed admiration for Pease and Davis after Saturday's 30-point home loss to No. 2 Florida State, players seemed convinced that changes had to be made.

"Whatever they do hopefully is changed for the best," defensive lineman Jon Bullard said. "Give us 21 (points) a game. If (the offense) can do that, then I would put the blame on us if (opponents) score 21 points or over. What we're doing right now (on offense) just ain't working."

Added offensive lineman Max Garcia: "It's just kind of like we need to do something different. We need to make a change."

Comments
FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

Former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher should be back in the state next week for the SEC's spring meetings in Destin. It is, to my knowledge, his first big trip back to Florida since leaving for Texas A&M in December.With that in mind, my questi...
Published: 05/25/18
FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

Florida State starting offensive tackle Josh Ball faces a university suspension after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence.The suspension came to light in a Facebook post Monday afternoon by Sandra Sellers, an FSU studen...
Published: 05/22/18
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Published: 05/21/18
Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

One of the first big nuggets from preseason college football magazines is out: Athlon's top 25.The site considers its rankings a prediction of where teams will be at the end of the year, not the beginning.Alabama and Clemson are 1-2 (no shock). Miami...
Published: 05/21/18
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Published: 05/20/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18