Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Colleges

Mornhinweg gets solid marks on Gators debut

RECOMMENDED READING


GAINESVILLE

Last Friday night, a day before Florida's game at South Carolina, Skyler Mornhinweg slept well.

He had had numerous conversations with his father, Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, throughout the week as he prepared to take over for injured quarterback Tyler Murphy in the first game of his collegiate career.

So when the official word came Friday that he was starting, it was no surprise who was the first to hear the news.

"My dad, it was my dad," Mornhinweg said. "Then I texted my mom."

By pregame warmups in South Carolina, he was calm and confident.

"I had pregame butterflies and everything like that, but it was a great atmosphere," he said. "I couldn't ask for any other or better stage to play on."

Injuries have taken Mornhinweg from third on the depth chart when the season began to starter for the Gators this past week. Murphy appears out again this week against Georgia Southern, which would mean Mornhinweg will start again.

The 6-foot-2, 214-pound redshirt freshman was ranked No. 19 nationally out of St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia. He was the school's all-time leading passer and was fifth all time in Philadelphia with 4,912 yards. Florida coach Will Muschamp said his place on the depth chart was no knock on his ability.

"I've got confidence that Skyler can go out and execute our offense very well," Muschamp said. "He did it in the spring last year, in camp when we had opportunities. It's just hard for a guy who's been third string to get a bunch of reps, so you really don't have a database of knowledge to say this guy can do these things. Then when you work into the season, you're working a lot of scout work, so you're not really working fastball tempo against a defensive look. But I've got confidence in him as far as executing what we call, and putting him in situations where he can be successful."

As Mornhinweg prepared for his first start, he turned to the man who has been giving him advice for as long as he can remember: his dad. Marty Mornhinweg, Skyler said, is his best, yet toughest critic.

"He told me I did an okay job," he said. "Got to take care of the ball better, got to throw the ball away. He tells me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. I take it for what it is, because I've gotten to learn from the best there."

For offensive coordinator Brent Pease, last week posed the difficult challenge of trying to put together a game plan for a first-time player facing a team with one of the best defensive players in the nation in Jadeveon Clowney. Pease expects to implement more of the offense this week.

"We need to expect more of Skyler now," Pease said. "I think he can handle it. I've got confidence in him that he can. It's a little bit different situation. He has to be able to do that."

Mornhinweg was 10-of-13 for 107 yards in the conservative offense, and his poise and demeanor earned him great respect from his teammates.

"I'm really proud of him," offensive lineman Max Garcia said. "I thought he did a great job. It was his first college snap. He went out there and made some good checks, some good reads. Obviously, he made that one mistake (an interception late in the fourth quarter to end Florida's last hope), but he got back out there and didn't hang his head. Really impressed by what he did, just being his first game at South Carolina. It's a huge, huge situation to face."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

     
Comments
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isnít as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isnít as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, weíll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Updated: 2 hours ago
UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

GAINESVILLE ó At last, thereís some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.The Gators sent a group ó including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin ó to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about U...
Published: 11/20/17
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI ó After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Published: 11/18/17
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE ó Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSUís first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Published: 11/18/17
A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

GAINESVILLE ó Chauncey Gardner wasnít fooled. He saw UAB snap the ball. He saw the quarterback throw a screen. He saw the receiver fire a second pass downfield. Then a crowd of 84,649 saw the sophomore safety high-point the trick-play pass to earn hi...
Published: 11/18/17
Florida back on track with non-conference blowout of UAB

Florida back on track with non-conference blowout of UAB

GAINESVILLE ó Floridaís next head coach ó whether itís odds-on favorite Chip Kelly or someone else ó should be encouraged by Saturdayís 36-7 win over UAB.Not because the Gators (4-6) snapped a five-game losing streak by beating up on a 7-4 Blazers te...
Published: 11/18/17
Matt Bakerís takeaways from Florida-UAB

Matt Bakerís takeaways from Florida-UAB

1. A milestone Florida probably doesnít want to celebrate: Johnny Townsend became the schoolís all-time leading punter with his 232rd career punt. But Townsend has legitimately been one of the teamís MVPs.2. It took far too long, but UFís tight ends ...
Published: 11/18/17
Basketball: Gators romp; key player hurt for Hurricanes

Basketball: Gators romp; key player hurt for Hurricanes

GAINESVILLE ó Behind a balanced effort and six double-figure scorers, No. 8 Florida dominated North Florida 108-68 Thursday. Junior KeVaughn Allen led the Gators with 18 points. The balanced scoring helped Florida (2-0) dismantle the Ospreys (0-4) fr...
Published: 11/16/17
College football week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

College football week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

The Timesí college football coverage team makes its picks for week 12 games:gametimeMartin Fennelly, @mjfennellyMatt Baker, @MBakerTBTimesTraci Johnson, @TBHomeTeamMike Sherman, @mikeshermanTom Jones, @tomwjonesJoey Knight, @TBTimes_BullsAgainst the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Will Chip Kelly be the Gatorsí next head coach?

Rick and Tom podcast: Will Chip Kelly be the Gatorsí next head coach?

The Florida Gators are vetting Chip Kelly to potentially be their next head coach, but is he their first choice? In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss what the future holds for the Gators and whether the coach will be Chip Kelly,...
Published: 11/15/17