Sunday, May 20, 2018
Colleges

Muschamp expects to remain Gators coach

GAINESVILLE

Will Muschamp's Florida football team is 4-7 and on a six-game losing streak and will not play in a bowl. Only five players have started every game. The Gators are coming off a home loss to I-AA Georgia Southern and are preparing to face No. 2 Florida State on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The SEC teams Florida has defeated — Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas — are a combined 1-20 in league play.

But Monday, Muschamp staunchly defended himself and the program, saying Florida is still a place where top-level recruits should want to play and the Gators aren't far off from the team that finished 11-2 last season and went to a BCS bowl.

"It's still the University of Florida," he said. "There's some obvious reasons why we are where we are. We're a team that won 11 games last year, and I don't think that happened by accident. We have a really good football staff. We have some good players. We're going to have a good football team moving forward, so at the end of the day, this is a great education, it's a great place to come compete and be a student athlete."

Muschamp, who has received public support from athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen, said he "absolutely" can envision the Gators in the SEC Championship Game next year but admits it won't be easy.

"I don't think it's sitting there hitting a reset button," he said. "It takes work. I don't believe we're that far off. Regardless of the results Saturday afternoon (the loss to Georgia Southern), which is all disappointing for everyone, starting with me, I just don't feel like we're that far off.

"I think there's some key components for our football team that aren't playing for us right now. And we're very thin in some areas. And it is what it is. I'm not making excuses, that's just the facts, and it's real. And again, I think we've got a good staff and I think that we've got a really good football team going into — they're fighting their butt off this Saturday, first of all, and heading into spring. And I'm excited about that. I'm excited about this Saturday and our guys getting out and competing again."

Muschamp said he "absolutely" believes he'll be Florida's coach next season. He said he'll evaluate and determine the fate of the rest of his staff after Saturday's season finale.

INJURY UPDATE: QB Tyler Murphy (shoulder) has not been cleared by team medical personnel and is questionable. He has missed the past two games because of his shoulder problems. LB Mike Taylor will not play (MCL), LB Alex Anzalone (dislocated shoulder) is out and will have surgery. OL D.J. Humphries (knee) is out.

BITTER END: Florida's dismal season is even worse for the 17 seniors who will end their careers Saturday. Of those, 15 are scheduled to graduate in December or May, but it's the way their football careers will end that is tough.

"It's been pretty difficult," senior WR Solomon Patton said. "Coming into this season I didn't expect for the season to go the way it's been going. "

Florida's four-year seniors are 30-20 in their careers. The Gators defeated FSU 37-27 in Tallahassee last season, and despite their struggles they believe they have a chance Saturday.

"We definitely know we can compete with them ," senior DB Jaylen Watkins said.

DID YOU KNOW?: FSU has scored 40 or more in 11 straight games. The Gators have not scored 40 in a game all season.

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on [email protected]_Gators.

Comments
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
Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

One of the Florida Gators' top incoming recruits was released from jail early Wednesday after police allege he kicked a female's car and broke her phone after an argument.Justin Watkins — a four-star athlete from Clermont — and ...
Published: 05/10/18
Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

When first-year Gators coach Dan Mullen spoke to a packed crowd at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club this winter, he told stories about the stars Florida fans recognize instantly.Tim Tebow. Steve Spurrier. Percy Harvin.Then he name-dropped someone els...
Published: 05/10/18
Florida Gators coordinator Todd Grantham to earn $1.39 million. Here are the other salaries

Florida Gators coordinator Todd Grantham to earn $1.39 million. Here are the other salaries

New Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be one of the highest paid assistants in the country, earning $1.39 million in base pay this year.The Gators released the contracts for Grantham and the rest of Dan Mullen's staff on Tuesday aftern...
Published: 05/08/18
Why Dan Mullen wants his Gators to hit every school in Florida

Why Dan Mullen wants his Gators to hit every school in Florida

As the Florida Gators hit the road for the spring evaluation period, coach Dan Mullen has a goal."It's really important for me that we try to get into every school in the state of Florida," Mullen said Monday before a speech to the Polk County Gator ...
Published: 05/08/18
Dan Mullen: Florida Gators not pursuing grad transfer quarterback ‘right now’

Dan Mullen: Florida Gators not pursuing grad transfer quarterback ‘right now’

LAKELAND – Despite some rumblings tying the Gators to Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow, Florida has no plans "right now" to pursue a graduate transfer at the position, first-year coach Dan Mullen said Monday evening."We're not really looking a...
Published: 05/07/18
Where do Bobby Bowden, Mike Martin rank among top coaching duos?

Where do Bobby Bowden, Mike Martin rank among top coaching duos?

Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin became the winningest coach in NCAA history over the weekend with an extra-innings victory over Clemson. His record: 1,976-708-4.Martin joins football legend Bobby Bowden as one of the Seminoles' top coaches e...
Published: 05/07/18