GAINESVILLE — With a 4-5 record and an offense ranked No. 111 in the nation, offensive coordinator Brent Pease is taking a ton of criticism for Florida's struggles. Pease said Tuesday that it's human nature to give some thought to his job status, but he's completely focused on doing his best for his team.
"It's the same thing we tell the kids: 'You've got to be mentally tough,' " Pease said. "You've got to shut it out sometimes. And I understand what people are saying and frustrated with. Do they understand all of the circumstances? Not all of the time. But you've got to work through it. … It's tough. You've got to play the cards you're dealt."
Mornhinweg ready: If QB Tyler Murphy's injured shoulder keeps him out this weekend, UF will start freshman Skyler Mornhinweg, son of former Detroit Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg. "He's ready to go," Pease said, adding Murphy is day to day. "The thing that's tough on a kid in this situation is just experience. You hope you never really have to play with a redshirt freshman."
USF: Tigers tough
TAMPA — When USF faces Memphis on Saturday, Bulls coach Willie Taggart expects a big test though the Tigers are winless (0-4) in American Athletic Conference play.
Taggart pointed to Memphis' close defeats to No. 15 UCF and Houston as a sign of progress. Memphis has not lost by more than 13 points this season.
"You look at where they've come from last year, they were getting beat by multiple touchdowns, and now they're competitive in ball games," Taggart said.
Taggart said both teams share a bond in building new identities with younger players.
"I would say Memphis got a head start on us, because (the coaches) have been there for two years now," he said. "But you see the same things: Both trying to get their programs going and back to their winning ways."
SALUTE TO TROOPS: In honor of its Military Appreciation Day, USF will wear special helmets. The helmets feature an American flag Bulls emblem on each side and the "Got Your 6" logo on the back. Each player will also wear a patch from one of the five branches of the armed services.
MEDICAL MATTERS: Senior QB Bobby Eveld (ankle) is progressing, but Taggart said sophomore Steven Bench will back up Mike White on Saturday. Also, Taggart said senior RB Marcus Shaw (hamstring) is 100 percent healthy and "ready to roll."
Jeff Odom, Times correspondent
FSU: Winston's time?
TALLAHASSEE — Florida State QB Jameis Winston is now the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Winston has 1-5 odds to take home the coveted trophy, according to Bovada, an online sports betting site. The closest contender is last year's winner, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, at 4-1. USA Today's Heisman survey and the Heismanpundit Heisman Watch also have Winston favored.
Game time: FSU's nonconference home game Nov. 23 against Idaho will kick off at 3:30 p.m.
UM: New facilities
CORAL GABLES — Miami is trying to get its team a lighted practice field and other upgraded facilities. The school will unveil its "Football Victory Fund" this week. The $7 million project would build an artificial turf practice facility, a new dining area for 400 athletes and four cold-water recovery pools that school officials say are "necessary for the hot and humid climate of South Florida." This year, UM opened the $15 million Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence, a facility with meeting rooms, academic areas, locker room space and training facilities.
UCF: Chill in the air
ORLANDO — UCF makes a rare winter trip north Saturday when it plays at Temple. The last time the Knights went so far north in November or December was Nov. 13, 2004, against Ball State in Muncie, Ind. The forecast high Saturday in Philadelphia is 60, far from the coldest in UCF history (33 degrees at Eastern Michigan on Nov. 8, 2003).
DE out: Coach George O'Leary said DE Miles Pace will miss 3-4 weeks after an appendectomy.