Advertisement
  1. Sports

Gators' Muschamp blocks out critics

Will Muschamp has a 24-17 record in four seasons at Florida. [Getty Images]
Published Sep. 29, 2014

GAINESVILLE — As Florida prepares to venture into the heart of its SEC football schedule, coach Will Muschamp said he's focused on Saturday's noon game at Tennessee and making sure the Gators are improving, and remains unfazed by the growing outside criticism.

Last week, athletic director Jeremy Foley said during a radio interview that Muschamp will be judged on his full body of work when the season is over. "You never judge or evaluate a program based on one game or one season,'' Foley said. "That's just not how we do things here."

Muschamp, whose UF record is 24-17 in his fourth season, said Monday he appreciates the support.

"Well certainly, it's positive," he said. "I appreciate that. I'm really concerned with what happens in the building. Those are the things that concern me the most, as our football team and what we need to do to continue to improve and get better.

"All the goals are still there. We've got a lot of football to play. Everything's out in front of us, let's go get it."

driskel it is: Muschamp reiterated that he's sticking with QB Jeff Driskel, despite his struggles. Freshman Treon Harris remains the No. 2 backup, but whether he'll play against the Vols remains to be seen.

"We go into every game considering some situational things, especially the red zone, to put him in the game," Muschamp said. "If that opportunity presents itself — in the Kentucky game and the Alabama game it never did — we would do that."

Third-string QB Will Grier missed all of last week with back spasms and is not expected to practice this week. Harris has gotten very limited reps with the No. 1s in practice and there won't be a two-quarterback system anytime soon. Muschamp said there are no immediate plans to play two QBs.

Driskel said of his critics: "You've just got to be even-keeled and keep moving forward. I'm grown. I can handle it.''

injury updates: Gators DL Leon Orr (ankle) will miss the Vols game. Orr, a New Port Richey Gulf alum, had surgery to repair a torn meniscus last week, and has a bone bruise in his knee. The Gators had held out hope last week he might play this week. Freshman WR C.J. Worton (hand) is also out. LB Mike Taylor (knee) and RB Brandon Powell (hamstring) are both questionable to doubtful. OL D.J. Humphries was expected to practice on Monday and will return after missing two games. "He got some good work in last week," Muschamp said. "He'll be ready to go."

lsu on hold: CBS will use its six-day option for game selections for Oct. 11, so kickoff for the Gators' game against LSU won't be announced until Sunday. Games under consideration are: LSU at Florida, Auburn at Mississippi State, Ole Miss at Texas A&M, Alabama at Arkansas and Georgia at Missouri.

CBS will televise a doubleheader, at noon and 3:30 p.m. ESPN will televise games, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. CBS has the first selection for its 3:30 p.m. game and ESPN has the next two selections, then CBS will select its noon game. The SEC Network has the final selection.

inside the numbers: The Vols lead the nation in defensive third down percentage, limiting opponents to only 11 of 53 on third downs, a 20.8 percent rate. Tennessee has also forced opponents to go three-and-out on 29.8 percent of possessions, the fifth-best total in the SEC and the 23rd-best nationally. The Gators are 13th in the league on third down conversions — 17 of 50 for 34 percent.

Contact Antonya English at aenglish@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3389. Follow @TB Times_Gators.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Pena hits a sixth-inning solo home run off New York Yankees pitcher Sidney Ponson in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2008. KATHY WILLENS  |  AP
    Just the other day, Pena’s son asked him about being considered for the Hall.
  2. Atlanta Falcons offensive cooridnator Dirk Koetter watchs teams warm up before the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP
    Two former head coaches, a Super Bowl-winning GM and red-hot defense await in Atlanta.
  3. There's no doubt Kobe Knox and Tampa Catholic have one of the toughest boys basketball schedules in the state ... possibly the nation. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The contenders, like the Tampa Catholic boys and defending state champ Tampa Bay Tech girls, aren’t leaving their fates to just district matchups.
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Sean Murphy-Bunting (26) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards (34) celebrate a tackle during the second quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Bruce Arians said he’s still trying to figure out why weekday preparation isn’t translating to Sundays following a 34-17 loss to New Olre
  5. As Jameis Winston showed late in Sunday's loss to the Saints, he's not ready to give up on the 2019 season. MARK LOMOGLIO  |  Associated Press
    Though the 2019 season hasn’t gone as planned for Tampa Bay, the next six weeks are an opportunity for the team to show us what’s ahead.
  6. Lightning and more sports on the air.
  7. Atlanta Falcons offensive cooridnator Dirk Koetter watchs teams warm up before the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Atlanta. JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP
    Koetter went 19-29 until his dismissal following the 2018 season
  8. USF Bulls guard Elisa Pinzan (4) drive to the basket past Jacksonville Dolphins guard Mariah Batz (13) during the first half at the Yuengling Center in Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The contest in Waco highlights yet another daunting non-conference Bulls schedule.
  9. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak (81) before an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP
    Tampa Bay’s second-year defenseman is primed to take on an even bigger role.
  10. FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2019, file photo, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter smiles as he speaks during a news conference in Miami. Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot, announced Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, and is likely to be an overwhelming choice to join former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown after the reliever last year became the first unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    Former Rays Carlos Pena and Heath Bell are also among the 18 up for election for the first time.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement