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  • Dante Fowler Jr., Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida

    A dejected Dante Fowler walks off of the field after Florida's 42-13 loss to Missouri. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Florida Gators find a
new way to lose

Written by Nick de la Torre, October 19, 2014, 4 Comments,
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This is Will Muschamp’s football team. This is the team he recruited. This is the team that he has developed. This is the team that he has coached.

For the second year in a row the Florida Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC) lost their homecoming game in devastating fashion, with the latest embarrassment coming in the form of a 42-13 blowout to Missouri (5-2, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday night.

The Gators were outclassed, out-played and out-coached on their way to a humiliating loss — their second in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in as many weeks.

Florida entered the game this Saturday saying that their goals were all still in front of them — they were.

They aren’t any more.

Missouri was far from impressive. Quarterback Maty Mauk threw for just 20 yards, completing only six-of-18 pass attempts. As a whole, the offense amassed just 119 yards. They didn’t need the offense because as they do week in and week out, the Florida Gators found a new, creative and interesting way to lose a football game. In fact, according to ESPN, in the past 10 years teams that have held their opponents to under 120 yards are 147-2. Those two teams were both coached by Will Muschamp (2011 FSU/ 2014 Missouri).

“Well, you don’t give yourself a chance to win when you turn the ball over six times,” head coach Will Muschamp said after the game. “You have two special teams touchdowns.”

The first play of the game was a hint of things to come. Marcus Murphy received the opening kickoff of the game and went largely untouched 96-yards into the end zone. It was a school record sixth return touchdown for Murphy, who would extend his own record with a punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter as well.

With the tone of the game set, Florida responded like you knew that would. Jeff Driskel and Matt Jones fumbled a handoff, giving the Tigers possession at midfield. They would score their second touchdown of the game six plays and 1:58 minutes later.

You knew it at the time. You felt it. Those 14 points were going to be enough to win the game and they were.

Florida’s offense continued to be inept, despite getting Treon Harris into the game on the third possession.

“Offensively, just abysmal,” said Muschamp. “No rhythm and we’ve got to figure out what we can do to try and move the football.”

How do you move the football? What is Florida doing offensively that inspires any confidence in the fan base, the coaching staff or even the players themselves? “We just gotta nail it down to some things that we do well, which, right now, is not that much,” said Muschamp.

Missouri saw the look in Florida’s eye. They knew the Gators didn’t have the horses to come back from a 14-point deficit. A 14-point deficit isn’t much in college football but to Florida it’s like ascending Mount Everest in a storm.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida

A fan holds up a sign calling for big changes at the University of Florida. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

“They didn’t have to do much, and they figured that out pretty quickly after it got to be about 28-0,” Muschamp said. “They weren’t going to have to do much in the game, so very disappointed in the performance.”

It’s the same words. We’ve been hearing them for two years. “We’ll get it fixed” and “that’s on me.” How many times can you say that you’re going to fix something and still whiff? How many times can you hear those words before they become hollow? When Will Muschamp says “that’s on me, we’ll fix it”, do you even believe him any more?

The Gators are 3-3 on the season and are staring at a bye week before Georgia. Right now, the way that Florida has played the past three games, that game is not winnable. South Carolina isn’t winnable and Florida State is going to take a victory lap around the Gators on their way to the college football playoff.

Last year Jeremy Foley said that Will Muschamp had this football program headed in the right direction. He said that he had faith in Muschamp — that the Gators would be back contending for SEC Championships soon.

This loss on Saturday has relegated the Gators to an afterthought — once again — in the SEC.

The team you watched on the field Saturday night is Will Muschamp’s. This is year four, these are his players, he has recruited all of them developed and coached them.

The direction that Florida is headed is clear and it’s the opposite direction of Atlanta and relevancy.

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

  1. gwaderOctober 19, 2014, 2:25 am

    And once again thank goodness for basketball season. Even though we may not be sure what we will get out of the new season, you can bet they will be well coached.

  2. wci347October 19, 2014, 9:12 am

    Jeremy Foley would not make a good juror. Why? Because even in the face of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt (the highest standard of proof in our judicial system), he is unable to render a competent verdict on William Muschamp.

  3. malscottOctober 19, 2014, 2:05 pm

    Thanks Nick…

    I feel for the kids, I even feel for the coach because he must actually think what he is doing is right. Micromanagers erode the foundatiion and growth potential and ultimately the success in all businesses. Whether it be sports or the corporate environment. It dissalows your directors, and managers the ability to grow, it undermines and limits their ability to do what they were hired to do in the first place. I have seen this first hand in the corporate world and we have witnessed it here, first hand, in big-business college sports. You absolutely have to hire and give your people the reins. It takes trust. I’m not sure our coach trusts anyone. Either that or he can’t restrict his compulsion to control-could be the workaholic in him.

    I questioned when he came into here wanting to run up the middle and abandon the spread, when even his mentor was making progressive changes for the better. He had a vision and was unable to embrace enough humility to augment his vision for success in a changing sports world. And, I bet he is a good guy. College ball, at least at this level, has too many moving parts to allow a control freak coach to be successful. He simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to handle it. And the result is eveyone fails miserably. Often control freaks do what they do because they are compelled and overachievers. Zook was like that. Working harder vs working smarter and noticing the writing on the walls.

    Personally, I hope, with all respect, Driskel doesn’t dress for Georgia and we can keep it respectable. Who knows, if the kids can embrace the magnatude of the rivalry maybe they can rise above it all and win. Here’s to holding them in that possibility. Unfortunately, it’s harder to change the mindset of grown adults. Go Gators beat Georgia.

  4. milehighgatorOctober 19, 2014, 6:40 pm

    I will be shocked if an announcement is not made by Monday afternoon that the coach has been fired. It must be done immediately and let Roper run the team for the final games. This is the most disgusting display of college football. The boosters have already bailed from last season, but more will follow shortly- guaranteed..

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/florida-gators-florida-football-missouri-tigers-homecoming-october-18-2014-the-swamp-quick-gallery-032-150x150.jpg Nick de la Torre FeatureFootball ,,,,
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This is Will Muschamp’s football team. This is the team he recruited. This is the team that he has developed. This is the team that he has coached.

For the second year in a row the Florida Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC) lost their homecoming game in devastating fashion, with the latest embarrassment coming in the form of a 42-13 blowout to Missouri (5-2, 2-1 SEC) on Saturday night.

The Gators were outclassed, out-played and out-coached on their way to a humiliating loss — their second in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in as many weeks.

Florida entered the game this Saturday saying that their goals were all still in front of them — they were.

They aren’t any more.

Missouri was far from impressive. Quarterback Maty Mauk threw for just 20 yards, completing only six-of-18 pass attempts. As a whole, the offense amassed just 119 yards. They didn’t need the offense because as they do week in and week out, the Florida Gators found a new, creative and interesting way to lose a football game. In fact, according to ESPN, in the past 10 years teams that have held their opponents to under 120 yards are 147-2. Those two teams were both coached by Will Muschamp (2011 FSU/ 2014 Missouri).

“Well, you don’t give yourself a chance to win when you turn the ball over six times,” head coach Will Muschamp said after the game. “You have two special teams touchdowns.”

The first play of the game was a hint of things to come. Marcus Murphy received the opening kickoff of the game and went largely untouched 96-yards into the end zone. It was a school record sixth return touchdown for Murphy, who would extend his own record with a punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter as well.

With the tone of the game set, Florida responded like you knew that would. Jeff Driskel and Matt Jones fumbled a handoff, giving the Tigers possession at midfield. They would score their second touchdown of the game six plays and 1:58 minutes later.

You knew it at the time. You felt it. Those 14 points were going to be enough to win the game and they were.

Florida’s offense continued to be inept, despite getting Treon Harris into the game on the third possession.

“Offensively, just abysmal,” said Muschamp. “No rhythm and we’ve got to figure out what we can do to try and move the football.”

How do you move the football? What is Florida doing offensively that inspires any confidence in the fan base, the coaching staff or even the players themselves? “We just gotta nail it down to some things that we do well, which, right now, is not that much,” said Muschamp.

Missouri saw the look in Florida’s eye. They knew the Gators didn’t have the horses to come back from a 14-point deficit. A 14-point deficit isn’t much in college football but to Florida it’s like ascending Mount Everest in a storm.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida

A fan holds up a sign calling for big changes at the University of Florida. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

“They didn’t have to do much, and they figured that out pretty quickly after it got to be about 28-0,” Muschamp said. “They weren’t going to have to do much in the game, so very disappointed in the performance.”

It’s the same words. We’ve been hearing them for two years. “We’ll get it fixed” and “that’s on me.” How many times can you say that you’re going to fix something and still whiff? How many times can you hear those words before they become hollow? When Will Muschamp says “that’s on me, we’ll fix it”, do you even believe him any more?

The Gators are 3-3 on the season and are staring at a bye week before Georgia. Right now, the way that Florida has played the past three games, that game is not winnable. South Carolina isn’t winnable and Florida State is going to take a victory lap around the Gators on their way to the college football playoff.

Last year Jeremy Foley said that Will Muschamp had this football program headed in the right direction. He said that he had faith in Muschamp — that the Gators would be back contending for SEC Championships soon.

This loss on Saturday has relegated the Gators to an afterthought — once again — in the SEC.

The team you watched on the field Saturday night is Will Muschamp’s. This is year four, these are his players, he has recruited all of them developed and coached them.

The direction that Florida is headed is clear and it’s the opposite direction of Atlanta and relevancy.

Read previous post:
Oct 18, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Russell Hansbrough (32) runs with the ball as Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) and defensive lineman Bryan Cox Jr. (94) tackle during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Florida Gators Football: Missouri Beats Florida, 42-13

The Missouri Tigers defeated the Florida Gators in a rout, .

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