What a difference a week makes.
The Florida Gators are riding high after their biggest win of the season, a 38-20 defeat of rival Georgia. Head coach Will Muschamp met with the media for his weekly press conference Monday to discuss the win and the preparation for Vanderbilt, who the Gators play Saturday night at 7:30.
While defensive lineman Gerald Willis will be reevaluated this week after missing Saturday with a high ankle sprain, Florida will be without two of their players this weekend. Trenton Brown is out with a bone bruise and Keanu Neal will not play after suffering a high ankle sprain.
Here are some news and notes from today’s press conference:
Receiving the game ball Saturday:
“Well, again I was more happy for our players and our fans and then to let them enjoy it as much as anything. I was standing there talking about the game and thinking about the next one to be honest with you. So you kind of move to the next. You reflect when the season is over in my opinion. But I gave it to Jeff McGrew, our equipment manager. He’ll paint it up and give it to me after the season.”
The running game taking the pressure off of Treon Harris:
“I don’t know that a lot of pressure with Treon [Harris] internally ever has a lot. He’s a very calm, composed young man. He doesn’t get flustered by a lot. I saw that throughout the preparation. I saw it on Friday in our walk-through. Saturday morning in the hotel talking to him, if he was nervous he does a good job of faking it that’s he’s not. I can assure you of that.”
Whether or not Harris minds throwing only six passes:
“He’s a team guy. He wants to win. Nobody happier than Treon Harris was after that game. We’ll need to continue to develop that moving forward. I feel very comfortable where we are and moving forward throwing the football. It just never presented itself on Saturday. You felt like, why change what we’re doing here? Things were really working for us. Continuing to move the chains and convert on third down. We did not want to get in a game. They’re a very good loose downs defense. When you starting cutting [Leonard] Floyd and [Jordan] Jenkins on the edge, they give you some major issues and they do a lot of different combination coverage on the back end. We didn’t want to have to deal with it. We didn’t want to partake in that game. We needed to shorten the down and distance. Again, I thought it was very well planned by our offensive staff and execution by our players.”
Chuck Bednarik Award semi-finalist Vernon Hargreaves III’s play this year:
“I think he’s handling it extremely well. Vernon’s a very — you coach him hard, and he’s a guy that really handles all of that well as far as those things are concerned. But I think he’s played extremely well. I really do. You go back and he had one ball. We got caught it a disguise on 3rd and 9 the other day. We’re planned for some more look back when we got on third down, but they didn’t look back. They went quick. We got caught off in the disguise look, so that really wasn’t on Vernon. That was more on game plan. They completed the dig on his there, but there hasn’t been many balls completed. We had a little bit of an issue on their sideline late in the game with a communication. But he’s really played well, he’s a very good football player. We had a really nice play on the back-shoulder ball down on the goal line. Really that’s a very difficult play to make. Then the deep ball down their sideline, I don’t know if there was any other balls his way during the game. But very pleased with how he’s handled this year and how he continues to improve and get better. He’s a really good leader and a very good communicator as well.”
On Dante Fowler:
“He’s very important. He’s played extremely well. I don’t know what his stats are but I like the tape I see. He’s playing extremely hard. You turn the tape on and No. 6 is flying around. He’s a guy you have to account for on every snap. I think he’s playing extremely well, very pleased with how he’s playing.”
“They’ve scored three times on defense this year. Last year I believe they had seven or eight fifth year seniors defensively. They’re a little young on defense but they do give you some issues mixing from odd and even fronts. So we’ve gotta be able to identify the move around guys for them. Offensively they’re a pro-style team, multiple motions and shifts. You gotta be able to leverage formations in the run game, have your eyes in the right spots. Karl Dorrell is the offensive coordinator, a nine-year NFL coach.”
On Commodores’ quarterback, Johnny McCrary:
“He’s certainly capable to do anything in the run game we need to do to be successful, as far as zone read, quarterback counter, quarterback power. He’s got a knack for getting the ball vertical and taking care of the football.”