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  • Will Muschamp, Ever Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida

    Will Muschamp earned his first win in the Florida-Georgia rivalry with a 38-20 win on Saturday.

Florida Gators: Muschamp
takes monkey off his back

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  • Florida Gators: Muschamp takes monkey off his back
Written by Nick de la Torre, November 1, 2014, 8 Comments,
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As the clock ticked down, eating away at the last few seconds before an inevitable win, the Gators celebrated on the sidelines. Will Muschamp ran around like a kid again, hugging players, coaches, trainers anyone in his way. The stadium was half empty, or — if you’re an optimistic — half full of Gators, as the Bulldog fans had long left their seats for uncomfortable barstools across the street at The Landing.

Meanwhile, beneath the stands at Ever Bank Field, in a room normally reserved for the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, the media waited for Will Muschamp.

It took a little longer than normal but don’t blame Muschamp for soaking this up. He walked in to the room with a renewed pep in his step. His smile was one of pure joy and he told associate athletic director Steve McClain, “This is going to be a fun one.”

As a student-athlete at the University of Georgia, Muschamp went 0-4 against the Gators and was 0-3 as a coach against his alma mater on the field.

“Let me lift this thing off my back,” a relieved Muschamp said while pantomiming taking a monkey off of his back. “One less thing for you to write about. I’m just extremely proud of our football team and how they came out and performed.”

Muschamp then delved into his normally long-winded opening statement. A keen football mind, he recalls plays with little effort and dissects what went wrong or right on any particular play. He stopped briefly, “not now Robbie,” he said to longtime Gainesville Sun beat reporter Robbie Andreu. “I’ve waiting a long time for this one, let me enjoy it.”

His football team got the job done. The plan was simple and they executed it to perfection giving Will Muschamp his first Cocktail Party win ever. “They’re probably not going to put me in the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame,” he joked. “But maybe I’ll be on the ballot now.”

Florida started slow and after one quarter of play it seemed like the prognosticators that labeled the Gators a double-digit underdog would be right. The Gators hadn’t even mustered up 50 yards of offense in the first quarter and Georgia’s freshman running back Nick Chubb had 119 all-purpose yards — more than Florida was allowing in rushing per-game.

That changed when Florida did something that wasn’t what we’re used to seeing. Lining up for a field goal, with the wind behind them, Will Muschamp dialed up a fake field goal that Mike McNeely carried 21-yards into the end zone. “I’m just a risky guy as far as I see,” Muschamp quipped.

Muschamp was on fire in this press conference. His confidence and the team’s confidence restored, Muschamp was laughing, joking and most noticeably relieved. Until the press conference took a more serious turn.

“I wish my father was here,” Muschamp said speaking about his father, Herbert Larry Muschamp, who passed away in May. His eyes welling up in tears the head ball coach opened up. “That’s what I thought about at the end of the game.”

Asked what his dad would have said to him after notching the signature win of his career Muschamp responded saying, “Oh, I don’t know. Don’t get me started, I’ll get all emotional.”

“You can imagine how tough it is, that’s part of it.”

Larry may not have been in attendance but he would be happy to know that even during the biggest moment in his son’s career, his dad was the thing he was thinking about. Not perceived hot seats or what it meant to finally get a win in this rivalry. Just how much he wanted to be able to share the moment with his dad.

Muschamp finished up his press conference having run the gamut of emotions in just a short 20 minutes. He laughed he joked he almost cried but at the end of the day he kept the Gators’ chances alive.

Will Muschamp walked out of Ever Bank Field a winner in the Florida-Georgia rivalry for the first time ever and he’s never looked better.

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. oleg8rNovember 1, 2014, 11:12 pm

    I like Champ. I still believe that he is going to be a very, very good coach; and I hope it is here.

  2. milehighgatorNovember 1, 2014, 11:26 pm

    Oleg8tr: go watch every game in the Muschamp era again. Then let us know if you still want him as our coach. He is a career .500 coach– at best.. Just him sticking with Driskel as long as he did is reason to let him go.. A joke

  3. g8trgirlntxNovember 1, 2014, 11:58 pm

    Just for tonight…let’s all just enjoy this win, no firing Champ, no “look at what happens when you bench Driskel,” no other things but congrats to our kids for playing hard and to Champ for finally getting a win against Georgia…just for one night can we just enjoy this?

    • Nick de la Torre
      Nick de la TorreNovember 2, 2014, 1:13 am

      Fans should enjoy this win. What is going to happen will eventually happen, just enjoy the win.

  4. trippo7November 2, 2014, 12:55 am

    Not the time to bash Muschamp tonight. Whatever happens with him in the future will happen. We beat Georgia. Enjoy! Go Gators!

  5. malscottNovember 2, 2014, 2:18 pm

    Good stuff, Nick. As much as I have voiced my opinion during the season, I felt my heart hurt after reading about him losing his dad earlier this year. Not the loss, but him not being around for the win. As a son, we always want our dads approval. And, the other side of that is we want to do well to make them proud. Muschamp, at the end of the day, is a dad, a son, a friend a husband. And, lastly, a coach. His Gator destiny may already be determined, who knows-but I sure am enjoying the kids and coaches effort yesterday. Very cool. Go Gators.

    • Nick de la Torre
      Nick de la TorreNovember 2, 2014, 2:22 pm

      Thanks for the comment! Very well put.

    • jln31222November 3, 2014, 4:45 pm

      Where’s snow Print?

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/florida-gators-georgia-bulldogs-everbank-field-quick-gallery-november-1-2014-jacksonville-040-150x150.jpg Nick de la Torre FeatureFootball ,,,
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As the clock ticked down, eating away at the last few seconds before an inevitable win, the Gators celebrated on the sidelines. Will Muschamp ran around like a kid again, hugging players, coaches, trainers anyone in his way. The stadium was half empty, or — if you’re an optimistic — half full of Gators, as the Bulldog fans had long left their seats for uncomfortable barstools across the street at The Landing.

Meanwhile, beneath the stands at Ever Bank Field, in a room normally reserved for the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, the media waited for Will Muschamp.

It took a little longer than normal but don’t blame Muschamp for soaking this up. He walked in to the room with a renewed pep in his step. His smile was one of pure joy and he told associate athletic director Steve McClain, “This is going to be a fun one.”

As a student-athlete at the University of Georgia, Muschamp went 0-4 against the Gators and was 0-3 as a coach against his alma mater on the field.

“Let me lift this thing off my back,” a relieved Muschamp said while pantomiming taking a monkey off of his back. “One less thing for you to write about. I’m just extremely proud of our football team and how they came out and performed.”

Muschamp then delved into his normally long-winded opening statement. A keen football mind, he recalls plays with little effort and dissects what went wrong or right on any particular play. He stopped briefly, “not now Robbie,” he said to longtime Gainesville Sun beat reporter Robbie Andreu. “I’ve waiting a long time for this one, let me enjoy it.”

His football team got the job done. The plan was simple and they executed it to perfection giving Will Muschamp his first Cocktail Party win ever. “They’re probably not going to put me in the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame,” he joked. “But maybe I’ll be on the ballot now.”

Florida started slow and after one quarter of play it seemed like the prognosticators that labeled the Gators a double-digit underdog would be right. The Gators hadn’t even mustered up 50 yards of offense in the first quarter and Georgia’s freshman running back Nick Chubb had 119 all-purpose yards — more than Florida was allowing in rushing per-game.

That changed when Florida did something that wasn’t what we’re used to seeing. Lining up for a field goal, with the wind behind them, Will Muschamp dialed up a fake field goal that Mike McNeely carried 21-yards into the end zone. “I’m just a risky guy as far as I see,” Muschamp quipped.

Muschamp was on fire in this press conference. His confidence and the team’s confidence restored, Muschamp was laughing, joking and most noticeably relieved. Until the press conference took a more serious turn.

“I wish my father was here,” Muschamp said speaking about his father, Herbert Larry Muschamp, who passed away in May. His eyes welling up in tears the head ball coach opened up. “That’s what I thought about at the end of the game.”

Asked what his dad would have said to him after notching the signature win of his career Muschamp responded saying, “Oh, I don’t know. Don’t get me started, I’ll get all emotional.”

“You can imagine how tough it is, that’s part of it.”

Larry may not have been in attendance but he would be happy to know that even during the biggest moment in his son’s career, his dad was the thing he was thinking about. Not perceived hot seats or what it meant to finally get a win in this rivalry. Just how much he wanted to be able to share the moment with his dad.

Muschamp finished up his press conference having run the gamut of emotions in just a short 20 minutes. He laughed he joked he almost cried but at the end of the day he kept the Gators’ chances alive.

Will Muschamp walked out of Ever Bank Field a winner in the Florida-Georgia rivalry for the first time ever and he’s never looked better.

Read previous post:
Nov 1, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Bryan Cox Jr. (94) sacks Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Hutson Mason (14) during the first half at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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