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MILLER REPORT:
Stay calm and watch football

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Written by Mark Miller, October 17, 2014, 10 Comments,
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I have a little bit of advice for Gator fans everywhere. Calm down and just enjoy each game for what it is. I know you are frustrated but, truth be told, the LSU game was a great game to watch. It was a back and forth game that came down to the final play of the game. Technically it came down to the second to the last play of the game, but it was an exciting game to watch. It is tough to lose any game and all fans want their team to go undefeated but this is not a championship caliber team. It just isn’t.

I have heard all of the vitriol about this being head coach Will Muschamp’s fourth season and the Gators should be a contender by this point. Personally, I agree with that sentiment, but the simple truth is that Florida is not there at this point and nothing is going to change that in the next few weeks. The debate over whether to keep this staff in place for next season is something that can wait until the season is over or at least close to over. There is nothing to be gained by attacking the program during the season.

Florida has multiple opportunities for big wins left this season. Wins over Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina or FSU would be wonderful for all fans or at least that should be the case. The more the fan base turns on the coaching staff and the team itself, the harder those victories become. The players absolutely know what is going on with the fan base. Why do anything to make the season worse than it has to be?

There is a lot that fans can look forward to and enjoy in 2014. It should be fun to watch Treon Harris gain valuable experience. Kurt Roper should be able to incorporate more and more of his offense as each week passes. Positive improvement down the stretch should and would buy this staff another season, especially with a stellar recruiting class available with some success on the field and some evidence that these coaches will remain at Florida. Young players will have the opportunity to emerge and make a name for themselves for next season. These include Harris, Gerald Willis, Jalen Tabor and Brandon Powell. My advice would be to just relax and enjoy the show.

I would also caution Gator fans to try to be objective. Watch for improvement and development of the team. Signs of both will be required to keep the program intact and moving toward better days ahead. While a collapse down the stretch and the turmoil that would result by yet another coaching change is possible, it is not a forgone conclusion. I have said so before and I stand by my statement that the best thing for the Gator program would be a successful second half of the season and some continuity in the coaching staff for a change. Florida needs to win games. Right now that is all that matters.

Losing is always frustrating. It is supposed to be frustrating. Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser. I get just as aggravated as everyone else when my team loses. But, that doesn’t mean fans need to make matters worse. And make no mistake about it, screaming over and over that the coaches are gone at the end of the season does make matters worse. These players are young. They cannot help but get caught up in the emotion surrounding the program. The “noise in the system” bleeds down to them and eventually causes issues within the locker room. I know, I know, every team has fans are like this. Maybe, but that doesn’t change the fact that too much noise DOES affect the team. It just isn’t that difficult to support the team while the season is still under way.

That begins with this week and Missouri. The Tigers are not a great football team. Florida can win this game, especially if the two quarterback game plan ignites the offense. Contrary to what some fans seem to feel, winning would be a good thing. It would keep the Gators hopes alive in the East but much more importantly it would give the team some confidence going into the always critical Georgia game in Jacksonville. A win over the Bulldogs would be huge this season and I believe it is still possible. A win over Missouri this week would certainly help. Going into the bye week earlier his season after a devastating loss was no fun at all. I have to believe the two week wait would be much easier to bear coming off of a win.

So I will watch this game hoping to see the offense become more efficient and effective regardless of who is taking the snaps. I look forward to (hopefully) seeing Treon get some more extensive playing time against an SEC opponent. I would like to see Brandon Powell get the ball several times in the open field where he can take advantage of his big play ability. Finding a way to get Andre Debose the ball in the open wouldn’t hurt either. I look forward to seeing some of the young defensive talent get more opportunities and hopefully cure some of the defensive woes. I guess what I am saying is that I still look forward to this game and I think there is a lot to be optimistic about. It is just too early to throw in the towel on 2014. Stay calm and watch football.

Mark Miller

About Mark Miller

Mark Miller's bravery knows no limits. He's a Gator living deep in the heart of Georgia. Mark's weekly columns appear in the Coosa Valley News in Rome, Georgia, where Gators are few and Bulldogs are many. His updates about football and life among the heathens will appear in Gator Country on a weekly basis.

  1. frankdOctober 17, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Mark,
    You just became my favorite Gator sportswriter. Thank you for the voice of reason. So many folks have lost perspective. I can’t bring myself to read beyond the articles on different sites. Just too depressing to read the inane comments by haters. I think the one thing that annoys me the most is when they distort Coach Muschamp’s name. That’s a proud family and that name, at least in Rome, Ga. is still respected. He is a husband and dad. He basically says goodbye to his family during the season. I think he deserves the same level of individual respect that ANY of us would desire if we were in his shoes. That’s just my opinion and I’ll probably be ridiculed here, just like I’ve been on other sites. But who cares. GO GATORS!!!

    • trippo7October 18, 2014, 9:25 pm

      Sadly we have decided to run nothing that actually worked last weekend. Powell? Driskel running? hmmm…oh well

  2. malscottOctober 17, 2014, 2:10 pm

    While I appreciate your sentiment and believe it to be sage advice, letting the coach completely off the hook seems like an attempt to feel good while nothing indicates we should, that is, based on results. I do appreciate all of the kids efforts and their willingness to win. I suppose the current results and having expectations are my emotional downfall. Nick said it well in one of his articles…if you look between the lines, and I paraphrase…there is noticable improvment and we’re going in the right direction. I see that. It’s the four year thing that bugs me…there might be coaches that are having a tough time-I’m no different, that is something we share. Go Gators.

  3. drewrichmondOctober 17, 2014, 2:54 pm

    I agree with you. We just want it so bad some times, but the talent on the field Saturday was evident. Poole is a liability as is Driskel, but if we can keep this programming trending upward, which means winning games, of course, the future will be a lot better.
    We’re 3-2, should be 4-2 because of the rain game and a win this week, would put us at 4-2, should be 5-2. That’s about where we thought we would be, right?? Just have to win this week!
    GoGators!

  4. Mark Miller
    Mark MillerOctober 17, 2014, 4:08 pm

    There is still plenty of opportunity for this to be a good season with some big wins. Just try to enjoy it. We all waited all off season for some Gator football. Enjoy it while it’s here.

    • handslikeglueOctober 17, 2014, 7:40 pm

      Great article.

  5. trey65October 17, 2014, 5:28 pm

    Mark, that’s a refreshing article to read and I agree. I was thinking today about how I’m looking forward to seeing Harris play and I think the defense has and will get better. I’ll stop at that.

  6. theo1918October 19, 2014, 9:53 am

    I think its safe to say we can pull this article down now. That was horrible last night. its one thing to lose a nail biter to LSU, but its pretty clear that this administration has lost this team

  7. scooterpOctober 20, 2014, 8:39 am

    I felt better after reading this the other day….then the Saturday night debacle brought me back down to earth. I’ve given WM a pass and tried to be a voice of reason after last season when most of Gator Nation were grabbing their pitchforks, but I think Saturday was the nail in the coffin. Will has lost his team. The psyche of this team is weak. A culture change is obvious.

  8. dpgatorOctober 20, 2014, 3:58 pm

    I still agree with the article even after the horrendous game against Mizzou. However, I will remain patient only and only if Treon is named the starter and plays as such going forward. If only Champ had done so after the LSU game his job no matter the record at the end of the season might be salvaged. Right now, its not looking good for him to be coaching here next year unless a miracle turnaround happens for the remainder of the season.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Fowler_Dante_Powell_Ronald_Florida_Gators_Football_100513_Bowie-150x150.jpg Mark Miller FeatureFootball
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I have a little bit of advice for Gator fans everywhere. Calm down and just enjoy each game for what it is. I know you are frustrated but, truth be told, the LSU game was a great game to watch. It was a back and forth game that came down to the final play of the game. Technically it came down to the second to the last play of the game, but it was an exciting game to watch. It is tough to lose any game and all fans want their team to go undefeated but this is not a championship caliber team. It just isn’t.

I have heard all of the vitriol about this being head coach Will Muschamp’s fourth season and the Gators should be a contender by this point. Personally, I agree with that sentiment, but the simple truth is that Florida is not there at this point and nothing is going to change that in the next few weeks. The debate over whether to keep this staff in place for next season is something that can wait until the season is over or at least close to over. There is nothing to be gained by attacking the program during the season.

Florida has multiple opportunities for big wins left this season. Wins over Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina or FSU would be wonderful for all fans or at least that should be the case. The more the fan base turns on the coaching staff and the team itself, the harder those victories become. The players absolutely know what is going on with the fan base. Why do anything to make the season worse than it has to be?

There is a lot that fans can look forward to and enjoy in 2014. It should be fun to watch Treon Harris gain valuable experience. Kurt Roper should be able to incorporate more and more of his offense as each week passes. Positive improvement down the stretch should and would buy this staff another season, especially with a stellar recruiting class available with some success on the field and some evidence that these coaches will remain at Florida. Young players will have the opportunity to emerge and make a name for themselves for next season. These include Harris, Gerald Willis, Jalen Tabor and Brandon Powell. My advice would be to just relax and enjoy the show.

I would also caution Gator fans to try to be objective. Watch for improvement and development of the team. Signs of both will be required to keep the program intact and moving toward better days ahead. While a collapse down the stretch and the turmoil that would result by yet another coaching change is possible, it is not a forgone conclusion. I have said so before and I stand by my statement that the best thing for the Gator program would be a successful second half of the season and some continuity in the coaching staff for a change. Florida needs to win games. Right now that is all that matters.

Losing is always frustrating. It is supposed to be frustrating. Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser. I get just as aggravated as everyone else when my team loses. But, that doesn’t mean fans need to make matters worse. And make no mistake about it, screaming over and over that the coaches are gone at the end of the season does make matters worse. These players are young. They cannot help but get caught up in the emotion surrounding the program. The “noise in the system” bleeds down to them and eventually causes issues within the locker room. I know, I know, every team has fans are like this. Maybe, but that doesn’t change the fact that too much noise DOES affect the team. It just isn’t that difficult to support the team while the season is still under way.

That begins with this week and Missouri. The Tigers are not a great football team. Florida can win this game, especially if the two quarterback game plan ignites the offense. Contrary to what some fans seem to feel, winning would be a good thing. It would keep the Gators hopes alive in the East but much more importantly it would give the team some confidence going into the always critical Georgia game in Jacksonville. A win over the Bulldogs would be huge this season and I believe it is still possible. A win over Missouri this week would certainly help. Going into the bye week earlier his season after a devastating loss was no fun at all. I have to believe the two week wait would be much easier to bear coming off of a win.

So I will watch this game hoping to see the offense become more efficient and effective regardless of who is taking the snaps. I look forward to (hopefully) seeing Treon get some more extensive playing time against an SEC opponent. I would like to see Brandon Powell get the ball several times in the open field where he can take advantage of his big play ability. Finding a way to get Andre Debose the ball in the open wouldn’t hurt either. I look forward to seeing some of the young defensive talent get more opportunities and hopefully cure some of the defensive woes. I guess what I am saying is that I still look forward to this game and I think there is a lot to be optimistic about. It is just too early to throw in the towel on 2014. Stay calm and watch football.

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