For the second time this season the Florida Gators head into a bye week following a disappointing loss. In football, and most sports, the best way to forget about a loss is to get back out on the field and take out your frustration. Unfortunately the Gators will have to wait another week before they get an opportunity get the sour taste of losing back-to-back games out of their mouth.
Even though the team won’t have a chance to get back in the win column this week, the bye comes at a very good time for the Gators. This is a team that is blindly searching for answers for an offensive line that has been described as inept and a team that continues to battle the injury bug.
- Ronald Powell has not participated in practice this week but Muschamp is hopeful to get the redshirt junior back next week against Georgia.
“I think we’ll get Ronald Powell back next week. He’s been unable to do anything thus far this week. He’s been running, but just not ready for the change of direction and taking on blocks. But I think he’ll be fine.”
- Jeremi Powell tore his ACL during the Missouri game. It was another non-contact injury and Powell is the sixth Gator to be lost this season due to an ACL injury.
- Tyler Murphy will not throw this week. Muschamp said that Murphy is still out at practice and participating in everything except for throwing drills.
- Damien Jacobs has not been able to practice this week with a “head injury.” Muschamp said he expected Jacobs would be able to play last week and didn’t know until Thursday that Jacobs wouldn’t be available against Missouri.
- Darrin Kitchens has a shoulder injury but he hasn’t been evaluated yet due to the birth of his daughter this week. He is away from the team with his wife and family currently.
- Colin Thompson has not been able to practice since he re-injured his foot.
- Kent Taylor had an ankle injury earlier in the season but he is healthy now. His lack of playing time is not due to a current injury.
Self Evaluation Time
- Bye weeks are normally reserved for the coaching staff to recruit while the team works on fundamentals and watches film. Rather than sending the coaches out to recruit on Sunday and Monday, Muschamp kept his staff in Gainesville to diagnose issues and find solutions.
“I had some coaches who were supposed to be out recruiting Sunday and Monday and told the whole staff we need to get back in, we need to sit down and figure some things out.”
- The staff is trying to find ways to get the team to play faster and with more confidence. One of the solutions to being able to achieve that is to simplify some things on offense.
- Muschamp and the offense went away from Kelvin Taylor and the running game too quickly against Missouri. Once the team was down two scores they started pressing rather than sticking with the hot hand.
Fixing the Offensive Line
- As the team self evaluates this week, Trenton Brown appears to be a player on the verge of getting more reps.
“I think Trenton’s a guy that needs some opportunities and some turns. We’ve got to get him in there and let him play some.”
- The offensive line was supposed to be strength this season but they have become the most glaring weakness on the football team.
“I just don’t think we’ve performed as well as we need to, there’s no question. First year, we were a little, you know, handcuffed, as far as where we were and what we were trying to do. But certainly this year, I felt like that we would have played a little better at this point.”
- Right now, D.J. Humphries would be one of the five starters that will move forward with the team. Humphries didn’t start against Missouri and he and Muschamp had a conversation about his play this season.
“I think so. D.J. needs to play better and he knows that. I’m not telling you anything he and I haven’t talked about. Just be more consistent in his play, in his sets as far as the pass game is concerned and sealing the edges in some things.”
- The coaching staff will continue to look for five guys that they are comfortable with on the offensive line, Muschamp wouldn’t say if he thought Tyler Moore was one of those five guys.
- After Kyle Christy’s lackluster performance to start the season, the coaching staff showed that they aren’t afraid to burn a players’ redshirt. Johnny Townsend was supposed to redshirt this year but performed well when given an opportunity last week.
- Joey Ivie and Jay-nard Bostwick are two players that were named as freshmen who were scheduled to redshirt but could have played last week and might play in the future.
“Yeah, in the game we probably should have played Joey Ivie and Jay-nard Bostwick in the game. We’re very thin defensively. We probably should have played those guys and just gone with it. Those guys have been progressing very well.”
- Octavius Jackson has also been getting some reps with the offensive line and there is a possibility he could play and burn his redshirt status as well.
- NCAA bylaws prohibit coaches from mentioning recruits by name and coaches often avoid questions about recruiting. Muschamp was asked how the struggling offense is affecting recruiting and if it can have a negative impact.
“No, we’re doing fine. We’re doing fine. Struggling a little bit, but some of those guys look at it as, ‘What a great opportunity to come to a program like Florida and play.’”