Coming into their game against Florida, Vanderbilt had allowed every team on their schedule to score at least 24 points with the exceptions of Massachusetts and Austin-Peay. You can add the Gators to that list after the 34-17 homecoming fiasco last Saturday.
Florida currently sits on a 4-5 record and the nation’s 112th ranked offense is a big part of why the Gators have struggled this season. Brent Pease’s offense has actually regressed from last season (104th in the country in 2012) and his seat has gone from hot to hotter in recent weeks.
To make matters worse, Florida will travel to No. 11 South Carolina this week with a starting quarterback listed as “day-to-day” with a shoulder injury and an offensive line that hasn’t been able to protect searching for a way to stop the the nation’s most feared pass rusher, Jadeveon Clowney.
On Tyler Murphy’s health
- Pease called Tyler Murphy day-to-day and said that Murphy would have to practice at some point this week if he would be able to play this week at South Carolina.
I think it’s probably a game-time decision. Same situation we’ve been in before. He’s got to get in some practice time at some point in time and be able to at least go out.”
- Asked if Murphy’s injury is more serious than it has been reported, Pease responded with a brief “no” and shook his head.
- Murphy will continue to rehab this week
What if Murphy can’t go?
- Pease was not very confident in what the Gators had after Skyler Mornhinweg, who is next in line at quarterback, and said having to play a redshirt freshman — not necessarily Mornhinweg, but in general — was not an ideal situation.
You hope you never really have to play with a redshirt freshman. Nothing against him because he’s a smart kid, he works hard. But in a developmental situation, you hope that you get into your sophomore and junior year before you’re in that situation, whether you’re competing for the job or in a backup role ready to play.”
- When asked what Florida had after Mornhinweg on the depth chart, Pease provided a very interesting answer.
Well, we’ve got Christian Provancha. We’ve got Max Staver. Those are the next guys on the depth chart.”
- Pease said that the coaching staff would like to not have to burn Staver’s redshirt at this point of the season.
- Whoever plays quarterback for Florida this Saturday, Pease says that they all understand what the gameplan is and that they just need to execute.
I know how they all prepare. They all study the game. They all understand what we’re trying to get done in the game plan. It’s more ‘Go execute that plan to the best of your ability and understand there’s going to be sometimes when you’ve got to improvise.”
On stopping Jadeveon Clowney
- Jadeveon Clowney is probably the best player in the country regardless of position. Pease and the Gators have to know where he is on every snap because he is a player who can single handedly change a game.
I don’t know if you stop Clowney. I think you’ve gotta have a plan that makes him work hard. I mean, the guy is the best player in college football. He’s gonna make plays. But for us, we can’t leave ourselves in one-on-one matchups, so you’ve gotta double team him and do things to make him chase the ball and you’ve gotta try to wear him out.”
Handling a frustrating season
- The coaching staff and the players are trying not to lose confidence as the team struggles this season.
In my situation I don’t think you can lose confidence in who you are and what you believe in and how you got to doing your job. Last year it was a situation where we knew how to manufacture and get wins.”
- As Florida’s offense continues to struggle in Pease’s second year, the offensive coordinator said its human nature to think about job security.
I mean, it’s human nature to probably think about that, but I still have an obligation to this team, and the head coach, and the players I coach and the administration that I work for.”
- Playing through the injuries that Florida has had to play through has been tough for Pease and the coaches but you have to play the hand you’re dealt.
- The offensive line will remain the same as last week. That’s (from left to right) Max Garcia, Ian Silberman, Jonotthan Harrison, Jon Halapio, Trenton Brown.
- Florida is doing everything they can to keep Octavius Jackson’s redshirt and would shuffle Kyle Koehne and Thurman around before burning Jackson’s eligibility this year.
We would shuffle them. We’d use Kyle at one of those spots or Trip Thurman.”
- Ahmad Fulwood and Chris Thompson both had firsts last week against Vanderbilt. Fulwood caught his first touchdown while Thompson caught his first pass. Pease credited the way both players have come on in practice.
And I think, you know, Ahmad and Chris — they’ve really come on in the last two to three weeks. And you know, we always look at the number of plays that they have rather than say the number of catches.”
- With the team struggling, the coaches are taking some opportunities to get younger players in the game to gain experience.
Yeah, I think all those guys are building up the experience that they’re getting better. That’s something you’ve got to build on for the next game, next series and next year. There’s development being involved.”
- Pease doesn’t attribute the practice habit of going “good-on-good” to the rash of injuries this season.
I think if you’re still working with the guys that weren’t your original starters, you’ve got to go good on good to get game-like reps. Now, we don’t go live in those situations. We ask the kids ‘stay up, be smart how you block, don’t cut each other, don’t crack on each other on the blocks, be smart.’”