After a tough loss in Coral Gables to Miami, the Gators have rebounded with back-to-back conference wins against Tennessee and Kentucky. The Gators will look to make it three straight SEC wins this Saturday under the lights in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Before the Gators and the Razorbacks face on this Saturday, Gator Country answers questions that you submitted this week.
Let’s dive in.
Q: How does the staff feel about the offensive line after Kentucky?
A: The offensive line played its best game of the season against Kentucky. While football is the ultimate team game and everyone needs to communicate effectively, it is most important among the offensive line.
The linemen themselves wouldn’t admit that there were communication issues while they shuffled players in and out the first couple of games but you can tell that the starting five that Florida has now are very comfortable with each other and the line play should continue to get better the more time they spend playing together.
Q: Does the staff feel like some fans that Tyler Murphy’s pocket presence and quick decisions provide Florida with a better offensive flow?
A: They won’t ever say that publically but all you have to do is turn on the tape and watch the offense before Murphy was starting and since he became the starter. It’s night and day.
Q: How do the coaches feel about the backup quarterbacks?
A: I have been told that Skyler Mornhinweg is still working on getting the playbook down pat and Max Staver is still adjusting to the playbook and speed of the game. If Murphy were to miss time, Mornhinweg would be the guy but you should expect a drop off in the offense without Murphy.
Q: As the staff becomes more confident in Murphy will the playbook open up more?
A: The playbook is what it is. It’s never going to look the way that fans want it to. The Gators are going to run the ball because that’s a formula that they have won games with and that’s the only thing that the coaching staff cares about. Winning football games.
Murphy has already taken some more shots down field than the Driskel did, I think the more comfortable he gets the more you will see him let the ball fly but the play calling won’t change too much.
Q: The TV camera focused on Kelvin Taylor at the end of the Kentucky game he looked angry, any issue here?
A: Kelvin has been the go-to guy since he was in eighth grade. This is a vastly different role for him and it will take a while to get used to.
Q: Will we see more Ahmad Fulwood and Demarcus Robinson moving forward?
A: Both Fulwood and Robinson have played a good amount this season and that will continue.
Q: Is Vernon Hargreaves a starting CB at this point?
A: The coaching staff said that two weeks ago and even with Marcus Roberson set to return this week I would still consider Hargreaves a starter on this team.
Q: What is the current health status of the offensive line?
A: They are as healthy as they have been. Jon Halapio hasn’t had any new issues with either his eye or his pectoral and the rest of the line is healthy as well.
Q: Are the coaches confident in the matchups against the big teams on the schedule (LSU, UGA, USCe, FSU)? Who do the Gators stack up well against?
A: The Gators’ defense is going to stack up well against anybody. That means the Gators should be in every game they play. Florida’s running game matches up well against LSU. The Tigers are giving up 148 yards on the ground a game this season (8th in the SEC). Florida State has also struggled somewhat stopping the run, giving up 151.50 yards per game against some pretty bad running teams, Pitt (80th), Nevada (58th) and Boston College (78th).
Florida should also be able to take advantage of some things with Murphy’s running ability and their power running attack against Georgia and South Carolina. The coaching staff knows that all four of those games are very tough tests but Florida stacks up pretty well with each team.
Q: How will the shutdown of national parks affect Brent Pease’s nature walks?
A: Well, there is no scheduled nature walk this week because the Gators play at home but the nature walk last week was on a golf course, so I think Pease can improvise, adapt and overcome.
Q: What is the health status of the tight ends?
A: Colin Thompson is still out after a hairline fracture in his foot.
The coaches have been very vague when discussing Kent Taylor’s ankle injury. In fact, we haven’t been told what kind of injury it is, just “an ankle.” It reminds me a lot of how vague the staff was with Andre Debose and De’Ante “Pop” Saunders towards the end of last season.
The only “healthy” tight ends left are Tevin Westbrook and Clay Burton.