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  • Florida Gators Head Coach Will Muschamp walks the field during pre-game. Florida Gators vs Georgia Bulldogs. November 1st, 2014. Gator Country photo by David Bowie.

Florida Gators football: Where
To Now With Will?

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Written by Ryan Randall, November 15, 2014, 6 Comments,
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Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp’s job security had been in question for the first half of the year, with talk settling down after wins against Georgia and Vanderbilt.

However, Saturday’s lost to South Carolina has stirred those talks up, leaving Gator Nation to wonder where the program goes from the meltdown in The Swamp.

After the game, Muschamp wasn’t interested in talk of his future, focusing on preparing for next week’s game against Eastern Kentucky.

“I’m going to coach this football team and we’re going to move on and get ready for the next one,” Muschamp said. “That’s what I’ll do and that’s what our staff will and the team will do. I’ll let you guys speculate.”

Throughout the season, the Gators have performed below expectations. While the defense came into Saturday’s game ranked fourth in the SEC, the offense has struggled mightily throughout the year. Prior to their contest against South Carolina, the Gators were 11th in the SEC in total offense, averaging 385.2 yards a game. Florida has also turned the ball over throughout the year. Over a four-game stretch that included Alabama, Tennessee, LSU and Missouri, the Gators had 15 turnovers, including six against Missouri.

Florida fumbled the ball once against South Carolina, but struggled to find a rhythm offensively, especially on third down. Florida only converted three-of-14 third downs, the worst completion percentage since the fewest since losing to LSU October 11. The offenses inability to extend drives hindered a rushing game that ran for 218 yards.

“We were effective running the ball for the most part,” Muschamp said. “Third down is what really hurt us. We didn’t convert on third down. We were moving the ball but we didn’t maintain possession. That was a killer.”

For cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, the players are focusing on playing football and letting the talk of Muschamp’s job status play out. When asked about the fairness of his coaching being on the hot seat, the corner discussed the nature of the job.

“It’s the University of Florida,” Hargreaves III said. “He knows that coming in. He tells us all the time you’re not supposed to lose at Florida. So he can take all that, that’s what he’s paid for, he’s paid to take all the criticism and he does a great job with it. We’ll see how it goes.”

The loss officially eliminates Florida from SEC East title contention. With a 5-5 record, Florida is one win away from being bowl eligible, though the Gators still may be selected due to having the first game of the season against Idaho cancelled.

As Florida moves on to Eastern Kentucky, offensive lineman Chaz Green understands the criticism his head coach will face and looks ahead as a chance to unify in light of an uncertain future.

“It’s out of our control anyways,” Green said. “Either way, everybody [has to] pull close together. We know the shots are going to come. We just got to pull together as a family and keep grinding like we’ve been doing all year.”

Ryan Randall

About Ryan Randall

From Melbourne, Florida, Ryan has lived in Florida since he was three, becoming a sports fan around that age. His passion for journalism rivals his love of sports. Shortly out of high school he covered prep and community sports for his hometown paper in Brevard Country, before moving to Gainesville, where he covered the Gators in the pros as well as prep sports for a few publications. A Telecommunications major at UF, Ryan now interns at Gator Country and ecstatic to showcase his talents for the publication. When not working on stories, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, music, as well as art. Follow Ryan at @_RyanRandall_

  1. mashtungatorNovember 15, 2014, 8:31 pm

    One step up and two steps back. Will needed to win more games this season than he has. Right now we’re striving for mediocrity and not quite achieving even that. The SEC is tough, everyone knows that, but that’s why he’s paid millions. This is Florida, we score points. Get him out of there.

  2. 21November 15, 2014, 8:56 pm

    First I apologize to the moderators… second…. bye Muschamp

  3. scooterpNovember 15, 2014, 9:35 pm

    If I couldn’t see the scoreboard all game long you would have thought we were winning 31-10.,..but because we play not to lose it kept the score closer than it needed to be. Take out the 1st Qtr, it was all Fla. We should be 7-2 right now. What happened against LSU and USC should not happen….maybe Mizz is better than us but not embarrassingly better at home. Bama? I’ll give that one away. Two blocked kicks inside of 2 minutes? …,when does that happen? .. When a team is not well coached. I have been a WM apologist for the most part, but maybe it is time for a change.

    • trippo7November 15, 2014, 11:09 pm

      I am with you. I have tried to stick with and hope Muschamp would grow into the job. This has not happened. It seems like the success of the last two weeks caused him to tighten his grip even more on the offense. He is the only coach who things a 7 pt lead is more like a 20 pt lead and then sits on the ball. The play calling for the final quarter and change was embarrassing and utterly predicable. I hate to say it because he is a likeable guy, but he has to go.

  4. scooterpNovember 15, 2014, 11:27 pm

    I just don’t see that Urban home run hire out there this year. I’m thinking Pinkel, Briles and maybe Patrino if he’s got the douche out of his system…,but I wonder about Franklin. What he did at Vandy is nothing short of incredible. Hopefully, Foley has been throwing some feelers out there. We’ll see

    • trippo7November 16, 2014, 1:30 am

      Todd Graham (ASU), Chris Peterson (Washington and previously Boise St.), and of course Dan Mullen. Those are the college names I like and I could get behind, but I am also believer in Josh McDaniel the Patriot’s OC and former HC coach of the Denver Broncos. We could always dream for Jim Harbaugh, but who knows. I also read an article about Mike Shanahan, which would have excited me 10 years ago, but I think he’s 60-something now? There is a coach out there better than Muschamp. Of that I am almost certain. I hate to say it because he seems like a good guy, and has certainly changed some of the culture as far as running up against the law, anyway, but I am sure there is a coach out there that can do that and also win games.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/florida-gators-florida-football-georgia-bulldogs-everbank-field-super-gallery-november-1-2014-jacksonville-florida-gators-head-coach-will-muschamp-pregame-150x150.jpg Ryan Randall FootballThe Latest ,,,,
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Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp’s job security had been in question for the first half of the year, with talk settling down after wins against Georgia and Vanderbilt.

However, Saturday’s lost to South Carolina has stirred those talks up, leaving Gator Nation to wonder where the program goes from the meltdown in The Swamp.

After the game, Muschamp wasn’t interested in talk of his future, focusing on preparing for next week’s game against Eastern Kentucky.

“I’m going to coach this football team and we’re going to move on and get ready for the next one,” Muschamp said. “That’s what I’ll do and that’s what our staff will and the team will do. I’ll let you guys speculate.”

Throughout the season, the Gators have performed below expectations. While the defense came into Saturday’s game ranked fourth in the SEC, the offense has struggled mightily throughout the year. Prior to their contest against South Carolina, the Gators were 11th in the SEC in total offense, averaging 385.2 yards a game. Florida has also turned the ball over throughout the year. Over a four-game stretch that included Alabama, Tennessee, LSU and Missouri, the Gators had 15 turnovers, including six against Missouri.

Florida fumbled the ball once against South Carolina, but struggled to find a rhythm offensively, especially on third down. Florida only converted three-of-14 third downs, the worst completion percentage since the fewest since losing to LSU October 11. The offenses inability to extend drives hindered a rushing game that ran for 218 yards.

“We were effective running the ball for the most part,” Muschamp said. “Third down is what really hurt us. We didn’t convert on third down. We were moving the ball but we didn’t maintain possession. That was a killer.”

For cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, the players are focusing on playing football and letting the talk of Muschamp’s job status play out. When asked about the fairness of his coaching being on the hot seat, the corner discussed the nature of the job.

“It’s the University of Florida,” Hargreaves III said. “He knows that coming in. He tells us all the time you’re not supposed to lose at Florida. So he can take all that, that’s what he’s paid for, he’s paid to take all the criticism and he does a great job with it. We’ll see how it goes.”

The loss officially eliminates Florida from SEC East title contention. With a 5-5 record, Florida is one win away from being bowl eligible, though the Gators still may be selected due to having the first game of the season against Idaho cancelled.

As Florida moves on to Eastern Kentucky, offensive lineman Chaz Green understands the criticism his head coach will face and looks ahead as a chance to unify in light of an uncertain future.

“It’s out of our control anyways,” Green said. “Either way, everybody [has to] pull close together. We know the shots are going to come. We just got to pull together as a family and keep grinding like we’ve been doing all year.”

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