Bye weeks in college football are instrumental for coaches and players, both off and on the field.
Florida football players got Monday off to rest their legs and focus on schoolwork, but the coaching staff rarely takes a day off.
The Gators’ staff hit the recruiting road and had coaches stretched across the country. Some headed north, others trekked to the Carolinas, while the rest stayed in-state to watch prospects.
Tuesday and Wednesday are the most important days of the bye week as the coaches’ focus on fixing fundamental mistakes. “Florida working on Florida,” as coach Muschamp and his staff called it this week.
Those days were spent giving young players repetitions, including those likely to redshirt this season. Muschamp singled out many by name on Wednesday during the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference.
On Thursday, the coaching staff turned its attention to installing the game plan for LSU, so players could turn their focus to the Tigers. There was even some film study so players could get a better handle on what to expect on offense and defense.
With Muschamp giving the team the weekend off and no players having Friday classes, many headed home Thursday afternoon.
For most players, this is the most important time of the bye week as they are able to return home to family and friends and get a breather from football before returning on Sunday and setting their focus on finishing this season strong.
While some may wonder why the Gators aren’t practicing all weekend, the answer is simple. Too much practice and too much focus on one opponent can cause players to overthink during a game.
With Florida trying to nurse several key defensive players, like starting linebacker Jelani Jenkins (right thumb), back to health before Oct. 6, the bye week and time off can be invaluable.
Plus, a little time off never hurt anyone and the clearing of players’ minds and getting to see family can go a long way towards focusing when they arrive back in Gainesville.