Beatdown on the bayou

He spent most of the day scrambling, running for his life, shaking defenders and pulling himself up off the turf. Such was life for Tyler Murphy in his first start against LSU in Death Valley.

As a whole, the offense didn’t get the job done but it all began up front Florida’s offensive line, which was  thrown around and bullied by LSU’s younger defensive line.

Will Muschamp sat in a tiny room adjacent to the visitor’s locker room, sweaty and dejected as  he spoke about the Gators and how they struggled to control the line of scrimmage.

“We didn’t consistently control the line of scrimmage offensively,” the Florida coach said. “There were to many negative plays that put us behind the in the down and distance, which is very difficult to overcome against a good pass-rushing team.”

Murphy took the diplomatic approach, as most quarterbacks would. He took blame for holding on to the ball too long — at times he did — but he played admirably considering what passed for protection from the offensive line.

“They did a good job applying pressure.” Murphy said. “I didn’t do a good job getting rid of the ball. That’s something I’m just going to really have to evaluate and get better at because teams are going to do that all season. If I want to be successful and we want to be successful as offense that’s something I’m going to have to overcome.”

While Murphy took the high road, the offensive line took responsibility for their inefficiency. Jon Halapio was angry at himself and the line as a whole on Saturday.

“It was a line of scrimmage game,” Halapio said. “We knew that coming into the game. “We got outworked and outplayed. We just gotta do a better job preparing for stuff like this.”

Officially, Murphy was sacked four times Saturday, the most the Gators have given up in any game this season and just three fewer than the five previous games combined. Murphy’s mobility and ability to escape from trouble saved the Gators from giving up even more in the sack department.

Halapio blamed the performance on a breakdown in communication. The offensive line was coming off of both its best game as a unit and best for communicating with each other. They stood tall against a dangerous Arkansas defensive line but fell on their face against the Tigers.

“It was all on us,” Halapio said. “I’m not even gonna sit here and make an excuse. We’ve played in loud stadiums before and we’ve never folded like that. It’s all on us, we just gotta do a better job.”

Many people got carried away with their projections of Murphy after his first few starts. The team’s performance will likely bring those expectations down a little but Murphy never saw him self as a miracle cure for the offensive  problems.

“I never thought of myself as the miracle guy,” Murphy said. “I was just the backup who had to step up and do what the backup is supposed to do and that’s to allow the offense to have a chance.”

So, it’s back to the drawing board for the Gators, who will travel to Columbia (MO) next week to face a 6-0 Missouri team that knocked off Georgia in Athens. Despite taking one on the chin in Baton Rouge, the team knows that all is not lost … yet.

“We still have everything on the table as far as Atlanta is concerned.” Murphy said. “We need to take care of the SEC East. It is wide open, and it is all in our hands. We just need to watch tape and improve on this Saturday.”

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC


  1. In all honesty, Murphy got a taste of what Jeff Driskel has experienced. It is very hard to make plays when you are just trying to stay alive.

    I do not understand why the OLINE is so awful for the second straight year. Today it was not the RT that was glaringly bad; it was across the board.

  2. I was glad to read Halapio taking responsibility for the o-line’s pathetic display. I am hoping this will kindle a fire under each one of their back ends to work together to fix this problem. One unit… goal. Tyler Murphy…..I think the title “back up” can be removed. HE’S the MAN! We are set to face a team who is only in their second year of conference membership. The University of Florida is a charter member of the SEC….80 years of membership (unless my math is wrong)! We’ve paid our dues each and ever year. No disrespect intended toward our newest member. It’s time to make a statement Gators. Now let’s get to work! Go Gators!