It was the series finale of Muschamp Monday as Florida Gators Head Coach met with the media for his weekly press conference. Florida is coming off a 52-3 victory over Eastern Kentucky and is in preparation for the final game of the season against Florida State at Doak Campbell stadium. The Gators are looking to be the second team in 29 games to defeat the Seminoles.
The last team to do it? The 2012 Gators.
Florida will also be at full strength for the game. After leaving Saturday’s game with a kneecap bruise, Muschamp said Treon Harris will be ready to play next week.
Here is some of what Muschamp had to say:
The importance of the 2012 win on the team’s confidence for this game:
“I think so, we still got a lot of guys on the team that went up there, it was a great game, they had an outstanding football team, and we played well, got out to a fast start in the game, it’s going to be critical for us there, take care of the football, we did that, we were able to run the ball, you know, and I think that’s something that we’re going to need to be able to do, you know, come Saturday, but there’s no question that, you know, we’ve been a pretty good road team as far as handling ourselves on the road and that certainly is a very SEC-like atmosphere in Tallahassee.”
Florida State possibly looking susceptible on tape:
“Well, again, I think that, you know, anytime you win, it may not be exactly what you want it to look like, and certainly all the experts are taking their shots but they’ve still won 27, 28, 29 games in a row, and that’s hard to do, that really hard to do. So, you know, again, you see a very well-coached, good football team in all three phases that have talented players. They’ve won a bunch of games, they know how to win and that’s a talent too, so, again, I see a very talented football team on tape.”
Any added motivation needed for this game:
“They don’t need fireworks to get ready for this one. They’ll be ready to go. Our guys are excited about this game. I was concerned Saturday, I’ll be honest with you, going into that ballgame. Our guys aren’t dumb. They turn the tape on. They’re able to see. But we got some competitive young men in that locker room and they’ll turn the tape on and understand the type of team we’re going against and the preparation what’s going to take place. I told them in the locker room when the game was over. We’ve had a week to feel sorry about this, that or the other when all we can control is the controlables and that’s getting ready for Florida State, a really good football team. We need to prepare better than we did this past week. We need to practice better than we did last week and they all agreed to that. They understood that. We need to prepare much better than we did this past week.”
Conversations with the staff last week:
“I told the staff ‘do your job, do your job. You get hired by the University of Florida to do your job, and that’s to coach and to recruit and that’s to represent this university first class, and that’s what you do.’ I haven’t been involved in any recruiting since it happened. But our staff needs to continue to recruit and represent Florida. It’s a great place to come to school and play football and that’s what those guys are doing. They continue the phone calls and all that, and Sunday after Florida State, they’ll be out recruiting for the University of Florida and getting ready for a bowl game. You get hired to do a job and that’s your job. Go do your job.”
Thoughts of DJ Durkin, who will serve as interim coach in the Gators’ bowl game:
“He’ll do an outstanding job. He’s a really good football coach, he sees the big picture, he’s an outstanding recruiter, he’s got a tireless work ethic and he does a great job with our players. He will do a fabulous job.”
Managing players’ emotions in the game:
“Well, we talk about it and we’ll hit it again today. It’s really no different than when you go to Jacksonville and play and play in some of these games. Just play the game. All the other stuff, we don’t need that. Just play the game. Talking’s not going to help you make a play, that’s for sure. There will be high emotions. They need to manage that. They can’t let it overtake them, especially early in the game getting very emotional. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs in the game, and you’ve got to play through them. Any big game, that’s what you need to be able to do.”
Their approach to slowing down Jameis Winston:
“You’ve got to change things ups. He’s a guy that when he knows what he’s getting — he’s good, regardless — but he’s really good when he knows what he’s getting, whether it’s pressure or coverage, middle field or split safety. I think you’ve just got to continue to change up and have creative looks that you are playing multiple things out of. Those are some things we do anyway. You can’t wholesale changes against a really good player. And then you make a mistake and all of a sudden you cut a guy loose down the field. We’ve got to stay within what we do. We’ve got enough in our package to be able to manufacture some things.”