On “Muschamp Monday” following back-to-back SEC East wins, the mood was light in the South End Zone meeting room as Florida coach Will Muschamp met the media to discuss the the win over Kentucky and preview Florida’s upcoming matchup with the Arkansas Razorbacks (Saturday, 7 p.m, ESPN2).
- Marcus Roberson was a game time decision last week and told the coaching staff before the game that he could play if they needed him to.
Quotable: “Yes. It was a game-time decision … I just didn’t feel comfortable putting him in that situation. He and I talked after he came off the field. I said, ‘Let’s ice you down and get ready for next week.”
- Valdez Showers is expected to be back at practice by Wednesday.
- Colin Thompson is out again this week with his foot injury.
- Vernon Hargreaves was named the SEC Freshman Player of the Week
- Offensive Players of the Game: Matt Jones and Max Garcia.
- Defensive Players of the Game: Ronald Powell and Jonathan Bullard
- Big Play Award: Tyler Murphy and Trey Burton
- Ball Hawks: Ronald Powell and Vernon Hargreaves
- Hard Hat: Jabari Gorman
- Special Teams Player of the Game: Keanu Neal
- Scout Team Player of the Week: Cody Adams, Cam Dillard and Alvin Bailey
Quotable: “Cam is a center from Michigan we signed and a guy that has a really bright future here at Florida. Alvin Bailey on special teams. Alvin’s done some really nice things for us. A guy that’s got some return skill. He’s shown some nice things as far as blocking kicks. Very pleased with his progress as well.”
- Florida had seven explosive plays on offense to just two for Kentucky. One of those explosive plays for Kentucky was on the fake field goal, something Muschamp said the team will address this week.
- The offensive line played their most complete game against Kentucky.
- While the defense was able to pile up five sacks, Muschamp said that getting the kind of constant pressure on the quarterback is what he was happier about.
- Austin Hardin has already missed three field goals this season but it hasn’t wavered the confidence his head coach has in him.
Quotable: “The 53-yarder I had all the confidence in the world he [Hardin] would make it; he made ‘em all in pregame and you gotta put ‘em out in those situation and let ‘em kick. Really pleased with how he handled last week, the challenge and the opportunity that we presented in front of him, very pleased with his performance.”
- Tyler Murphy played a very good game in his first career start. Muschamp credited Murphy’s performance with the way he prepares for the game each week.
Quotable: “He’s preparing all the time when he was the backup to be the starter. When his number was called to be ready. It’s a great example for our football team and really in life anytime you’re sitting there and wanting to be the next guy be ready when you’re number is called and be ready to execute. He’s done that.”
- Muschamp credited Arkansas for its toughness. This will be the first true two-back type of offense that Florida will face this season.
- Travis Swanson leads the Razorbacks offensivee line at center. Muschamp said Swanson is as good of a center as Florida will play this season.
- Arkansas leads the SEC in sacks (15). Defensive ends Chris Smith (6) and Trey Flowers account for nine of those sacks.
- Muschamp credited Arkansas for being a well-rounded football team in all three facets of the game.
- The running backs and tight ends will be asked to help out in pass protection to counteract Arkansas’ speed rush.
Quotable: “We’ll have different protections. Whether it’s a six- or seven-man protection utilizing our tight ends and backs to chip on Smith and Flowers. They’re really good rushers. They have two big guys inside who do a good job of pushing the pocket. But there’s no question we need to account for them on the edges. That’s something we’ll address as the week goes on.”
- Arkansas hasn’t had as drastic of a learning curve as people expected. Muschamp said he doesn’t think the offense is too different than it was in 2012.
- Freshman running back Alex Collins is averaging 119.4 yards per game this season and is a featured piece of the Razorbacks offense.
On Florida’s recent string of injuries
Muschamp was ready for the question about if Florida needs to change their strength and conditioning or practice programs because of the recent rash of injuries.
- In Muschamp’s first two seasons the Gators only had two ACL injuries (Easley and Powell).
- Muschamp has spent a lot of time speaking with different surgeons since the rash of injuries this year.
Quotable: “Your percentage of patella tendon, tying the ACL back is 1-of-12 chance for re-tear. If you use a cadaver, it’s 1-of-4. So all of those things, when you’ve had a preexisting injury, which we’ve had in a lot of those situations, there’s a chance for that to happen. I’m not saying that it should happen again, I’m just being realistic here. But two in three years is good.”
- Muschamp has met with the strength staff and the medical staff as well as outside orthopedic surgeons and they consistently evaluate those situations.