Muschamp Monday: The injury bug bites again, new starters & Mizzou

It is back to the drawing board for the Gators. Not only do they have to rebound from a 17-6 loss to LSU in a game that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate, but now they have to reconfigure the running game around Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor because Matt Jones is done for the season. All this has to be done with unbeaten and 14th-ranked Missouri (6-0, 2-0 SEC East) waiting to prove its win over Georgia in Athens last Saturday was no fluke.

Those and other topics were discussed Monday when head coach Will Muschamp met the media. Muschamp doesn’t hand out weekly awards after losses so there were no players of the game, scrap iron, ball hawk, etc. given out this week.


Injury Update

  • The injury bug bit again as Muschamp announced that Matt Jones will be lost for the season with a torn meniscus. Jones was leading the team in rushing yards-per-game this season.

I hate, I’m not trying to be hard line here, but it’s part of the game. Matt played six plays in the game and got bent up on our sideline on a tackle and just, got caught up underneath of him and that’s when it happened. Very unfortunate. I hate it for Matt. He’s a great young man, to go through what he’s been through this fall, missing all of most of fall camp. Working his way back in shape and starting to feel good about himself, as far as how he felt physically, mentally and then to have this setback is just disheartening for all of us.”

  • Ronald Powell has an ankle injury. Muschamp wouldn’t get into the specifics of the injury but he hopes that Powell can return by Wednesday.

Ronald Powell has an ankle. We hope to get him back for Wednesday. I hope to know more in the next 72 hours and see how the swelling goes and to see if he can get it out of his ankle and see where that goes.”


New starters named

  • Mack Brown will take over as the starting running back moving forward.
  • Frankie Velez will remain the starting kicker after going 2-2 kicking field goals against LSU.
  • Preseason All-American punter Kyle Christy has officially lost his starting role with the team and will be replaced by freshman Johnny Townsend.

Johnny Townsend will punt for us this week at Missouri. We need to make a change there. We’ve been very inconsistent punting the ball throughout the season.”

  • Christy’s performance has been puzzling this season. After a breakout season in 2012, Christy has struggled mightily in 2013.

Yeah, it is, it’s very frustrating, as much for him as it is for as it is anyone. It’s not from a lack of work or a lack of trying to get things right. There’s no question about that. It’s just a matter of him working through this and us continuing to try and search for answers. If you continue to do the same things, you’re going to get the same results.”


 What went wrong against LSU?

  • LSU dominated both lines of scrimmage and that was the catalyst for their 17-6 win over Florida.
  • The Gators forced themselves into a lot of obvious passing downs with negative plays and that allowed LSU’s defensive line to pin their ears back and get after Tyler Murphy.

Against a defense like that, you got to be balanced. You can’t get in situations that are obvious passing situations. They’re very athletic. When they’re able to pin their ears back it’s, it’s difficult.”

  • Florida’s defense allowed LSU to convert on a third and 17 near halftime on a 22-yard Zach Mettenberger to Odell Beckham pass down the middle of the field. Muschamp called the play “a killer.”
  • Florida had two opportunities to flip the field on special teams and failed to do it. That might have been the straw that broke the camels’ back in terms of Christy holding on to his starting job.
  • The Gators didn’t bring the right level of physicality against LSU this season and the numbers showed that.

Overall, I thought our effort was good, just physicality was not what it needs to be. You kind of flip the scripts from last season. We ran for 180 yards last year and they ran for 40. They kind of flipped the scripts on us as far as that’s concerned. So disappointed, we just got to get our team better prepared on the line of scrimmage to win that game, and we didn’t do that.”


Moving on to Mizzou

  • Missouri is 6-0 and leading the pack in the SEC East. Missouri had remained relatively healthy this season until they lost starting quarterback James Franklin with a separated shoulder last week.
  • Mizzou is averaging more than 500 yards a game on offense this season and has a very balanced offensive attack.

They’re very balanced offensively, averaging over 500 yards a game. They run it for 239 and pass it for 276, 45 points a game. They’re over 50 percent on third down, so they stay on the field. They got three really good backs. They lead the SEC in turnover margin. The defense leads the nation with 13 interceptions. They are experienced on defense with six seniors. [Michael] Sam and [Kona] Ealy are two NFL-type defensive ends, both guys do a great job pressuring the quarterback and creating negative plays for you, so we got to account for those guys.”


  • The Tigers have a very experienced defense and they lead the nation in interceptions (13).



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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. coach speak, always good to hear. i love the “can’t get into obvious passing downs”, why don’t we ever hear about “can’t get into obvious rushing downs and let them bring 9 into the box against our 5 lineman”.
    Matt must have had the meniscus repaired, otherwise i can’t think of any reason to be out 7 weeks for a simple meniscectomy