Muschamp dealing with the loss

Saturday’s loss to Miami was a tough one to swallow for Gator fans. Don’t think it was any easier to deal with for Will Muschamp, his coaching staff and the Florida players as well.

To make matters worse for everyone, the Gators have a bye week before hosting Tennessee on September 21st in The Swamp. That means the sting of the loss will linger for two whole weeks before the Gators can go out and get back onto the field.

As fans, these two weeks will be long but as a former coach, I can promise you that for the coaches and players inside the locker room it will seem like two months from the time they left Sun Life Stadium until kickoff against Tennessee.

For Will Muschamp, these are going to be a rough two weeks as he has several things he must take care of and handle to get this Florida program back heading in the right direction. None of those things will come easy for Florida’s head coach.

The first order of business for Muschamp is to rally his troops back together inside the Florida locker room and get them back on track to prepare for the rest of the season. Let’s face it, the Gators have only lost one game and all of their preseason goals are still well within reach.

As a former coach, I’m sure Sunday’s team meeting went something like this; “Guys, we lost. It’s time to move on and fix the mistakes and get ready for Tennessee in two weeks.” Muschamp will remind his players of the loss over and over this season to keep them motivated. Muschamp must look his team in the eyes and make them understand that they must get better.

Next up for Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease is to find some way to make this Florida offense go and score points for a great Gators defense. For both of these coaches this task will be tougher than it sounds, as they are dealing with injuries up front and a quarterback who is lacking confidence after a tough game against the Hurricanes.

The bye week will provide the coaches the opportunity to allow competition and help the team get back to the fundamentals for a week. The open week also provides the offensive line an extra week to get healthy and back to full strength before the SEC gauntlet begins.

The next order of business for Muschamp is recruiting this week and making sure that the recruiting class is kept in tack. Muschamp is selling to prospects that Florida is headed in the right direction but it must be tough talking to offensive recruits after a game like this past week.

However, you can also look at it as a chance to sell early playing time to several offensive prospects on Florida’s board.

With all of this being said, Florida announced that there would be no media availability this week during the bye week. This means that other than the SEC teleconference on Wednesday, the coaching staff and players won’t have to answer questions about the loss to Miami for more than a week and by the time they are made available, everyone’s attention will already be turned to Tennessee.

Some reporters and fans took it as Muschamp hiding and not wanting to talk to the media but as a former coach, I have a different opinion of things.

Would I like to see Muschamp speak this week? Yes, but what does that accomplish? Nothing at all. He can only say the same things he did on Saturday so many times.

Muschamp has bigger fish to fry than answering questions from the media. He has to find a way to fix the offense and keep his team focused on the rest of the season.

I want to remind fans that while this loss is tough on you, it’s also tough on the people inside the locker room who want it just as bad – if not more – than you do.

Knowing Will Muschamp as a coach and as a leader, I fully expect the Florida Gators to be prepared and better when they take the field against Tennessee. What the players and coaches need now is the Gator Nation to be behind them.

Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.


  1. As, I agree with most everything you said, especially the tough sell to future offensive recruits with this non explosive offense he insists on running. Just like last year everyone is going to continue to load up the box and dare us to throw down field and until we do our running game is going to continue to suffer. I read where someone said that we did throw down field more Saturday, but most of those plays came late when were playing catch up. This offense obviously is not suited for playing catch up and I think that is one of the things that concerns Gator fans the most.

    As a recruit I might be thinking twice about playing in this offense myself. Another thing that puzzles me among other things is why are our highly regarded offensive recruits/freshman like Taylor, Robinson & Fulwood for example, do not play much if any? I watch other teams and first year players like Ole Miss, Gurley & Marshall last season or the Sammy Watkin’s of the world and on and on. They come in, play right away and excel. Is our system so different or difficult that our kids can’t get on the field right away? I don’t get it!

  2. What’s discouraging is I see almost no difference in the offense. I don’t know whether the coaching staff just doesn’t have confidence in Jeff to expand the play book or this is as innovative as we’re going to get from Pease/Muschamp. We had the #4 #1 and #7 ranked QBs between Brantley, Driskel and Brissett in their respective classes over the last 3 seasons and all have been unsuccessful up to this point. I can’t help but wonder if our staff just sucks at developing QBs….because the ‘no playmakers on offense’ argument can’t fly any longer. Believe me, I love what Muschamp has built on defense, but I want more imagination than a ’73 Nebraska offense. At least open things up, so when we do fall behind we’ll know how to catch up.

  3. What ever happened to rolling the pocket? The guy is a Tebow replacement and we turn him into a pocket passer….sound familiar? we know how that worked out. Driskel needs to get rid of the ball quicker. He had that same habit last year and took so many sacks. You saw the result of that on Saturday again, it set up an easy 7 for the clincher. You hate to hang the loss on one guy, but the QB play was Division 3 like, can you imagine the rest of the SEC teams licking their chops playing all 11 within a 5 yard area? Where is Kent Taylor? Use the tight end to loosen things up. Throw in behind the linebackers and force them to come out of the box. tough to watch this, reminds me of the early 80’s when I was there when our D was great and the offense was lucky to score points each week.

    • Miami doesn’t have a high end defense. A whole season of bad luck didn’t hit us in one game. Unfortunately, a whole season of mistakes didn’t occur in one game. A defense can’t be expected to score two or three touchdowns to win every game. No player or coach woke up Saturday morning and decided to make mistakes playing Miami, but they did and I’m not convinced the same or different mistakes won’t cost more games. Either a writer or one of our players said Driskel would be ok because he didn’t mess up like that in practice and of course he doesn’t have game pressure on him in practice. Driskel is Tebow’s replacement except someone didn’t recruit the talent that played alongside Tim. Maybe they did decide to make all those mistakes Saturday morning.