Muschamp SEC Teleconference Q&A

The Gators head to Columbia this weekend already out of the race for the SEC East, but that doesn't mean they've lost focus. They get to play spoiler this weekend against South Carolina, who is fighting for a berth in the SEC Championship game. Florida head coach Will Muschamp talked about facing Steve Spurrier and his team's injuries on Wednesday.

Q: "What's the emotion of facing Steve Spurrier?"

A: "I've got great respect for Coach Spurrier. He turned this place around to winning championships and turned our expectations around here at Florida. I have tremendous respects as a player and a coach. He has changed this league by coming in throwing the football and spreading the field. We were a ground and pound league, and our league was a two-back downhill run game. He came in and changed the league by throwing the football, and obviously winning. The people here still thinks the world of him because he does things the right way."

Q: "Can you update us on the injured guys, specifically Chris Rainey?"

A: "Chris is good. He practiced yesterday. John Brantley is good, Chris Rainey is good, Chaz Green is good, Jelani Jenkins is fine and Dan Wenger is good. Lerentee McCray was a little bit slow yesterday, and that'll be a game time decision at this time. He's the only one on our team I wouldn't be pretty sure about playing on Saturday."

Q: "Any progress in figuring out who will start at center, whether Jonotthan Harrison or Sam Robey?"

A: "Both of those guys will rep in there, and Dan Wenger will as well. The big thing is John has played well for us, but it's consistency in snaps since we've had to go to this pistol and shotgun formation with John's ankle."

Q: "What's your philosophy on bringing in recruits for visits on a game weekend as opposed to waiting until December or January?"

A: "You evaluate what's important and the ‘wow' factor for each recruit. Some young men want to see game day atmosphere in The Swamp. If that's a factor, that's one you want to consider. Guys that are further away, we want them to see the atmosphere. That's a huge positive. Some young men have to come during the decision because they're deciding in December. I'm good either way. It boils down to the recruit and what they need to see."

Q: "How much time on game weekends do you have to spend with recruits?"

A: "Not much. It depends on if they play Friday night and don't get in until Saturday morning. Then, it depends when our game is. If we have a night game, I try to spend some time with them during the day and have lunch with them. After the game, I'll see them, and on Sunday, I'll spend as much time as they can before they leave."

Q: "With Joe Paterno announcing his retirement, can you speak about him and the situation taking place at Penn State?"

A: "It's obviously tragic. I don't know all the facts, but if the allegations are true, then my thoughts are with the victims and the victims' families at this time."

Q: "What are your thoughts on Missouri joining the league?"

A: "Gary Pinkle does a great job and turned that program around. They're very difficult preparation defensively. You're up a lot of hours that week getting ready for those guys. They spread you out. They recruit well in the state of Texas. I'm glad they're in the SEC."

Q: "With freshmen playing more immediately now, has it hurt the quality of the game?"

A: "I don't know that the quality is a lot different. There are teams that are ahead of others, but a lot of players are younger and player because guys are going out for the NFL. That sets you back a little bit as a program. If he's leaving early, he's a real good player, so it's hard to recruit real well at one position because all of the freshmen coming in now think they're going to start. They don't want to go to a school with an incumbent starter. It makes your depth not as good as it has been in past years."

Q: "With you guys out of the East race, is there no pressure, allowing you to open up the offense more?"

A: "That's what we want to do every week. In our first four and a half games, we played well on offense until John's injury. When you take a senior quarterback out, we missed that for two games. I'm not offering excuses, I'm just saying the facts. We've had John back, and it's similar to what you saw earlier in the year."

Q: "Are you happy with how the team has responded since losing to Georgia?"

A: "Yeah, but the expectation here is to go to Atlanta. When you lose that, it's frustrating. We're developing some battle scars and have been through some tough times, but our approach and preparation each week has been outstanding. That to me is the most promising. We've improved our football team, regardless of the results after the game. Everyone wants to focus on that, and I do and understand that's important, but it's also about the direction your football team is heading in. Our attitude has been great and preparation has been very good."


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