Muschamp Notebook: Bowling Green Review

The season opener wasn't pretty and didn't show the massive improvement from the offense that most were expecting. Florida coach Will Muschamp admitted after the game and again on Monday morning that he limited the passing attack against Bowling Green to emphasize the importance of the running game. It didn't produce a visually appealing offense, but he was happy with how the team ran the ball.

The only problem with the rushing offense came in short yardage situations. Florida was successful converting 1-of-8 of the 3rd and 2 or shorter situations, but that was the only part of the run game Muschamp was disappointed with.

"You go into every game trying to accomplish something," Will Muschamp said. "We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish in that game for the most part. Do we want to do better on third and short? Yeah we do. A lot better. Do we need to be more creative in those situations? Certainly we can and we will."

The obvious improvement of the week is short yard situations, but Muschamp also pointed out that the Gators ran for 5.2 yards per carry. Senior running back Mike Gillislee averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Those are numbers Muschamp would like to hold up throughout the season.

He knows the rushing attempts won't be as high in the future. The hope of the Florida staff is that the heavy running game plan on Saturday won't hinder the passing game when the Gators try to air it out more on Saturday at Texas A&M.

"You can put that on me," Muschamp said. "I told Brent what I wanted. I wanted to make sure we played a certain way in the game. I never had any doubt in my mind that the outcome of the game was going to happen. We were playing well on both lines of scrimmage, takeaway the third and shorts.

"We'll be more creative with what we want to do as far as play calling in concerned and motions and shifts."

The ten missed tackles were the biggest negatives for the Florida defense, but Muschamp noted that missed tackles usually improve from week one to week two. He noted that too many of the missed tackles happened on the perimeter that could have been broken for big plays.

The special teams were a disappointment, too.

"Very sloppy," Muschamp said. "Very disappointed, as good as we've been on teams and as much time as we spend on special teams around here. The effort needs to get better and the execution needs to get better. It will."

Gillislee was named the offensive player of the game. Andre Debose was the special teams player of the game. Jon Bostic was the defensive player of the game. The scrap iron award, given to the best lineman, was given to Xavier Nixon, who Muschamp said "played his best game."

The ball hawk award, given to the defensive player who makes the biggest impact on turnovers, went to sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson for his interception. Scout team players of the week were Max Garcia, Mark Herndon and Dakota Wilson.

SKILL PLAYERS NEED TO EMERGE: The Gators are still waiting for a running back behind Gillislee to emerge. Mack Brown rushed four times for 13 yards and freshman Matt Jones rushed three times for 17 yards. Omarius Hines will continue to get touches out of the backfield, too.

Jones had an impressive first run of his career

Muschamp is still expecting one of the backups to "earn more touches" throughout the year so Florida doesn't have to overwork Gillislee.

"Mack Brown ran the ball hard," Muschamp said. "Matt Jones did a nice job for his first time going out there and playing. Omarius Hines did a nice job with some touches. As we move forward, Mack and Matt need to separate themselves in some form or fashion to continue to get Gilly the touches we need for him to have in the game."

The Gators also continue to search for playmakers at wide receiver, and they're starting to get creative with it. Loucheiz Purifoy started at cornerback on Saturday, but he also saw reps at wide receiver. The Florida coaches will continue to be creative and try to find the right fit to get more playmakers at receiver.

"Loucheiz is a guy that has real good vertical speed and good ball skills," Muschamp said. "We're trying to get more explosive at the position. He's certainly a guy that can do some things for us. That role will continue to grow as we move forward."

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