Muschamp Preached Discipline in Second Half

COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The Texas A&M offense had Florida on its heels. The Gators back peddled into the locker room at halftime staring at a ten-point deficit that felt like it was twice that. Florida coach Will Muschamp didn't waste time grabbing his team's attention. It wasn't a speech that included massive overhaul of the defensive scheme. It was about getting back to the plan.

"It was crystal clear," Will Muschamp said of his halftime message. "There was one guy talking, and I told them what they needed to do.

"We did a better job in the second half of controlling the line of scrimmage. That was the difference. There was no magic potion."

Muschamp wanted his team to control its aggression and stop getting out of position while trying to make the big play. It hurt the defensive line in the first half, as the edge rushers would try to get outside and to the quarterback to create pressure. When that happened, Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel stepped up in the pocket and ran through the vacated gap.

Manziel gained 41 yards on the ground in the first half when the Gators couldn't stay disciplined on the line. It didn't take long to recognize the change in the second half. The linemen were more disciplined, and Manziel rushed for just 19 yards in the second half.

"It's not from a lack of effort or lack of want to," Muschamp said. "Guys want to do so much. They want to do too much. Just do your job and take care of your responsibility. We don't need you making the fantastic play. Just do your job. That's where sometimes, and it happened in the first half of this, guys try to make plays, and we've got to be more responsibility-oriented.

"You don't ever take anybody's aggressiveness away. You never want to do that. I've got to be careful with how we manage this."

As those running lanes closed in the middle of the line, Manziel was forced to stand more in the pocket. The Florida pass rush was still able to get to him, registering three sacks on the game. The Aggies allowed just nine total sacks last season and returned their entire starting line for 2012.

The defensive coaches for Florida spent the week preaching to the players that Texas A&M wouldn't be a pass-heavy offense. It looked like it on film when Kevin Sumlin ran the offense at Houston last year, but Muschamp warned his players against it.

After spending the week of practice learning about it, the battle at halftime was to again make the players realize that the run game was doing most of the damage. The passing game even used the screen plays as an extension of the run.

"At halftime, I told them, "I'm firing you if you run up field again. Sit on the line of scrimmage, squeeze blocks and quit running up the field." That's what they want you to do," Muschamp said. "Get your hands on people and play thick on people."

The second half differences were eye-popping. The Gators allowed three first downs in the second half after giving up 18 in the first half. The Aggies put up just 65 yards of offense in the second half and were held to 0-for-6 on third down conversions.

The mistakes were correctable at the half, and the Florida defense made the necessary changes.

"We just played more disciplined football," Muschamp said.

INJURY REPORT: Jelani Jenkins came out of the game in the first quarter with a thumb injury. He was out of his uniform in the second half and in a cast. Josh Evans exited the game with a "pop on the shoulder" and didn't return because he didn't regain strength in it.

Cody Riggs sprained his foot, but Muschamp expects him to be fine. Mike Gillislee didn't play after his touchdown run with 13:05 left in the fourth quarter. Muschamp said he knew there was an injury but wasn't sure what it was.

STEALING THE THUNDER: With the allure of College Gameday being in town and College Station packed with Aggies celebrating the school's first SEC game, Muschamp spent the week talking to his players about stealing the show.

After the game, he was happy with his team coming out with a win on a day that was supposed to be for Texas A&M.

"With all of our hospitality in the SEC, we're trying to make everybody happy," Muschamp said. "Everybody wanted the glory story here with A&M, and they didn't get it."

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