Muschamp SEC Teleconference Q & A

Each week Florida head coach Will Muschamp talks with the national media via the SEC teleconference. This week Muschamp talked about the Gators big 3-0 start, some injury situations, and keeping his team in check after such a great start to the season. he has an offense that seems on the verge of really consistently breaking out and he talks about that as well.

Q. How good is it to see stuff done in the second half and the 4th quarter?
Will Muschamp: "It's been great so far. We emphasize a lot of things, and emphasize turnovers which we haven't done a great job on defense so far. But we emphasize winning the fourth quarter and the second half. That is a huge part of winning in our league, because there are so many tight games. You have to perform, coach, and play well at the end of games in order to have success. We have done that, but it is a long season and we have a long way to go."

Q. Can Jelani Jenkins be back for the LSU game?
WM: "They told me yesterday, he went to the doctor and they changed his cast. In 8 days they are going to pull the pin out of there and take another look at it. He will start lifting and running today. We will move on from there."

Q. Any chance Dominique Easley is out (he was on crutches)? Matt Patchan?
WM: "We are just trying to stabilize Dominique, he has a little swelling on the knee. I would say questionable for the game. Matt Patchan will be out, and I am not sure when he will be back."

Q. Are you more conservative in terms of going after the punter?
WM: "(We) plan to do so when presented the situation. We had an opportunity against Bowling Green and Matt Elam barely missed it.(Actually), at Texas A&M I don't believe we rushed one, we weren't presented the situation. At Tennessee we did rush one and then they changed and went to Rugby style. It was a good play on their part and they were able to flip the field."

Q. So many remaining SEC games at home, has that been emphasized with the players to up the level of play at home?
WM: "I don't want to say upping our level of play, we won the first game and that is the goal. I think playing at home and our place is critical. We have to have great success here. Playing in the swamp is a huge advantage for us. We lost two games at home (last year) and that is not something we are accustomed to, I can assure you of that."

Q. Some say winning on the road in the SEC is like winning two games, how big is winning on the road?
WM: "We are still just 2-0 and not 4-0. We talked to our guys all summer about starting fast We needed to have a great summer, be in shape, ready to go, and ahead of the curve offensively hitting camp. We didn't need to be reacting in camp but playing in camp. I think our players did a great job this summer reporting in August ready schematically for what we were trying to do offensively and of course the second year in the system on defense helped.

"There is no question our players approached the summer the right way. We got what we needed to this point, we prepare well each week. There is a lot that goes into it. I am very proud of what our players have done. We have helped ourselves get a leg up on the competition at this point."

Q. What has Jeff Driskel's second half play in two tough road games done for his confidence?
WM: "Jeff is a guy that in both games we expected him to play well and he did. He executed very well and improved from week one at A&M to week two at Tennessee. I am sure it has been a nice shot of confidence for him. (The team) has played well. They have (gotten through) the uncertainty of him playing well. I think everyone expected him to play well, but how well? He certainly has come through very well."

Q How is Mike Gillislee doing with his injury after the game?
WM: "He told me in the locker room that he felt better after the game than he did before the game. He did well, I said he would run 18-20 and I believe he had 19."

Q. You've played big to open the season, how is the team responding to the outside noise of people telling them they should roll this week?
WM: My approach has always been that every game counts as one. no matter the circumstance. I thought we had a very good practice yesterday… our guys went out and worked. I thought their focus was there and they were tuned in at the meetings. I was very pleased with yesterday and Monday's practice. We need to continue today and have a good polish day on Thursday and walk-through on Friday. They know how to work and we have to work smarter this time."

Q. What have you seen from a confidence standpoint after the last two weeks?
WM: "Any time you win and have success it brings confidence to you as a player. It is such a key part of athletics. When you feel good about something and think positively about something… I always tell the players that a positive attitude doesn't guarantee anything but a negative one does. Any time you are negative and think in a negative way you aren't going to have success. Our guys expect to play well and win in every situation and that is what you want in your program. That is what happened here for a long time. We have a lot of tradition here at Florida."

Q. It is basically the same group of receivers this year as a year ago. Do you feel differently about them than you did a year ago?
WM: "I certainly do, I have a lot more confidence in their play making ability, running after the catch, and the things they are doing.

"There are a lot of things that go into that and the number one thing is we are blocking well up front. It all goes back to our offensive line. We are able to run the ball which creates opportunities down the field. When you are able to run the ball inside and on the perimeter it creates one on one opportunities and one on one matchups outside because people want to be able to load the box to stop the run. When you are able to do that and they can't do all the pressures and different things because of the legs that Jeff has and the blocking up front.

"We simplified people with our motions and shifts. I am very pleased with the production with Frankie Hammond. Quinton Dunbar had some big plays and blocked for us. Latroy Pitman and Raph Andrades both played as true freshmen. When I talk wide outs I always throw Omarius Hines and Trey Burton in that group as well. Then you talk about Jordan Reed and his production and Andre Debose continues to come on for us. Solomon Patton has been huge for us as we move through the season with some of the running things we are doing.

"I think that is a credit to Brent Pease from the standpoint of finding out what the guys can do and do what they do well. He has put those guys in situations to this point to be very successful."

Q. Is there something that Brent has done with one or two guys to make them better?
WM: "The first guy that jumps out at me is Solomon Patton. Solomon is a guy that we put the ball in his hands and give him some opportunities and touches because of his electric speed. He can really run.

"We have created better match ups with Jordan, moving him around with all the motions and shifts and things and put him on some linebackers and safeties. He is going to be a real mismatch in coverage unless you have a really good cover safety. "He also really tailored the running game for Mike Gillislee, Mack Brown, and Matt Jones and those guys can really push the pile."


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