Muschamp SEC Teleconference Q&A

With the Florida Gators standing 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC, head coach Will Muschamp is fielding questions from the national media about way it has happened so far for his team. Muschamp answers a myriad of questions like he usually does in this transcript from his SEC teleconference call.

Q. How have Loucheiz Purifoy and Chris Johnson been effective as ‘Gunners' in punt coverage?
Will Muschamp: "Loucheiz and Juice are both guys that play extremely hard and are competitive guys. That is a one on one battle out there in those situations, especially the way we punt and things we do. People are going to have some eyes on the punter and eyes in the backfield, so those guys except the opportunity to go one on one outside. Both are very difficult to defend because they are strong guys that run extremely well. They are technicians that work hard on getting off of bump and run. If you try to get your hands on them, both are heavy handed and they get people's hands off of them quickly.

Q. Has there been any move in terms of a punt returner?
Will Muschamp: "I have a lot of confidence in Andre Debose. He got banged up last week. We just have to make better decisions as far as fielding the ball. We put Pop Saunders back there, Marcus Roberson back there. Frankie Hammond and Trey Burton can get looks.

"We have to do a better job of blocking for him, but a couple of situations we certainly could have fielded the ball and not lost yardage there. "

Q. Can you talk about the role that punter Kyle Christy has played on your team?
Will Muschamp: "He's had a tremendous impact on our football team. In the Tennessee game we get pinned back at the five yard line and he kicks it all the way to their 30. His leg and being able to flip the field has been critical to our season and why we are where we are. He is an outstanding punter. This past Saturday we had opportunities to pin them inside the 10 yard line three different times.

"He is a tremendous athlete and there are a lot of things we can do as far as Rugby style punting. I want to say the sixth game of the year he became the starter last year and has really responded since then. I am very pleased with his progress. "

Q. How much has the team fed off of Gillislee, who takes pride in wearing down a defense as opposed to breaking a big one?
Will Muschamp: "I certainly feel like teams take the personality of their feature players. He is kind of who we are right now. We are a blue collar outfit, kind of a lunch pail group. We go about our business and go to work. Our personality revolves around the way he is."

Q. Has this team taken on your identity and personality?
Will Muschamp: "I think it takes some time for those things to happen. The number one thing is we are a year older, more mature, and a stronger group in the weight room from a year ago. We have been able to stay injury free in some key positions.

"I think they have seen the mentality I want in this organization and the type of players we will recruit. I have certainly seen a little bit of it, but we have a way to go."

Q. James Franklin, is his team taking on his personality?
Will Muschamp: "I thought he did a fantastic job last year. You turn the tape on and seeing guys playing hard, fast, and physical. They are multiple offensively. Bob Shoope does a great job attacking physically. There is no question that is James Franklin's personality written all over it."

Q. In the fourth quarter, where does Jeff Dillman fit in respect to his effect on your play?
Will Muschamp: "I don't think there is any question that a huge part of the success goes back to Jeff and his staff. I think when we went back to the old core of lifting that I was accustomed to with the transformation in their bodies… the players began to build confidence in what they were doing. They saw themselves getting stronger and in the spring we were a more physical team. They saw themselves improve as a football player.

"Anytime you invest in something and you start to realize it is working for you and you are benefiting from it, you are motivated to do it more. I think the motivation was at an all-time high since I have been here.

"Again I want to say we are a year older. We are more mature. We are able to handle adversity much better. We inherited a very talented young team last year that had a hard time handling some situations."

Q. What was your mandate to Dillman when you hired him?
Will Muschamp: "I was at LSU with Tommy Moffitt. I saw the success we had with doing core lifts of squat and power clean and the development of those players. You look at the success Scott Cochran has had at Alabama. When Jeff and I talked I said ‘we're going back to what we know and what I know' and that is with the success we had with Tommy."

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