Muschamp teleconference transcript

Florida head coach Will Muschamp doesn't love the way his team's schedule sets up, forcing the Gators to take the weekend off after its loss at Miami last weekend. He would like to get back on the field and forget about the loss, but instead, the Gators have two weeks to prepare for a rivalry game against Tennessee. Florida will begin its preparation for the Volunteers on Wednesday afternoon.

Opening statement: "It's early for an open date. We haven't had this since I've been at Florida. We used Sunday to go rehash the game at Miami, an unfortunate loss. We really didn't take advantage of some situations we should have -- five turnovers. Not starting the game well defensively cost us the game. Monday and Tuesday we worked on going back in the red zone and working on some tempo, just some things we felt like we needed to work on. We scrimmaged our young players on Monday and Tuesday and then started on Tennessee today and tomorrow. We'll have a team lift on Friday and give the guys the weekend before getting them back Sunday night for some meetings and things.

"On the injury front, Jeff Driskel had a sprained knee but will be fine for Tennessee. Just precautionary, trying to get him off his knee. We've got a long season ahead of us. Marcus Maye has a little bit of a shoulder, but he'll be fine for Tennessee. Tyler Moore has a little bit of an ankle, would not play this week if we had a game but should be fine for next week. Marcus Roberson sprained his knee in the game and should be fine for Tennessee. Jon Halapio is back with some contact today for the first time. D.J. Humphries' knee is fine and will be back for Tennessee. Dante Fowler has a hip contusion and will be fine for Tennessee.

"Nick Washington injured his shoulder on Monday and had a previous injury there in high school over in Jacksonville at Trinity, and we'll have to get surgery on Monday. He'll be done for the season. He was involved in a non-contact injury, knocking the ball off a guy in a skeleton period. He was really progressing well at defensive back for us and on special teams.

"Rod Johnson, we will get him back in contact starting Monday."

Q: "How'd you slow Johnny Manziel last year?"

A: "They're not a team, with that offense and what they do, they don't do a lot of stuff. What they do, they do very well. It's more based on execution than it is multiple things. The biggest thing to me was to push the pocket and eliminate escape lanes. He's a dual-threat guy and is fantastic with the ball in his hands, whether throwing or running it. I don't know if he was far enough along throwing the ball that he gained the confidence as the year went on the latter part of the season. We wanted to constrict the pocket against a guy like him and make him throw the football. We felt like we covered well and matched up well on the perimeter. We didn't give him escape lanes and made him a pure passer instead of giving escape lanes. He hurt us with the off-rhythm plays where you've got to recover a receiver down the field. He's fantastic in the pocket and has a great pocket presence."

Q: "Will Alabama have problems in the environment at Texas A&M?"

A: "No. They'll be fine. They do like we do and pipe in crowd noise. They'll be prepared. College Station has a great environment, but they've been in those situations before."

Q: "Are targeting calls changing the game?"

A: "It certainly has changed how we're coaching. You've got to target lower. There's no question that we've put a huge emphasis on it with our players in camp with teaching tape from practice and those things. We've certainly emphasized it a lot with our guys."

Q: "What jumped out from Miami film?

A: "Ball security. Take care of the football. Score in the red zone. End every position with a kick. If you do that, you win the game. We need to take care of the football and start the game better defensively. We could've played much better. Five turnovers, one situation on a fourth down where we don't get, that's 14 points of the 21 they scored. We had our opportunities, but give them credit, they took advantage of our mistakes."

Q: "Did Miami do anything different to confuse Driskel?"

A: "The third down situation, we get the wrong route run. That's tough. When you're anticipating a route breaking a certain way and it doesn't break that way, it's hard on the quarterback. He forced one ball. Other than that, we did throw the ball pretty well. It was just those two situations on the interceptions."

Q: "Does Kyle Field rival the other SEC stadiums?"

A: "Yeah, it has an SEC feel. It will be a great environment. It's a good place to play."

Q: "Is it harder to have a good tackling team now?"

A: "I think that there's more space plays created and more plays in space, the more tackles that will be missed. When you talk about bad missed tackles in the open field, everyone sees it and identifies it. Generally, an open field missed tackle means a big gain or a possible score. There's no question -- we tackle every day. If you want to be good on defense, you better be a good tackling team and eliminate second opportunities for the back. We've tackled well in our first two ball games. I don't want to say that the rules, there have been more space plays created because of spread offenses. Targeting doesn't effect how you tackle. We teach the proper techniques of tackling situations, but we talk it about it every day."

Q: "Are your players taking guys to the ground every day in practice?"

A: "If you thud and stay up, you become a better tackler. Generally, most tackles are missed when you drop your eyes and bend at the waste, and you don't get close enough to get them on the ground. You've got to take the extra step to get close enough to a good player and get them on the ground. With what we call thud tempo, you've got to take the extra step to get yourself in position to make the tackle, which helps you become a better tackler."

Q: "Was redshirting Roderick Johnson the plan as he came in?"

A: ""That's the plan (to redshirt Johnson). Right now, with as much time, Jason, as he's missed through August camp and now we're two weeks into the season, he'd be hard-pressed. We have enough depth where we are on the offensive line even though we had to re-shuffle things obviously last Saturday and we'll continue to do based on our situation going into the coming weeks. But right now, he would be a redshirt guy."

Q: "How do you guard against complacency against Tennessee with eight straight wins over them?"

A: "Those eight victories have nothing to do with what's going to happen Saturday. Obviously, Butch has done a really good job at Tennessee. It's starting our SEC season and a team, a university that we have a lot of respect for."

Q:"Does it help get the team's attention that they're coming off a loss?"

A: "Anytime you lose, regardless of who you're playing next, you want to get back on the field. I wish we could line up and play this weekend, but unfortunately, that's the way our schedule falls. We created this issue, so we need to circle the wagons here, and I think we've had two good work days and we'll start on Tennessee today. I know the guys will be excited."


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