Murphy looks to take pressure off run game

The Florida offense tried to be balanced against LSU on Saturday calling 35 pass plays to 32 run plays in the entire game against the Tigers. Florida opened up the first series calling seven run plays to six pass. First down is a little bit different story with 17 runs versus 7 pass. The Gators were miserable on first down pass success and quarterback Tyler Murphy knows it has to get better.

It wasn't a fun ride home from Baton Rouge on Saturday, especially for the offensive side of the ball. Getting shut out of the end zone and only scoring six points in the contest.

"Guys were very disappointed, tough loss, everybody was pointing out the mistakes and stuff like that," Murphy told the Florida media contingent on Monday. "Thinking about what we (could've) done better as a team."

After watching the game film, Murphy says he was responsible for a lot of the issues that appeared to be on the offensive line and protection during the game.

"Like I said after the game, I held on to the ball too long at times, which allowed them to get a few hits and sacks," Murphy said. "I thought I made a few nice throws, made a few good checks but you know you can't win with a few nice throws and a few good checks. You have to be consistent across the board."

The LSU defense had something to do with it of course. But Florida is going to have to line up every week in the SEC with the thought that the team across from them is going to bring it.

"They did a good job getting in the backfield and getting pressure," Murphy said. "Any time a team does that, your timing will be off. That's just something we're going to have to work on. You're never going to have that perfect picture every play. That's something we are going to have to adapt to and continue to get better at because Missouri is going to do the same thing. That's something we are going to have to get used to quick."

The junior who was in only his third start as a college quarterback said the road stadium didn't affect him. It was loud, but that wasn't an issue.

"I thought I did a good job of keeping my composure; we were just a few plays away from the game being different," he said.

The Gators have been able to create some long successful drives all year and a lot of times come up short of the end zone at the end of the drives. The Gators had 10 and nine play drives on Saturday that resulted only in field goals. The bottom line is they need to get the ball in someone's hand that can put it in the end zone, one way or another.

"We didn't make any big explosive plays, that kind of hurt us," he said. "We just have to get back to basics, get back to square one. Really just focus on the fundamentals and keep getting better. Watch the film with the group and just find what we did wrong and how we can correct things so we can create some explosive plays down the field and be more consistent."

There were some positive points on offense. Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor looked good running the ball. They were able to target freshmen receivers Ahmad Fulwood and Demarcus Robinson in the contest. These are things that can help in the explosive play department if they continue on.

"There's definitely stuff we can build on," Murphy said. "But, you know, when you only score six points as an offense, it's tough. You know we have to find what we were doing the last few weeks that allowed us to create some plays down the field and put up some points. We truly have to pay attention and figure out what we did wrong."

Of Florida's twenty-four 1st -down plays they ran the ball 17 times. That is a lopsided number and something that needs to improve. The issue was that of the 17 rushes, they averaged a solid 4.5 yards. On the pass plays just 1.5 yards. Being productive throwing the ball on first down is big according to Murphy.

"They're definitely going to start putting more people in the box," he said of the upcoming defenses. "We're going to have to be more consistent on first down. That's something we're aware of and something we're going to have to do this week to take some pressure off of our run game and hopefully get a few explosive plays if they're packed in the box."

With all of the negativity of the loss, the gators still find themselves in control of their own destination as far as the eastern division of the SEC. A loss to the west can be overcome if they win all of their games against their eastern opponents within the conference.

"A lot of people brought up that we can still win the East," Murphy said. "We still have a chance to get to Atlanta. That's our No. 1 goal. We just really have to focus in and have a great week of practice and really get ready to go on the road and put forth a great effort to beat Missouri. We have a bye week the week after, so this is a big week for us. Nothing would be worse than losing to Missouri going into a bye week. That's in the back of everyone's head. Everyone is ready to go and ready to get this game on the road."

Missouri comes in riding high after beating Georgia. The Tigers are now 6-0 and vaulted to the 14th ranked team in the country ahead of the 22nd ranked Gators. Murphy says their notoriety was expected.

"I wouldn't say surprised at how good they were," he said. "They were a pretty good team last year and they were good before this year. So, you know, they're undefeated, they beat a Georgia team and the week before they beat a really good Vanderbilt team. They're a lot better than they were last year but that's not a surprise to us. We know that day in and day out, every week, we're going to have to come with our best."

None of the players are likely familiar with the location they will be playing on Saturday. Murphy doesn't see that as an issue.

"I'm not sure if anyone's ever been to Missouri," Murphy said. "I've never been. That's going to be different just playing in a different atmosphere and being in a different stadium and stuff. Hopefully the weather won't be too bad. I don't think the cold will affect us, especially when you're out there running around, you usually tend to warm up. Being from up North, I don't think it will be that cold. I don't think it will have a big effect. We're definitely going to have to be mentally focused and locked in and not get caught up in being in a new atmosphere and new place."

Missouri will offer up much of the same issues that LSU did. They were able to sack Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray twice, force him to fumble which went for a touchdown, and throw two interceptions. It was one his worst days as a collegian.

"We're going to have to really dial in and really pay attention to their pressure packages," Murphy said. "I'm going to have to do a good job of getting the line in the right protections, seeing whether they're bringing the pressure. The wide receivers have to be on point and try to get into their routes and get to where they're supposed to be quickly. And I really have to work on just getting the ball out quick and anticipating where they'll be. That way, we can show that we can handle the pressure, and they'll back off and things will lighten up a little bit.

"We've watched the film. We know. We understand where we messed up. And we're just going to have to continue to just figure out ways where we can beat it and continue to just progress and understand where we messed up. I feel like if we understand where things went wrong… we can correct it and move on and get better.

"I have to get us in our protection," Murphy said. "The times where I didn't have much time, that was my fault. (I've got to) work on seeing the blitz better, getting us in the right protection or switching routes or getting us into a better run play or something like that, I'll do a better job of that this week."

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