Muschamp believes in his staff

Florida head coach Will Muschamp was asked if he delivered a vote of confidence to his coaching staff, specifically offense coordinator Brent Pease. There wasn't any hesitation. Despite back-to-back games with offensive issues that have produced just one offensive touchdown in the last eight quarters, Muschamp is standing by his staff during the team's bye week.

"This is the same staff that came a game away from playing for national championship, OK?" Will Muschamp said on Wednesday. "Obviously we're not where we want to be right now, and nobody knows that more than our staff. We need to go back and re-evaluate what we're doing and continue to improve our football over the next five weeks."

That doesn't mean he's thrilled with what's happening with the Florida program. Muschamp pulled all of his assistants off the road on Sunday and Monday, away from the original plan of having them recruiting while the Gators head into their bye week. Muschamp wanted answers, and the staff spent those two days studying film to figure out what was going wrong.

The team returned to practice on Tuesday and was upbeat despite their recent struggles on the field.

"Our guys obviously aren't pleased with where we are," Muschamp said. "It's not what they came to Florida for. It's not what I came to Florida for. I told them again we just need to circle the wagons, pull together and come together of the common purpose on Saturday afternoon of playing better and coaching better -- and that's what we're going to do."

The offensive staff is trying to fix the issue on that side of the ball. Playmakers aren't getting touches or involved in the offense. Running back Kelvin Taylor led the offense on a six-play, 70-yard drive in the third quarter, cutting the Missouri lead to six points with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.

After that drive, Taylor touched the football only one more time. Muschamp admitted on Wednesday that the offensive staff went away from Taylor too early in the game while trying to throw the ball to get back in the game.

"We probably got away from that a little early. We did," Muschamp said. "I thought he played well. I thought he ran the ball extremely well. He continues to improve in all facets of the game. We've been very pleased with where he is right now."

The coaches will continue to monitor the touches of offensive players going forward. Even when the passing game is slowed because of the offensive line's issues in pass blocking, they have to find was to get the hands in of receivers.

"We constantly are trying to talk in terms of getting Solomon Patton the ball in different ways," Muschamp said. "Other guys within that as we move forward -- Kelvin obviously needs to touch it more. He has shown playmaking ability. Quinton Dunbar has done a nice job for us. Those are guys we need to continue getting the ball more to."

If more young players step up and earn playing time, they'll get it. Muschamp said Ahmad Fulwood is improving at receiver. They've given fellow freshman receiver Demarcus Robinson multiple chances to earn a role this year, but he hasn't taken advantage of it yet.

Fulwood and Taylor will be more involved as freshmen, and if any others step up during the bye week, the coaches will find a place for them, too.

"I'm not worried about upsetting anybody," Muschamp said. "My track record speaks for itself as far as playing young guys. If they're ready to play we're going to play them. You look at the amount of guys since I've been at Florida that have started as true freshmen, that have played a lot as true freshmen -- if they're ready to play, they're going to play.

"If they give us the best opportunity to win the game, we're going to play them."

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