Turnovers critical in historic Florida loss

The Gators were on the negative end of history on Saturday. Vanderbilt ended a 22-game losing streak to Florida and won its first game in Gainesville since 1945. Four turnovers proved to be the undoing for a Florida team that doesn't have the margin of error to get around them. The Gators handed Vanderbilt ideal field position throughout the 34-17 loss.

"You're not going to win many games turning it over four times," Muschamp said. "We're not good enough to overcome critical mistakes like that. Emotionally, it just takes the wind out of your sails when you turn it over. We have to take care of the ball.

"When those things happen, it's a killer. It's a killer for your entire organization."

The Gators gave Vanderbilt the momentum early and were never able to take it back. The Commodores marched down the field on 14 plays to open the game, settling for a field goal. In Florida's second drive, Tyler Murphy was intercepted, setting up a touchdown run for Jerron Seymour on the first play of the Vanderbilt drive.

Before the end of the first quarter, Florida was staring at a 10-0 deficit. At this point in the season, Muschamp doesn't feel like his team is tough enough to handle a deficit.

"Right now, we're not strong enough mentally to handle that," Muschamp said." A year ago, maybe earlier in the year we were. Right now, we're not. It's a ‘woe is me' mentality right now. We've got to overcome that. Our leadership needs to step forward, and that's what we're going to do.

"We're going to move forward with the guys that are willing to accept challenges and opportunities that sometimes are difficult and tough.

Muschamp struggled to find one reason for Florida's problems contributing to the current four-game losing streak. As the boos started to rain down from the stands of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium early in Saturday's game, he even said he understands the frustrations from the Florida fan base.

"I'm not asking anybody to be happy," Muschamp said. "I'm not asking anybody to get a pass. This is the real deal. It's the University of Florida. My expectations, I guarantee you, are as high or higher than anyone sitting in those stands. There's nobody more let down, hurt or competitive edge dented a little bit by this run."

Muschamp even brought up an incident that happened at the end of the loss to Georgia where he got into an argument with a fan giving him an obscene gesture as he exited through the tunnel to leave the field. He apologized for that incident on Saturday and added that he didn't have a problem with the boos on Saturday.

"You know what, that's fine," Muschamp said about the boos. "They pay their ticket, they can do whatever they want. That's good. Now it doesn't help our program, but that's fine.

"I don't need to hear anything from the outside telling me what we need to do with this football team. I can assure you of that."

STAFF CHANGES: Muschamp was asked after the game about any potential staff changes, and he noted that the plan this season will be the same as it was after his previous two years.

"You evaluate everything at the end of the season," Muschamp said. "I've done it my first two years, and we'll do it this year."

OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY: Vanderbilt recorded five sacks in Gainesville on Saturday. The Gators threw the ball way more than normal, putting it in the air 46 times while trailing for the final 53 minutes of the game.

Muschamp was optimistic about the unit going into the week before Tyler Moore was lost for the season after his scooter accident on Tuesday night.

"We felt really good about a combination of Tyler Moore and Trenton Brown at tackles," Muschamp said. "We lost Tyler on Tuesday night. You move Max from left guard, where he has been playing all year, to left tackle. You've got a new left guard in Ian who, before we went into the Georgia game, was going to play tight end for us."

VANDERBILT RUN GAME: The Commodores rushed for 126 yards, averaging 2.9 yards per rush. There weren't many long runs -- the longest of the day was a 19-yard scramble by quarterback Patton Robinette -- but the Commodores were able to grind the game out on the ground, especially when they need it the most.

The Vanderbilt offense was in five situations on third or fourth down with three or less yards to gain. The Commodores converted four of them. The only one that wasn't converted was a 3rd and three yards that was converted on a fourth down to follow.

"They were able to get some things in the run game," Muschamp said. "We've got to emotionally overcome those things. We can't let the circumstances affect how we play. That's happening to us right now."

BURTON DROP: The Gators were trailing 17-3 at halftime and started the second half with the ball. Three plays into the second half, Murphy threw a ball slightly behind Trey Burton that would've gone for a first down, but bounced off his hands and into the arms of Vanderbilt's Andrew Williamson.

"The ball was a little behind him, but you've got to make that play," Muschamp said. "That's a senior. You make that play."

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