Murphy shoulders the blame

Tyler Murphy didn't make excuses on Saturday. The junior quarterback knew he didn't play well and put his defense in difficult position after throwing three interceptions and losing one fumble. Murphy made multiple throws into coverage and missed high on a few throws, but he's trying to lead and make sure his team doesn't quit over the final three games of the regular season.

"I didn't play well," Tyler Murphy said. "Any time you throw three interceptions, you're putting the defense in a bind and killing momentum offensively. I've got to play better."

The junior finished the game 30-46 for 305 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers might seem like an impressive offensive day, but the Florida offense was forced to throw more than usual while trailing for the final 52 minutes of the game.

However, the most important statistics was the turnovers, and Murphy was responsible for all four of them.

The first came on an overthrow. Quinton Dunbar cut his route off because of the Vanderbilt cornerback, and Murphy saw him out of the corner of his eye. The ball sailed well over Dunbar's head for an easy interception. On the second interception, Florida was deep in its own territory when Murphy tried to air it out down the field but was hit while throwing. The ball fell well short of the intended receiver and into the hands of the Vanderbilt defensive back.

Murphy missed multiple other throws throughout the game, causing questions about his shoulder injury that has plagued him throughout the season. But as he has all season, Murphy wouldn't use it as an excuse.

After leading Florida to wins over Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas, the Gators are now riding a four-game losing streak. Murphy's play has taken a step back after impressing in the three early wins.

"I'm still confident in myself, but any time you play like that, it doesn't help the team," Murphy said. "Individually, I feel like I let the team down. Any time you have four turnovers, it's not good. I have to find ways to get better.

"Anytime you lose on homecoming, it's a disappointment."

The questions in the Florida locker room now turn to the future. The Gators have just three games left in the regular season and need to win two to avoid missing a bowl game in the first non-sanctioned season since 1979. It would also be Florida's first losing season since 1979.

Center Jonotthan Harrison spoke to the team in the locker room after the game about finishing strong and staying focused. Murphy thinks the group will.

"Everyone in that locker room came to Florida to win. And we're not winning," Murphy said. "That's unacceptable. As players, we know it's unacceptable. We are going to keep fighting and try to make the best out of this season.

"Guys are disappointed. We're going to keep fighting. We don't get any time, now we get South Carolina. It seems like every week things don't get easier for us. We have no other choice but to keep fighting."

Florida head coach Will Muschamp said on Saturday that he sees a ‘woe is me' attitude on the team when the Gators fall behind in games. Murphy wants to make sure his teammates don't fall into those thoughts.

"Any time you make a mistake or things don't go your way, they can be discouraging," Muschamp said. "We try to keep things positive and keep fighting. I'm not really sure what ‘woe is me' or anything means, but we'll keep working hard and fighting."

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