Too many problems to finish the job

Junior running back Mack Brown ran his hardest, the offensive line pounded away all game, freshman running back Kelvin Taylor ran hard, red-shirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg did almost everything he was asked to do. In the end, the Florida Gators just had too many obstacles to overcome to get the job done Saturday night on the road against a top 11 team in South Carolina.

Mack Brown was short and succinct in his response about what he thought of Florida's 19-14 loss to South Carolina.

"We fought hard, it was a good game," he said shortly after the game and sitting near the Gators' locker room. "We have a lot of problems with our team."

The problems of course involve all the injuries, especially on offense. An offense that has sputtered along all season with losses now to the top to quarterbacks, the top deep threat at receiver, the three top offensive tackles and other various injuries that have kept players out of games.

Through all of that, the staff has tried to maintain a bit of dignity as the team drags themselves through a five game losing streak. A loss to Vanderbilt last week at home was deflating as well and one where head coach Will Muschamp saw a bunch of his team starting to feel bad for themselves. He called it a ‘woe is me' attitude and shared a message with the players this week before the game.

"We had a team meeting and he talked to us," Brown said of Muschamp. "He said, ‘just remember with your last name on your back and the Gator on your shirt, you don't want to be remembered as the losers to Vanderbilt'. We came out in this game as a challenge. We came real close.

Close wasn't enough and Brown and company can point to a couple of places where a little more may have made the difference.

"It hurts, that drive in the second half, we should have scored," he said. "It bit us in the butt at the end of the game."

Florida started the game in excellent fashion, showing off a new look that had quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg leave from under center after lining up on the ball and head to the sideline, only to quick snap the ball to the running back. Kelvin Taylor and Brown finished with 147 yards combined and both averaged 4.6 yards per carry on the night, even with South Carolina stacking the box knowing Florida could run. Taylor had two touchdown runs, his first multiple touchdown game of his career.

The 14-6 lead that Florida took into halftime was that start that Muschamp wanted to finish the game with when he apparently punched a chalkboard in the locker room bloodying his hand trying to get the message across to some on the team.

"I didn't see it but I heard it," Brown said of the Muschamp rant. "He was saying ‘Just finish and get the W'."

The Florida defense understands the limitations of the offense right now and sophomore defensive end Dante Fowler says he has a lot of respect for what his teammates on the other side of the ball almost helped pull off.

"I admire them a lot, especially Skyler," he said with the focus of his point on the offensive line. "For us to pound the ball like that for four quarters, I tip my hat to the offensive line. A lot of people let up and get tired. Some people get tired hitting each other like that. For them to keep pounding the rock like that for four quarters, I salute them a lot."

And Brown is not critical of Mornhinweg on his last throw, an interception while on the run that he would like to have back.

"Skyler had a lot of poise and did pretty good," brown said of the freshman's entire game before talking about the errant pass. "I felt like he could have thrown it, he tried to."


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