While the Florida Gators prepare for their newly anointed season opener against Eastern Michigan, the Florida Gators are still fighting the weather demons. Tuesday’s practice had to be moved around because of bad weather and that isn’t that far out of the norm here in Gainesville.
“We actually had more practice on delay last night,” Muschamp said of the Tuesday schedule. “We had lightning in the area and got on the field at 7 o’clock or something like that.
“We deal with that all of the time. This time of year there is a bunch of lightning. We are constantly in and out of practice, shutting things down. Move meetings up… and practice. They’re constantly moving and that is part of what we do as a staff, it is just what it is.”
Florida is the lightning capital of the world and for someone that has lived all 47 years of his life in this neck of the woods, this year has been one of the more lightning infested that I can remember. The staff is always on the lookout for the bad weather and as far in advance as possible so that they can make moves to the schedule.
“Jeff McGrew, our equipment manager doesn’t like that job but he has that job,” Muschamp said of the weather watcher. “He has to keep me informed throughout the day. He and I talk more than we want to about where things are, where the lightning is and where the rain is. We are buddies in the fall and talk a lot.”
Recalling Saturday night and the game that never was, Muschamp reiterated a huge positive that he got out of the game. It was what he and his team saw from the fans that were in attendance.
“What was great was our crowd,” he said. “That was unbelievable. To go out there and be under the weather conditions we were under, have a two-and-a-half hour delay and come out in that stadium and it was absolutely electric. It was awesome.”
He thinks his players will be fine. They have had to deal with a lot recently and he believes they re ready to bounce back.
“We have a pretty mature group,” he said. “They have been through a lot and have been hardened by some tough times. There is no question.
For him, he just wishes he could have gotten his guys on the field to get a little action in The Swamp.
“From a frustrating standpoint we have some young players,” he said. We will have 20 true and red-shirt freshmen playing for the first time and you would love to get them on the field with the live bullets.”
Idaho GAME STATUS
The handling of what will happen with the Idaho game and whether it will be played sometime down the road is out of Muschamp’s hands. Athletic Director Jeremy Foley and his staff will have to handle the situation.
“I have put that behind us for now,” he said. “I know Jeremy and the administrative staff has been working on it and hopefully we will have some resolution in a day or two.”
The Gators are pretty healthy heading into the season. Two true freshmen we know will miss the season due to recovery. Nolan Kelleher (back) and Thomas Holley (hernia scar) have been labeled as out for the year. Other than that, the Gators will likely miss just sophomore linebacker Jeremi Powell and sophomore safety Marcus Maye on Saturday. Both should be back soon.
“Jeremi Powell is having his knee scoped today,” Muschamp said. “It had nothing to do with the ACL from last year, he had a little bit of a meniscus (injury). He will be out a couple of weeks and hope to get him back after the open week.
“Marcus Maye is still a little bit hobbled from the hamstring. He still has a little deficit in there. We’ll see how he runs today and tomorrow. Based on how he is coming back from it, it is a little more of a strain than we thought.
“Everyone else is good to go.”