Florida players still back Muschamp

The heat on Florida coach Will Muschamp continues to grow, but the players still believe in him.

The boos reached a new level during Florida’s 42-13 homecoming loss to Missouri. “Fire Muschamp” chants were easily heard throughout the alumni side of the stadium in the second half.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley issued a statement two days after the game saying that he was continuing to evaluate the state of the program. As heat builds heading into this weekend’s matchup with the Bulldogs in Jacksonville, the Florida players are still behind Will Muschamp.

“We know Coach Muschamp on a personal level,” Florida center Max Garcia said. “People don't realize it all the time that he's a father, he's a husband, he's a son, and the players on the team look up to him as another father figure as well just because of what he means to us. It's hard when people talk bad about him. We’re just there to support him any way we can and just to love him like he loves us. That’s all we can do.”

The Florida staff addressed the boos and chants with the team the day after the Missouri game. Muschamp told the team that fans paid for their tickets and have a right to boo or chant whatever they want, noting that fans also have the right to “start a website.” One Florida fan started a website weeks ago calling for Foley to bring Dan Mullen back to Gainesville.

Florida linebacker Michael Taylor echoed Muschamp’s comments on Monday afternoon.

“People can really say what they want,” Taylor said. “We’re the ones who sit in these meeting chairs and listen to him. The people that are saying that are not out there coaching with them, not being coached by him, they’re not playing on Saturday. They got the tickets, they have Twitters -- they have all that stuff.

“They can voice their opinions. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s somewhere in the Constitution, in one of those amendments, where you can voice your opinion. It’s not facts. People can say whatever they want to say, but if we go out there and play well on Saturday, we win, a lot of stuff that comes on my Twitter feed will be a lot more positive than what it has been.”

The players haven’t seen a difference in Muschamp since the Missouri loss, when calls for his job reached their loudest point since he took the job before the 2011 season. He has spent time recruiting during the bye week and back on the practice field with his team.

When the team was back on the field, he had the same demeanor that he did before the blowout loss.

“We love playing for him,” Taylor said. “He’s a good coach. He’s a great person. I wouldn’t want to play anybody else right now. That’s just how I feel about it and I’m pretty sure every other player in the locker room feels that way. We’re not really playing for his job. We’re playing for ourselves. We have enough motivation.”

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