Notebook: Muschamp handling job questions

The atmosphere in The Swamp after Florida’s 29-point loss to Missouri left Will Muschamp answering questions from his nine-year-old son.

The family side of the hot seat is never fun. When Muschamp got home after Florida’s loss to Missouri, he had to answer questions from his nine-year-old son about why the stadium was chanting for his father to be fired. The chants happened on multiple occasions during the second half of the game.

“That’s not very fun,” Will Muschamp said of explaining it to his son. “But my family understands it. They understand the deal of being a coach. There's some great things that come along with this job and there's some tough deals you've got to deal with. I don't complain about any of that stuff. That's part of the job when you come here."

Muschamp’s time as a defensive coordinator didn’t produce many times where his job was on the line. His defenses always played well and were among the best in the country. He was viewed as one of the top assistants in the country before leaving to take the head job at Florida.

Even if the recent hot seat is new to him, Muschamp understands that it comes with the job.

"As a football coach, it's a bunker mentality,” Muschamp said. “It's what you deal with when you get in this profession. I told the team after the game Sunday, 'as a fan, you buy a ticket, they reserve the right to boo. They buy the ticket they can come boo and chant and holler and scream and start a website and all that stuff.'

“If that's what they want to do, that's certainly their prerogative. As a coach or a player when you come to the University of Florida or a place like this, that's something you've got to accept. That's part of it."

DRISKEL ROLE: When Muschamp named Treon Harris the team’s starting quarterback last Wednesday, he also said Jeff Driskel would still have a role in the offense. As the Gators started practice on Monday, that role was still unclear.

Driskel missed “most” of last week’s practices because of a sore back. The team turned it’s focus to Georgia on Thursday, and they’ll talk more about Driskel’s role this week."We will (make a decision on his role) as the week rolls on,” Muschamp said. “He'll be back at practice (Monday) and be ready to go. We'll identify those things moving forward."

Either way, it’s further evidence that this will be Harris’ game to play at quarterback.

OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY: Florida came into the Missouri game with five sacks allowed in the first five games of the season. The Tigers totaled six sacks last Saturday, pushing that number to 11.

Muschamp blamed that on the type of game that happened. The Gators fell behind by a lot early and were forced to get into a dropback throwing game that they weren’t built for.

“They have two very good ends and we have good tackles and we locked them up for a large amount of the game,” Muschamp said. “When they're pinning their ears back, most every down is going to be a drop-back situation. I told our guys in those situations we have to be able to block. I feel good about our tackles. Given that situation, we need to respond better.”

DUNBAR BENCHED: Senior receiver Quinton Dunbar was benched against the Tigers, pushing Ahmad Fulwood into the starting lineup. Muschamp said on Monday that the decision was made so the team could try to find more productivity in the passing game.

“We need to be productive,” Muschamp said. “Ahmad has been a guy that’s been very productive at practice and working hard. Quinton had a good off week. He’ll play against Georgia. We’ll continue to work through the repetitions throughout the week.”

GETTING POWELL TOUCHES: Freshman Brandon Powell’s involvement in games this year has been sporadic at best. Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor have anchored the position, but Powell provides speed out of the backfield and the ability to take any touch to the end zone.

After being productive with nine touches against LSU, Powell didn’t touch it against Missouri until the score was well out of hand. Muschamp said Monday, just as he has before other games this year, that Powell would be involved against Georgia on Saturday.

“He’ll have a significant role in the game,” Muschamp said.

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