There is a lot of talk that the Gators have thrown in the towel with the current coaching staff and are going through the motions at this point. Florida head coach Will Muschamp said on Wednesday during his SEC Coaches’ teleconference call that he has no issue with the effort his guys are putting forth. Muschamp says that this group of Gators is doing all the right things in terms of trying hard.
“I think our attitude has been outstanding,” Muschamp said. “We had very physical practices Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week. We had a 6 a.m. meeting on Thursday and everyone was there 20 minutes early getting ready to go. They understand what is at stake in this game and playing Georgia.
“We had a great practice Monday and Tuesday. We look forward to another good day today. I don’t think for a second that our guys don’t have confidence in what we are doing.”
Muschamp says the issues they are having are quite apparent to everyone and easily shown on film to make corrections.
“You can’t turn the ball over six times and win it,” he said. “When you are able to point to situations and the way we inflict ourselves… it starts on offense with taking care of the football.”
With their backs against the wall, these Gators know what is ahead of them on Saturday when they the on the ninth ranked Bulldogs. This squad is used to being the underdog after last season and most of this one. Still, Muschamp and the staff have pressed on about not letting the underdog role be one that the Gators are complacent with.
“You have to look at the two seasons,” he said of last year’s injury riddled 4-8 year and the 3-3 record they have now. “The circumstances can’t define you. You look at the difficult time last season and coaching through that. I constantly tell our players that ‘your circumstances can’t define who you are… it’s how you handle those situations’. My father used to always tell me “10% of life is what happens to you and 90% is what you do with it and how you handle it’. That is the way we move forward.”
Muschamp isn’t keen on relating this season to last. A completely abnormal amount of injuries side barred last year, but this group is healthy and facing other demons… the demons of consistency and execution.
“We were a little bit handcuffed last year,” he said. “We didn’t help ourselves, but I have never questioned our effort and never questioned those sort of things.
“Let’s not confuse effort with production. I told the team Sunday after Missouri that they can go and practice well and practice hard and prepare well and play hard in the game, but if you aren’t productive it isn’t what we are looking for. You can have great effort and not have the results you want. We just need to be more productive.”
The Gators are much healthier than they were a year ago, but not injury free. True freshman defensive end Gerald Willis worked his way into the lineup a few weeks ago, but disappeared lately. He should be back in action again Saturday but may be slowed by an injury in practice this week. Incumbent starting quarterback Jeff Driskel is also nursing a back injury, but Muschamp says he wil be available.
“Gerald Willis sprained his ankle (Tuesday) but he should be able to go,” Muschamp said. “Other than that we should be able to go.
Muschamp says that Treon Harris is going to be given every opportunity to play as much as possible, but that Driskel has a solid chance of playing Saturday.
“Good, depending on the situations,” he said about the chance of playing. “We have some things we feel he can help with, but certainly this is Treon’s game to play.”