Florida Gators coaching staff trying to find a solution
Will Muschamp said making coaching changes is not the way to fix UF. Rather, simplifying things and playing the best players is the right approach.
10/24/2013 12:01 AM
10/24/2013 12:55 AM
The Gators — unranked and unraveling — will have no midseason coaching changes, Will Muschamp emphatically announced Wednesday.
Florida, crippled by injuries and a stale and inept offense, is reeling following consecutive drubbings against LSU and Missouri, but Muschamp endorsed his staff — specifically offensive coordinator Brent Pease — 100 percent.
“This is the same staff that came a game away from playing for [the] national championship, OK?” he said. “Obviously, we’re not where we want to be right now, and nobody knows that more than our staff.
“So we need to go back and reevaluate what we’re doing and continue to improve our football team over the next five weeks.”
The Gators (4-3, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) have continued to regress on offense, as they rank No. 106 in total offense (336.9 yards per game). This comes following consecutive seasons finishing in the bottom 20 nationally in total offense.
With no identity and few playmakers, it has been agonizing for Florida to even gain first downs in recent weeks.
UF’s floundering offensive line has allowed 10 sacks in the past the two games, and its rushing attack has averaged a conference-worst 3.70 yards per carry.
Changes are afoot though, including the coaching staff’s normal bye week schedule.
Muschamp pulled several assistant coaches off the recruiting trail Sunday, cancelling a two-day trip for an emergency meeting to address Florida’s endless offensive woes.
“I told the whole staff we need to get back in, we need to sit down and figure some things out,” Muschamp said.
The meeting’s message was clear, according to Muschamp: Simplify things and play the best players — regardless of age or experience.
“You go back to technique and fundamentals,” he said “We’ve got to get our guys playing faster; we’ve got to get our guys playing with more confidence. We constantly self-evaluate. It’s not something or anything new that we’re doing. But from a standpoint of scheme, personnel, preparation, practice, however you want to cut it up, that’s what we’ve got to do. Finding some things we can do well offensively, and get back defensively to the way we’re capable of playing.”
The maligned offensive line is likely to be shuffled again, with sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries regaining his starting job, and starting right tackle Tyler Moore could be benched. Freshman tailback Kelvin Taylor, whom Muschamp acknowledged was under-utilized in both losses, will see an increased role moving forward.
But despite season-ending injuries to the starting quarterback, running back and right tackle, Muschamp said he is disappointed with the team’s struggles and the way the offense has performed to date.
“It’s not what they came to Florida for. It’s not what I came to Florida for,” he said.
“I told them again we just need to circle the wagons, pull together and come together of the common purpose on Saturday afternoon of playing better and coaching better, and that’s what we’re going to do.”