University of Florida

Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp not happy with defensive line play

Kentucky QB Patrick Towles gets off a pass just before he is hit by Florida defensive lineman Dante Fowler Jr. on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 in Gainesville.
Kentucky QB Patrick Towles gets off a pass just before he is hit by Florida defensive lineman Dante Fowler Jr. on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 in Gainesville. AP

The Florida Gators’ beleaguered secondary has received the bevy of criticism early this season, but coach Will Muschamp is also critical of the underperforming defensive line.

“You know, it’d be nice to get more rush,” Muschamp deadpanned. “Right now, I feel like that Dante [Fowler] has been very effective. Jon Bullard has been very effective from an inside-rush standpoint. And past that, we have not been very effective. Not at all.”

Fowler leads the Gators with six quarterback hurries, but the preseason All-American end has just one sack and has hardly been a dominant force up front.

The junior was outplayed by Alabama freshman left tackle Cam Robinson last weekend, and the Gators recorded just a single sack in the loss.

Florida has struggled to generate much pressure with just a four-man line as teams continue to double-team Fowler and dare Alex McCalister, Neiron Ball and others to beat them.

Thus far, opponents’ plans have worked.

“Most of the pressure we’ve been able to generate is with five guys rushing,” Muschamp said.

“Our four-man pass rush needs to improve.”

THIS AND THAT

Although UF gained just 200 yards against the Tide, Muschamp was pleased with how his banged-up offensive line performed. … The Gators were “in the high 20s” in missed tackles, according to Muschamp. … Special teams ace Mark Herndon tore his ACL on kickoff coverage against Alabama and will miss the remainder of the season. … Despite giving away the football three times against the Tide, UF still leads the nation in turnover margin at plus-eight.

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