As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Auburn, Alabama last weekend, reality began to set in for the Gators. The Georgia Bulldogs had defeated the Auburn Tigers 38-0 to clinch a berth to the SEC Championship game as the Eastern Division champion, leaving the Florida Gators as the second best team in the division.
At 9-1, the Gators find themselves among the top 10 in the BCS standings and possibly looking at an at-large bid for a BCS Bowl. However, now that the Bulldogs have clinched that is all the team has left to play for.
This week Florida will take on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks but will do so without quarterback Jeff Driskel. Coach Will Muschamp met with the media Monday afternoon to discuss this and other points involving his Gators team.
On his team’s effort last week
“I thought we played good, we just didn’t play smart. We’re going to have to go back and look at the film at the inconsistencies, especially on the offensive side of the ball. There were several penalties that cost us. We kept a drive alive on third and ten, but negated a touchdown because we didn’t line up right. But I want to compliment our team again as far as their effort and resolve, that’s the one thing that sticks out that they all have. We were fortunate to come out on top, but, again, I’m proud of their effort and the way they continue to fight and play through the season for 60 minutes each game. “
On Jeff Driskel’s injury
“It is a sprain. It’s got some swelling on it. It’s a little black and blue, I think. It is a sprained ankle. We will find what he can do. He is in a walking boot right now. That is precautionary, that is what we always do with sprained ankles. We will see how the swelling goes. Some guys recover quicker than others. Based on what Anthony Pass and I talked about this morning, I feel like Wednesday we will see what he can do, if he can do anything. If not, we will move forward. We will be fine. Jacoby Brissett will play well.”
On Veteran’s Day
“Obviously, we’re very appreciative here at the University of Florida for those who have served our country with Veterans Day being yesterday. We’re certainly saluting those who have served our country in local law enforcement and the military. Dewayne Dewey will be at this game this weekend for the coin flip as a Korean War vet in corporal air and we appreciate his service. We’ll have a fly over as well. A lot of our players have military ties, some are very strong. Jeremy Brown, Dominique Easley, Matt Elam, Jabari Gorman, and Lerentee McCray all have family members that serve. A.J. Mobley is a walk-on for us and served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan before joining our team as a walk-on. He’s done a fabulous job for our scout teams. Antonio Morrison, Xavier Nixon and Loucheiz Purifoy have ties and John Reichthardt from here in Gainesville served seven years with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan before joining our team as a walk on. Jesse Schmitt, who carried the ball for us some last year is going to be a commissioned second lieutenant in the Marines this spring. Ian Silberman and Francisco Velez have military ties as well. So all of those guys and really much of our staff have been in touch with the military in some form or fashion in their life and honoring them is great for us.”
“I really don’t worry about what the perception might be out there. Unfortunately, in our profession, sometimes perception becomes reality. I don’t apologize for being 3-1 and the only one in the BCS top-10 that has that record. We have better record than anyone else and a tougher schedule than anyone else in the country. I don’t know what else you need to do. As far as the players are concerned, we continue to focus on Florida and what we need to do to be successful and preparation for Jacksonville State. When you look at our record, schedule, and what we have accomplished this year, we have had a hell of a year.