Florida’s 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern this past Saturday, perhaps the worst loss in Gator football history, and the struggles the team has endured throughout the season have many within Gator Nation wondering whether or not Will Muschamp should remain head coach of the Florida program.
Many have questioned whether or not Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley’s statement saying he is behind Muschamp “1,000-percent” still holds true after last weekend.
According to Muschamp, it does. When asked on Monday if he was at all worried about his job security, he quickly replied, “Absolutely not.”
However, that may not be the case for some of Florida’s assistants. The Gator offense has has looked inept much of this season, and there are changes expected to be made within the offensive coaching staff. But, with still a week left of the season, those staff alterations will have to wait.
“There’s no changes that have been made at this time,” Muschamp said when asked about questions surrounding his staff.
The third-year head coach understands that his team is not where it needs to be, especially on the offensive side of the ball. During Muschamp’s time as head coach the Gator offense has played conservatively and has ranked near the bottom of the FBS. While the team did win 11 games last year with that conservative approach, this season has made the Muschamp realize that the offensive philosophy of his team has to change.
“That’s something we obviously need to look at. We need to be able to evaluate,” said Muschamp. “I think in all situations as coaches it’s your job to evaluate your players and what they can do and what we ask them to do the right things. There’s been some obvious things that have been difficult for us to deal with as far as where we’re headed with things. So, that’s something I’ll evaluate and look at.”
Despite the team’s struggles which have been so prominent this season, and all the questions surrounding the program, Florida players have continued to publicly support their head coach, and Muschamp appreciates that.
“I think it’s important, obviously I think that they understand where we are and where we’re headed with the program. And they got total confidence in my opinion of where we’re headed,” he said. “I’m involved in the day to day operation of the program. You gotta see the big picture of where we are and, more than anything, where we’re headed. It’s been very frustrating, and it’s all on me. So I get all that, and we need to improve and get better and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
As for Florida’s game this Saturday against Florida State, Muschamp understands the daunting task of beating the No. 2 team in the country. Florida beat FSU 37-26 last season in Tallahassee, but that was before the arrival of Seminoles quarterback, and probable Heisman finalist, Jameis Winston.
“He [Winston] has played outstanding and he has certainly been a positive part of their team in bringing confidence and those sort of things,” Muschamp said. “I think offensively it’s the same numbers we faced last year when you turn the tape on. But he’s done a fantastic job in really accelerating their offense.”
Florida and Florida Sate will play at noon on Saturday. Coverage of the game can be heard on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 8 a.m.
Sound from Coach Muschamp:
Muschamp discusses reevaluating the offense at end of season
Muschamp comments on the support his team has showed him
Muschamp talks about the Florida State offense
Muschamp talks about Jameis Winston