Something that Florida head football coach Will Muschamp has taken from this season is a little thing called humility.
“It’s a great lesson to be humbled in life a little bit sometimes…there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s good for us.”
To say the Gators were humbled a little is an understatement. If it wasn’t already difficult enough losing to your in state rival FSU 37-7 Thanksgiving weekend, then mentioning that UF hasn’t won a game since the first week of October won’t help ease any pain. The Gators finished the regular season 4-8 and 3-5 in the SEC thus not becoming bowl eligible; something that hasn’t occurred since 1990.
Entering the second quarter of Saturday’s game, the Gators were only trailing 3-0 but like the rest of their season it went spiraling downhill in a hurry.
“Big plays defensively killed us,” said Muschamp after the game and he wasn’t overreacting. Florida State quarterback and Heisman trophy candidate Jameis Winston played well, completing 64 percent of his passes for 327 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The majority of those yards came from sophomore receiver Kelvin Benjamin who on nine receptions racked up 212 yards and all three of Winston’s touchdown passes.
Now while the Florida defense did in fact give up big plays, it was in part due to the fact that like the rest of the season the offense could not get anything going and stay on the field long enough. They went 1 for 11 on third down conversions and managed to only get eight total first downs compared to FSU’s 20. By the end of the game, the Gators had just 193 total offensive yards while the Noles recorded 456.
Injuries have indeed decimated this Florida team, this game claiming senior receiver Trey Burton. Burton headed to the locker room with eight minutes left in the first quarter after spraining his shoulder on a 50 yard run.
Muschamp said they had planned around “30-35 snaps for Trey” but after he left the game “they had to make adjustments.” With Burton leaving, you don’t have to look any further to see where other past injuries have hurt the Gators. Skyler Mornhinweg, the once third string quarterback was asked to do a little bit more. He had an efficient game, completing 20 of his 25 past attempts but he threw for only 115 yards.
When asked if he was relieved the season was over, Muschamp said he was not relieved and regarding any changes to his coaching staff he said there was no timetable on making any changes. He said everyone was going to “work their butts off” to get better during the off season to turn things around.
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