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Muschamp shuts scrimmage down early: Truly frustrated or motivational ploy?

Apparently, Florida coach Will Muschamp wasn't pleased with his team's effort in a team scrimmage Wednesday. It was cut short by more than 30 minutes, leading to Muschamp's scheduled press conference being pushed up. 

"We did not execute very well," a seemingly frustrated Muschamp said. "Mental toughness was not there. Very immature football team at this point not consistently performing at the level we need to perform at.

"[There were] some procedural issues we should not be having at this point. [On] defense [there were] some mental mistakes we should not be having at this point. Overall, pretty displeased. Not what we were looking for tonight, that's for sure."

“It’s just a lack of focus on what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it,” he said of why the practice ended early. “We’re in (a two-minute drill); we have guys walking around. We have no sense of urgency about what we do and how we do it and how we approach it. Very frustrating.”

While Muschamp wouldn't call the scrimmage — the same one he said would cost potential starters their jobs — a step backward, he did have this gem: “It dang sure wasn’t a step forward.”

But, coming from Muschamp, can we really believe anything he says at this point? Who knows if practice was bad? Practice is closed. It has been since spring. The only people that know what's going on aren't talking about it. Players are coached up on what to say, and what not to say.

To that end, it's this writer's opinion that Muschamp and his staff realized that the spewing overload of positive spin coming from the program was just too much.

Florida realized that people were starting to expect, at the very least, a very competitive football team this fall. Last night's verbal beatdown by Muschamp was merely a tempering of expectations and a motivational ploy for some camp-lethargic players. 

Defensive tackle Dominique Easley confirmed that sentiment Thursday.

"He just wants us to know that we’re not who we’re supposed to be yet," he said. 

Easley said Wednesday's scrimmage wasn't actually that bad. In fact, it was an improvement over the previous two. 

"From my perspective, everything went good," Easley said. "Obviously some things went bad. Every team, certain things go bad. But the way I look at it everything went good. He seemed a little upset because some plays went wrong, some people didn’t do what they were supposed to be doing, but that happens every where."

The fact is this team isn't where Muschamp, or the rabid fans of Gator Nation, expect it to be. There is a minimal senior presence, and a lot of the more-talented players on the roster are underclassmen. Add a brand new coaching staff and a complicated pro-style scheme on both sides of the ball to the mix and what you get is a mentally confused, young football team. 

There will be growing pains this fall. There aren't many guarantees around this team, but that much you can count on.

Just ask Jeff Demps.

"If we played tonight, I couldn’t even tell you [what would happen]," Demps said. "I’m pretty sure guys would go out and compete and play as hard as they can, but as far as just mentally being there, I’m not sure."

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Matt,

I also read on Gator Sports that it seems Muschamp is upset that Chris Rainey leaked news that he, Trey Burton, and Demps will occasionally take snaps in the Wildcat formation. Muschamp's attempt to undo the damage was pretty silly. He said "we put a wild rumor out about running the Wildcat" or something like that. Not convincing. The cat is out of the bag. Not that it's a big deal. Whatever. Your team is good when the opposing team knows EXACTLY what you're going to do, and they STILL can't stop it. That's how it was in the Tebow days. Who the heck didn't know when Tebow was going to run it. They just couldn't stop it. I think the Gators are going to impress this year. This is a totally brand new team with brand new schemes and a lot of talent. I think UF will surprise everybody this year. GO GATORS!

Rico, Rainey didn't leak the news, he was asked a question about it and answered honestly. I don't think Muschamp was trying to undo the damage, as the entirety of his response to the question that sparked the Wildcat comment was very tongue-in-cheek. The fact that he said they leaked a rumor was clearly a joke, at least to me and most others that I've spoken with who were there. Regardless, it's not going to be a huge wrinkle in the offense.

Oh, okay. Thanks Matt! Keep up the good work.

Thankin' the Good Lord that the injury bug hasn't hit!

As far as we know, it hasn't. Only freshman tight end A.C. Leonard has suffered a somewhat serious injury, tearing his meniscus in his right knee a couple of weeks back. He could return for the Tennessee or Kentucky game, but Leonard is also a candidate for a redshirt. Stay tuned.

Doesn't matter what the defense knows if you execute.

A youth movement on defense can only mean one thing...Florida 3 South Carolina 31

Matt - will you be attending the Gator Celebration on 10/23. As unorthodox as it seems, should be a lot of fun. What happened to that wall around South Florida?

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