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3 posts from November 3, 2013

November 03, 2013

Muschamp lobs grenade at SEC officiating

JACKSONVILLE -- And so it has comes to this.

In a season marred by injuries, offensive ineptitude, placekicking woes and defensive inconsistencies, Florida coach Will Muschamp is now pointing fingers at Southeastern Conference officials. 

The Gators -- penalized seven times for 75 yards in the 23-20 loss to UGA -- rank last in conference in penalties for the third straight season, and Muschamp is not happy about it.   

Usatoday.com
(courtesy usatoday.com)

Despite the Gators consistently lacking discipline or composure at key moments, Muschamp lobbed some sort of pseudo-conspiracy at the league office following UF's third-straight loss to UGA. 

"Whatever the call, they call," he said. "In the last 24 years, the University of Florida, we've led the SEC in penalties 20 out of 24 [years], either first or second. That was long before I got here. So it's interesting. But it is what it is." 

Muschamp could be fined for his comments. 

The annual Cocktail Party was chippy and full of skirmishes -- as always -- with a combined 13 personal fouls -- seven committed by UF. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Gator Grades: Empty Cocktail

JACKSONVILLE -- Before I re-watch the tape (later in the week) of Florida’s 23-20 defeat to division Georgia, here are some rapid reaction grades.

OFFENSE C-

It took Florida 9+ quarters -- spanning three games and all losses -- for the Gators to score an offensive touchdown against Georgia. Aside from Tyler Murphy's 83-yard pass to Quinton Dunbar (which somehow the wideout did not score on), the Gators totaled just 43 the rest of the first half.

Freshman tailback Kelvin Taylor showed brief flashes, but the offensive line -- albeit steady in pass protection -- failed to open up any gaping holes for UF's tailback. Murphy was again inaccurate and sluggish in his decision-making, but he played pretty well after halftime (capitalizing on short fields) and made some key plays with his legs. 

While not totally "inept," UF's offense was hardly the "explosive, confident bunch" coach Will Muschamp teased earlier in the week.    

DEFENSE C+

For a defense (suddenly) accustomed to slow starts: Todd Gurley -- injured and all -- tallied 121 yards and two touchdowns on his first five touches of the game.

Ballgame. 

The sophomore tailback finished with 100 yards on the ground (his second game against the Gators eclipsing the century mark) on 17 carries. Once again, Florida's linebackers struggled. 

But Gurley eventually ran out steam (and was slowed by his high-ankle sprain), and it allowed Florida's defense to catch their breath. The third quarter was a dominating effort: five plays, a fumble recovery, a safety (blind-side sack) and two total yards allowed.

The 4th-down stop early in the fourth quarter was another huge play, and yet, when Florida needed its defense (allegedly a suffocating third down unit) to give the ball back to the offense, it couldn't. The Bulldogs' eight-minute drive, a repeat of their game-sealing drive over South Carolina, was demoralizing for defense built on toughness and swagger. 

SPECIAL TEAMS D+

Georgia -- who has the SEC's worst special teams -- outplayed Florida's unit Saturday afternoon. The Gators left six points on the field with a pair of missed field goals, while UGA's Marshall Morgan was a perfect 3-for-3. Frankie Valdez was 1-of-2, while Austin Hardin -- Florida's long kicker -- short-changed a 47-yard attempt by a good 3-5 yards short. Oey. 

Johnny Townsend pinned the Dawgs deep twice (including setting up the safety). Brian Poole was flagged for a blatent block in the back on one return and the Gators got away with another obvious holding call on Solomon Patton's long run back.

Thoughts? Comments?

Have at it.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton 

They Said It – Florida-Georgia

JACKSONVILLE -- The Gators -- in a game marred by skirmishes, momentum swings and generally ugly football -- lost a third-straight rivalry game to Georgia (23-20) on Saturday afternoon in EverBank Field.

Will Muschamp's team was predictably inconsistent. Again.

The Gators were flat from the start, as UF's "inept" offense showed minimal improvements from the bye week, while its once-prideful defense was gashed for two quick scores before it found its footing in the second half.

It was disappointed bunch afterwards -- especially considering the wild momentum shifts capped a demoralizing game-sealing drive by the Bulldogs.

Here's some postgame soundbites...

RB Mack Brown

On motivations for the rest of the season...

"We're going to fight until the last game of the season. No quit."

WR Solomon Patton 

On so many post-play scuffles between the two teams...

"A lot of guys were talking trash. But it's just part of the game. We can let it affect us."

LB Michael Taylor

On second-half comeback falling short...

"We knew that we could play a lot better than how we were playing in the first half. We just came out and played how we knew we could play. We started executing our calls. But it's a disappointment we just couldn't pull it out."

On keying in on UGA tailback Todd Gurley in the second half...

"We knew that they didn't have the weapons they had to start the year, so we knew that he was their main weapon."

QB Tyler Murphy

On UF's offensive line playing better...

"They stepped up today. They took it upon themselves to do better and they did a good job. They gave me a lot of time in the pocket."

On attitude moving forward...

"There's no team out there I'd rather be a part of than this one." 

Coach Muschamp 

On postgame message to his team...

"They're upset. Hurt. We'll rebound. We'll be fine. ... "You rally around the fact that you play at the University of Florida."

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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