GAINESVILLE -- Florida dropped a hard-fought slugfest to South Carolina on Saturday night in Columbia, S.C. and an exasperated Will Muschamp criticized a portion of Florida’s fan base, saying some “need to get a grip.”
On Monday, Muschamp slightly amended his comments, softening his tone while still censuring “a small percentage” of a fuming Gator Nation.
Florida (4-6, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) has dropped five-straight for the first time since 1979 -- UF’s last losing season.
“We have great fans here,” Muschamp said. “It’s a small percentage. It’s just frustrating for me. Anybody that knows me, I care about the kids. It’s just frustrating for me. I’m fine with it. That’s part of the profession. But for our kids it’s frustrating. They’re working extremely hard, and that’s who I hurt for. We have great fans. I’m talking to a small percentage of our fans.”
Florida’s 19-14 loss to No. 10 South Carolina was another bold ‘L’ in the win/loss column, but UF displayed tremendous resiliency playing with its third-string quarterback and a depleted offensive line.
During Saturday’s postgame press conference, Florida’s coach was pressed to elaborate on his team’s fight despite so much adversity.
Muschamp’s fiery sound bite -- to the chagrin of many Florida fans -- went viral almost immediately.
“It’s not excuses. It’s real. It really is,” Muschamp said of the impact of UF’s serious injury situation. “You can say what you want to say and write whatever the hell you want to write, but it’s real. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for that locker room. To hell with me, I worry about the kids. These kids fought their butts off. There’s a lot of negativity out there, and some of our fans needs to get a grip. They really do. We have a bunch of kids in that locker room fighting their butt off. You can criticize me all you want. I’m great with that. They pay me enough money to deal with it, but those kids don’t. They really don’t. They fought their butts off, and they continue to fight and play hard. Nobody has ever questioned their efforts. I’m just extremely proud of them and of the resolve and the fight and coming together like Florida Gators do.”
Florida hosts Georgia Southern this Saturday at 2 p.m. (PPV),
VIDEO: Here's Muschamp clarifying his recent comments, as well as previewing GSU's triple option, discussing South Carolina's game-changing play (Shon Carson's 58-yard run) and more.
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