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January 3, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - There wasn't a lot to be said after the embarrassing 33-23 loss No. 4 Florida suffered at the hands of No. 22 Louisville in Wednesday night's Sugar Bowl. Gators coach Will Muschamp met with reporters afterward, and Inside the Gators takes a quick look at what he had to say about the defeat.
"Well, got out-coached and outplayed. That's what I told the football team. That's the bottom line. You go out and you get beat, you get beat. And that's what happened."
Do you feel like losing like this in the last game of the season kind of taints all the other big wins in the season?
"No, we've had a great year. We've had a great year. We're building something here. We're building a program. It was an unfortunate setback. And it's one game. So we still won 11 games and we still did a lot of very positive things in my opinion this season. Obviously, this is a sour day and a sour note, and I apologize to our fans and the university. But we've had a great year, and we're moving this thing forward at a rapid pace. And I'm excited where we are. Very disappointed with the outcome today, but very positive as we move forward."
Could you talk about the decision to go for the onside kick, what went into that?
"The start of the second half? We felt like it was there. We hit it too hard. It's something that both their guys were lined outside the hash, we game planned it and felt good about it, we wanted to steal a possession the start of the second half. We had struggled defensively in the first half and felt like you try to gain some momentum in the game."
Can you talk about the offensive struggles, what you thought were the keys to that?
"Again, I felt like we had a second or third ... third down of the game we had an opportunity for completed pass, the running back's got to get his head around and catch the football. We had protection issues in some situations, but we gotta stay on the field more, offensively, and a lot of that went to our defense because we didn't get off the field on third down."
Do you think there's a factor that happens to teams when they're so close to playing for a national championship that they don't get that opportunity, that they might have a letdown in a game like this?
"I don't think so. I think we had good preparation. We just didn't play very well. Didn't coach very well. Our kids were excited about being here at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, and they out-coached us and outplayed us."