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October 19, 2013
Notebook: Exploited on both sides of the ball
Columbia, Mo. - "We are just not a really good football team, certainly not today." Those were the opening remarks Florida head coach Will Muschamp uttered after his Gators fell to the Missouri Tigers 36-19 to drop to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in SEC play.
Missouri outgained Florida 500-151, the fewest yards Florida has gained since the 1999 SEC Championship game against Alabama. The Gators continued their offensive drought, only scoring one offensive touchdown in the last eight quarters. Tyler Murphy was sacked six times and was under constant pressure all day.
"Well we were gonna find some [answers] because we need to," Muschamp said, "We're struggle to do anything that we do. I want to spread it out like everyone else, but you know we have a hard time protecting the quarterback."
But it wasn't just the offense to blame, the defense gave up the most yards since October 20th, 2007 against Kentucky. This included giving up 295 yards passing to a redshirt freshman making his first ever collegiate start.
"Defensively we gave up too many big plays. As a whole, as a football team, we did not do enough positive things today. That falls on my shoulders," Muschamp said.
"We can't give up big plays, that really hurt us," Dante Fowler Jr. said, "Our job is to get three and outs, but if you give up big plays then you can't even worry about that."
It also didn't help that Florida was missing key pieces on both sides of the ball, but it's something they're going to have to get used to. "It doesn't help, but we still need to defend the run and pass better. We need to take more pride in our performance as a team. We will do more work and get it done." Florida now has two weeks to recover before their game against Georgia, a game that normally would decide the SEC East, but now just a game between two completely decimated teams.
Patton lone bright spot: Wide out Solomon Patton provided the lone spark for the Gators on Saturday catching six balls for 46 yards and also took the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown. And even with the drought, Patton likes where the offense is at right now. "I feel like as an offense we're doing pretty good, especially after last year. I feel like we've made big progress," Patton said.
Targeting penalty needs to change: The tone was set on the first play when Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk hit L'Damian Washington for a 41 yard gain, but the completed pass wasn't what most upset Muschamp. Starting safety Cody Riggs was ejected from the game for targeting and just like that, Missouri was at the Gator 20. "I do not really think a player should get ejected from the game. The receiver went down to make the catch, and I thought it was a good call," Muschamp said, "However, I just do not think that the player should be ejected for that type of penalty, that type of game and situation."
"It's ridiculous," Muschamp continued. "He wasn't maliciously trying to hurt him. He went up to make a play, but that's the rule that we have in place."
Odds and Ends: Missouri ended Florida's streak of allowing fewer than 20 points in SEC play. ... Quarterback Tyler Murphy said he only practiced Thursday and Friday of this past week because of a shoulder injury suffered in the LSU game. ... It was announced before the game that defensive starters Ronald Powell and Damien Jacobs would be unavailable. ... Defensive Back Jaylen Watkins had ice on his hand after the game; he said he injured it when a helmet smashed into him in the 2nd half.
Will Muschamp Post Game Press Conference