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November 30, 2013

Odds and Ends: 'It's damn encouraging'

Saturday went as expected for the most part as No. 2 Florida State rolled to a 37-7 win against Florida. Odds and Ends looks at the fallout from the annual Sunshine Showdown.

- Count Florida as another impressed opponent on the warpath of Heisman candidate and FSU quarterback Jameis Winston this season.

Will Muschamp: "The guy's got a Howitzer for a right arm. I mean, we had coverage, Cody Riggs made a fantastic play on the ball. We held the seam through to about 18-19 yards, that's the only place the ball could have been thrown. Hats off to those guys, they've got scholarships too."

Trey Burton: "Really impressive. He's been impressive all year long. To go 12-0 you have to have a really, really good quarterback. He's done a great job of getting them ahead early in games. They have some really good skill players too. He's special."

- Florida's fourth-quarter touchdown on a five-yard pass from Skyler Mornhinweg to Hunter Joyer helped the Gators avoid their first shutout loss ever against the Seminoles. Florida has not been shutout in a game since Oct. 29, 1988, a 16-0 loss to No. 9 Auburn at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

- A topic of the week was whether or not the Gators were happy to have the 2013 season end. Some admitted it was a "relief" to no longer have to deal with the daily troubles this season has brought. Junior offensive lineman Max Garcia had a different perspective.

"It's a clean slate, but you still have to remember about what happened. You have to remember what happened, and you want to not let that happen ever again. We don't want to feel that pain. We don't want to feel this pain ever again. I'm sick and tired of losing. Next year, we have that pain to sit in our hearts. We have to work through that, and we have to take that pain and make it into intensity , make it into effort, make it into want-to."

- More perspective from Garcia: "Honestly, I feel like we hit rock bottom this year. I feel like the only way we can go is up."

- Muschamp on Mornhinweg, who was 20 of 25 for 115 yards, one touchdown and one fumble: "Again, he was a little antsy in the pocket at times. Needs to hold the pocket a little bit more. He needs to get the ball downfield vertically. It's again, his first time playing in those situations. He has been put under fire and handled the situation well."

- And more Muschamp: "I wanna thank the seniors. I told them in the locker room, I appreciate their contributions to the University of Florida. We're a much better football team right now than we were my first year, regardless of what the record is. And where this program is headed, the quality of player we have in the locker room, our staff and everything included in that. I know we all focus on the results but I know where this thing is and where it's headed."

- Burton's 50-yard run in the first quarter was the second longest of the season for a UF player. Neither run went for a touchdown.

- Florida was 1 for 11 on third downs offensively. FSU was 9 for 14.

- Muschamp remains confident the Gators are set for a turnaround in 2014: "We're going to be fine. We're going to have a good football team next year, I can assure you of that. Sitting in that locker room with those guys, we're going to be fine. And that's what's encouraging for me. It's damn encouraging."

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