Gators' coach focused on Saturday

UF coaches Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis are ready to kick off season.

Courtesy of UF Communications
Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.

Florida coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday that quarterback John Brantley's sore back has responded well to treatment this week and he'll start Saturday's opener against Florida Atlantic in The Swamp.

“John's had a good week, and I'm really pleased with his progress,” Muschamp said. “He's responded well to the treatments and the different things we've done. We've got an outstanding medical staff here.”

Brantley was held out of the final two preseason scrimmages with what Muschamp described as training camp soreness in his back. Brantley said Monday he was fine and his back would not be a problem.

Muschamp said there is no plan to get No. 2 quarterback Jeff Driskel ready to start just in case.

“At this point, no,” Muschamp said. “We'll cross that bridge in the game and how it presents itself

Given the fact the Gators are a more than 30-point favorites, there's a good chance Driskel will see some playing time.

Also on the injury front, Muschamp said cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee), wide receiver Omarius Hines (hamstring) and outside linebacker Dee Finley (shoulder) are questionable for Saturday's game. Tight end A.C. Leonard (knee) is out.

“Brown was running (Tuesday), but he's still questionable,” Muschamp said.

Finley participated in non-contact drills Tuesday, but his status will be clearer after he sees a doctor today, Muschamp said.

Muschamp on the Aggies

Texas A&M was one of Muschamp's biggest rivals when he was the defensive coordinator at Texas. Things, of course, are different now. Maybe that's why Muschamp did not have much of a reaction to the Aggies lining up to join the SEC, and how Texas A&M's addition to the league might impact UF's recruiting in the state of Texas.

“If it happens, so be it. I've really been focused on our game with Florida Atlantic,” he said. “All the other stuff that I can't control, I leave to address and discuss.

“From a recruiting standpoint, we're going to recruit the state of Florida. We certainly recruit nationally because of our academic reputation and the tradition we have. We certainly are appealing to a lot of players.

“We're going to recruit the best players in the country. If some of those players are in Texas, then so be it.”

On the beach with Jimbo

Muschamp said he still co-owns a Florida beach house with Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. The two coached together under Nick Saban and are close friends. They're also rivals now.

“We still own the beach house together,” Muschamp said. “I would prefer not to go against people I have friendships with. I have great respect for Jimbo as a coach and as a person. Our families are friends.

“I don't really like going against Derek (Dooley at Tennessee) or Nick (Saban at Alabama) or Jimbo or anybody you've got a great relationship with because someone is going to walk away disappointed.

“When it comes down to game day (between UF and FSU), there won't be two people who want to win that game more than Jimbo and myself.”

Emotional Muschamp coming

The usually fiery and emotional Muschamp has been playing it low-key this week and focusing on getting his team ready for the opener. He did admit, though, that he will be emotional Saturday.

“I plan on being emotional. That's kind of me,” he said. “As far as the game is concerned and competition, don't let it cloud your judgment on game day.”

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