UF in a 'Nole win situation

Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 12:02 a.m.

There is no way to cure this season. It's too late, and there have been too many losses, for that to happen.

But there is a way to ease a considerable portion of the pain associated with this 6-5 Florida season. A victory over arch-rival Florida State would do that.

“It would make it feel a lot better,” senior quarterback John Brantley said Monday. “A really good Florida State team coming in. I think with this past weekend's win (against Furman), we have enough confidence going into this week.

“We're going to give ourselves a chance. We're going to prepare hard and have one of our best weeks of practice. I think it will make up (for everything that's happened this season).

“That's one team you always circle on you schedule each year. I think it would definitely make up for it.”

Senior tailback Chris Rainey said a victory over the Seminoles (7-4) would carry the weight of … well, five losses.

“This probably will override all the losses,” Rainey said.

Florida coach Will Muschamp isn't willing to go that far.

“I don't know that it would override the losses,” Muschamp said. “I just think certainly ending on a positive note against Florida State would be a shot in the arm for us emotionally heading into a bowl game and heading into our offseason and sending the seniors out the right way.

“I think Chris was probably referring to that more than anything else.”

A victory over FSU would be considered the biggest win of the season (and would assure the Gators a winning record), but it would not erase the losses and the problems UF has gone through this season, Muschamp said.

The 6-5 record is what it is.

“We're certainly not pleased with the season in any respect,” Muschamp said. “It's totally unacceptable here at Florida, and I realize that.

“Our goal is to go to Atlanta (for the SEC title game), so in all areas we need to improve. And we need to improve offensively.

“Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of youth, injuries, we can go through the laundry list of reasons. At the end of the day, they're excuses and we need to play better.”

The Gators probably need to play better than they have to win Saturday night's game. Florida has lost five of its last seven games — and those victories came against Vanderbilt and Furman, and both games were still in doubt in the fourth quarter.

Muschamp has said he's seen improvement in his team. But the overall performances have pretty much all looked alike over the past seven games.

A victory over Florida State could generate some much-needed momentum to carry into the bowl game and the offseason.

“There's no question, winning helps everything,” Muschamp said. “It puts everybody in a better mood, you become a better coach all of a sudden when you win a game. All that kind of good stuff.

“You're a better player and everybody's a little more happier and all that. There's no question it would help.”

It would help a lot, Brantley said.

“We know how big this win is,” he said. “It's not a win to get us to the SEC Championship (Game) or anything. Just to get a win over a good Florida State team like this, it would be huge for us.”

It would ease some of the pain of this disappointing five-loss season.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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