Muschamp pleased with win
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 11:23 p.m.
Saturday's 24-7 victory over Kentucky extended Florida's winning streak against the Wildcats to 27 games.
It also gave the Gators their first road win of the season and brought their SEC record to 2-0.
“Anytime you go on the road in our conference and win, it's great,” Muschamp said on his Sunday television show. “I was really proud of our football team. We had a very mentally draining week as far as some of the things we had to deal with, but our guys pulled together like they always do.”
UF moved up two spots to No. 18 in the latest Associated Press college football poll while remaining No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll.
Muschamp praised the performance of quarterback Tyler Murphy, who made his first career start. He completed 15-of-18 pass attempts for 156 yards and threw a nine-yard touchdown to Trey Burton, which Muschamp called the offensive play of the game.
Murphy also ran for another score and 36 yards on seven carries. Throughout the game, the redshirt junior made several checks and changed play calls prior to the snap.
“We put a lot on him in the game of getting us in and out of the right stuff,” Muschamp said of Murphy. “He got us in the right looks, he got us in the right protections, the right route concepts and the right run game. He did an outstanding job.”
Against UK, Florida effectively ran its offensive package with two fullbacks and a tailback, referred to as the inverted wishbone or diamond formation. It's something the Gators will continue to use moving forward, which Muschamp believes could open things up through the air.
“It creates extra gaps for the defense,” he said. “It's a very hard formation to defend. It also makes you declare defensively for men in the box, which creates one-on-ones outside. So as we continue to work through this look, we'll have more opportunities down the field.”
Vernon Hargreaves III's end-zone interception in the third quarter was the defensive play of the game, Muschamp said. The true freshman cornerback now has three picks in four games.
Florida's other two starting corners — juniors Loucheiz Purifoy (0) and Marcus Roberson (3) — have three combined for their careers.
“Vernon's got really good ball skills down the field,” Muschamp said. “He always has his eyes in the right spots. The receiver worked himself in phase with Vernon, which means he can press him.
“Vernon put himself in perfect position on the receiver. He goes up and gets it. His vertical is a little bit better than mine. He went up and high-pointed the football exactly the way we coach it. Outstanding play.”
UF returns home Saturday to host Arkansas at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. It will be the first night game in The Swamp since 2011 against Florida State. The Razorbacks started the year 3-0, but are coming off back-to-back losses to Rutgers and Texas A&M.
“They've got a good, physical football team,” Muschamp said of the Hogs. “They're playing well defensively right now. They've got a new staff in there and they're doing a really good job.”