Notebook: Spurrier praises UF's Murphy

Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy celebrates with fans after Saturday's win against Arkansas at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 4:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 4:46 p.m.

Watching tape Wednesday of the Florida-Arkansas game in preparation for South Carolina’s matchup with the Hogs on Saturday, Steve Spurrier could not help but notice the play of UF quarterback Tyler Murphy. And he was impressed.

Very impressed.

“Tyler is a very good player. He’s a dang good player,” said Spurrier, the former UF quarterback and coach. “His throwing motion is beautiful. He throws a nice, catchable ball and he can move around in the pocket. You’d never think the young man hadn’t played but, what, two or three games now?

“Obviously, he must have looked good in practice down there. He finally got his chance. Sometimes, that’s the way it works out, you get your chance and make the most of it.

“He’s a very good player. Watching Tyler, he throws the ball beautifully, and fundamentally, he’s very sound. And all their receivers are catching everything. He throws a very catchable ball. He’s a very good quarterback.”

Spurrier made his comments on the SEC coaches’ teleconference.

Following him on the call was UF coach Will Muschamp, who was asked what Murphy brings to the offense that injured former starter Jeff Driskel did not.

“I think we're just taking care of the football,” Muschamp said. “And Tyler's been a guy that's been able to create some off-rhythm plays for us. You look at again, defensively, that's very difficult to defend. We've improved ourselves as a scrambling team

“But we've improved ourselves throwing the football overall to start the year and we've continued to improve through the year, and I think that's what I've seen from Game 1 to now. We've taken steps forward in the passing game every week."

Later in the call, Muschamp was asked if he regrets not giving Murphy a chance to play earlier?

“Well, certainly his production speaks for itself in those situations,” Muschamp said. “But we came a game away from playing for the national championship a year ago. We had a pretty good year.”

LSU honoring … Muschamp?

LSU will be honoring its 2003 national championship team Saturday at Tiger Stadium, which may be an awkward moment for Muschamp, who was part of that team as an assistant coach on Nick Saban’s staff.

He, of course, will be on the opposite sideline Saturday.

“I remember when Florida came in and beat us (19-7),” Muschamp said. “That wasn’t a favorite (memory of that season). Old Ben Troupe and Ciatrick Fason got after us pretty good that day and Chris Leak, who is on our staff as a graduate assistant now.

“It was a special year. Nothing but great memories. I’ve got great respect for the LSU program. I think any time in the coaching profession you spend a time at a place, you always have fond memories of it. Carol and I still have great friends in Baton Rouge.”

Muschamp was asked if he would be attending any of the events in Baton Rouge honoring the 2003 LSU team.

“I’m worried about that 2013 LSU team not the 2003 one, that’s for sure,” he said. “It will be good to see those guys, I guess, on the field a little bit. It was a special group. One of the players sent me a picture when I was at Texas of the team and wanted me to sign it and send it back to him.

“Just looking at the pictures, it was guys who understood their role in the organization. Guys that are all successful people. Granted, we had a bunch of guys go play on Sunday, but we had a bunch of successful people whether they are teachers or they are in the business world. They have all done an outstanding job, and it was a lot of fun.”

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