UF’s Pease makes the call

Florida head coach Will Muschamp and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson on the sidelines against LSU during the second half at Tiger Stadium on Saturday.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 5:52 p.m.

Given Florida’s recent offensive struggles, there seems to be a growing perception that Will Muschamp, a defensive coach, might be handcuffing his offensive coordinator, Brent Pease, and limiting what he can call on offense.

Pease indicated Tuesday that perception is not reality in this case.

“How much does he exert control on me?” Pease said. “Like any coach, we all have ideas we share. He’s very open about what we do. He allows us to do our job and do what we want to do to be successful.

“Like he says, ‘Do what you’ve got to do to win a football game.’ That’s what we’ve got to do. I think he’s got his philosophy on what the makeup of our team is. Everybody is good with that, including myself.”

Pease on Murphy

Although quarterback Tyler Murphy did not match his previous efficient performances in the loss to LSU on Saturday, Pease gave him a passing grade in only his third career start.

“He played solid,” Pease said. “I thought he saw some things well. He missed some throws. He missed a few throws that he’d hit up until then. That probably needed to be a little better, his accuracy.

“He threw well, but he missed a couple throws on the move (out of the pocket). We had some deep opportunities (that we missed). I think he saw them and we had chances for them, but just some timing up front (in protection). We didn’t get some blocks down.”

Fulwood coming on

One of the encouraging performances on offense in the LSU loss was turned in by true freshman wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood. He saw considerable playing time and caught two passes, one a 15-yard reception that converted a critical third down.

“He’s out there and I see him playing faster and he obviously had a big catch and he had another one where he’s trying to separate one-on-one and Tyler dumped it down to him,” Pease said. “He’s starting to get in there and get the feel of the game and play to the speed of the game. He works hard in practice. He’s starting to fit in, and his opportunities are coming.”

Mettenberger’s clean uniform

Holding LSU’s potent offense to only 17 points was impressive. But the Gators were disappointed that they didn’t even come close to reaching one of their most important defensive goals last Saturday, and that was to put pressure on (and sack) quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

The Gators barely laid a hand on Mettenberger and never came close to sacking him.

“We were disappointed with a lot of the things that happened Saturday,” linebacker Michael Taylor said. “Getting pressure on him was one of the things we wanted to do. I think we maybe hit him two, three times, but we didn't get him on the ground or get him moving and get him to be uncomfortable enough. He just sat back there in the pocket, and when he wanted to throw, he threw it. That's something we have to correct on our part."

TE no factor in passing game

Pease said the almost zero production by the tight end position is having an impact on the passing game and the overall offensive performance.

“The way we've kind of designed some things, you still like a guy in the middle that they've got to be accountable to, and that's what Jordan (Reed) kind of brought us and he kind of opened things up on the outside at times for guys,” Pease said. “But there are ways to get around that.

“We're using more four-wideout sets. Trey (Burton) has some catches inside of the hashes. His area of running routes, I think we're doing a decent job of that. But you still want a guy (at tight end catching passes), because teams now start to match you to personnel packages.”

The only tight end to catch a pass this season is Tevin Westbrook, who is more of a blocker. He has two receptions for only 13 yards. Linebacker Neiron Ball has more yards receiving than the tight end position after catching the 14-yard pass from punter Kyle Christy on a fourth-down fake against LSU.

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