UF's Murphy may miss USC game


Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy throws the ball during the second half against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 3:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.

Florida's already crippling injury situation could grow even worse this week. There's a chance starting quarterback Tyler Murphy could miss Saturday's game at South Carolina with a sprained right shoulder.

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Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy throws the ball during the second half against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun

Murphy has not practiced this week and he's listed as day-to-day, according to offensive coordinator Brent Pease.

“I think it's probably a game-time decision,” Pease said Tuesday. “Same situation we've been in before. He's got to get in some practice time at some point in time (to play Saturday).

“I think it's day-to-day based on what the trainers have to say. I know he was sore (after Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt). I didn't know he was sore right afterwards. On Sunday when they come in to report, that's when I found out.”

If Murphy is unable to go, redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg would start at quarterback against the No. 11 Gamecocks. He has yet to take a snap in a game. The No. 2 quarterback would be walk-on Christian Provancha, a redshirt junior from Cocoa Beach.

Along with Murphy and Mornhinweg, the only other scholarship quarterback on the active roster is true freshman Max Staver. Pease said the decision has already been made to redshirt Staver this season and he is not an option.

Murphy said Monday he's “not 100-percent sure” he'll be ready to play in Saturday's game.

“It's more of a day-to-day thing,” he said. “I'm just trying to get healthy so I can get back out there and contribute to help out this team.

“It's just frustrating being banged up a little bit and having to sit out and try to get healthy. I'm going to live in the training room and get healthy and try to get back out there as soon as possible.

“Going into practices (the last few weeks), I've been fighting a little bit of pain, but nothing too crazy. But when I get to the game, adrenaline takes over and I'm usually good to go.”

Murphy injured his shoulder in the Oct. 12 LSU game and did not practice until the Thursday of the Missouri game the following week. He's been dealing with pain and discomfort in every game since the injury occurred, and got hit on the shoulder in the Vanderbilt game.

Murphy and UF coach Will Muschamp said Monday they are hopeful he will be able to practice some today. Until he returns, Mornhinweg will continue to get all the reps with the No. 1 offense.

“We've been in a situation before with Tyler where he was getting the reps in place of Jeff (Driskel),” Pease said. “Now, a couple of weeks ago, Skyler was taking all the reps going into the Missouri game.

“It's not something that is a new situation for us, but you've got to plan and make sure the things we do with Skyler, Murph should also be able to perform. Fit things around both of them in a game plan that's really going to benefit our team.”

Pease said Mornhinweg is prepared to play.

“He's ready to go,” Pease said. “The thing that's tough on a kid in his situation is just experience. You hope you never really have to play with a redshirt freshman.

“Nothing against him because he's a smart kid, he works hard. But in a developmental situation, you hope that you get into your sophomore and junior year before you're in that situation, whether you're competing for the job or in a backup role ready to play.”

Pease said Mornhinweg has been making progress in practice and is capable of managing the offense.

“Just in practice, the reps he's taken, I've seen him get better,” Pease said. “Now, is he going to go out there (and be ready to do it in a game)? “I know just preparation-wise, all of them (Murphy, Mornhinweg and Provancha), I know how they all prepare. They all study the game. They all understand what we're trying to get done in the game plan. It's more go execute that plan to the best of your ability and understand there's going to be some times when you've got to improvise."

Several offensive players expressed confidence in Mornhinweg on Tuesday.

“I'm pretty confident in him,” fullback Hunter Joyer said. “He knows the playbook. If he gets in there, I think he'll do all right. He throws it pretty well. He's good at reading defenses and checking out of bad plays, just reading coverages and making smart decisions.”

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

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