Muschamp still thinks program has bright future
Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 3:01 p.m.
Beleaguered Florida coach Will Muschamp said he's appreciative of the support he's receiving from his bosses — athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen.
* What: Georgia Southern (6-4) at Florida (4-6).
* When: 2 p.m. Saturday.
* Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, aka The Swamp.
* TV/Radio: PPV, WRUF.
* Information: Visit www.gatorsports.com.
Foley and Machen expressed their strong backing of Muschamp last Wednesday.
"It says a lot about Jeremy and Dr. Machen from a standpoint of seeing where we were three years ago and understanding," Muschamp said Monday. "Making good decisions within our program and to see the day-to-day operation and understand the steps you made in year two and why we are where we are right now.
"And nobody's happy with that. Absolutely nobody. The expectation level here is to win championships, and we haven't done it.
"But I think it's seeing the big picture and understanding where we are with the program and feeling good, not necessarily where we are right now, but understanding why we are where we are and where it's headed."
Muschamp said the future is bright.
"We've got a bunch of good young players in this program, a bunch of good kids in this program," he said. "We're recruiting extremely well. Things are heading in the right direction. It's just been a frustrating time for us this season."
Two starters could return Saturday
Cornerback Marcus Roberson, who was suspended from the South Carolina game for a violation of team rules, will play Saturday against Georgia Southern if his injured ankle is healthy enough.
Roberson sprained his ankle in the Vanderbilt game two weeks ago and is day-to-day.
Starting left offensive tackle D.J. Humphries also might play Saturday after missing the last three games with a sprained knee.
"D.J. Humphries ran around (Sunday) and I'll probably know more (today) or Wednesday whether or not he'll be able to play. It looks doubtful at this time," Muschamp said. "Marcus Roberson ran yesterday and we'll find out more as the week progresses on his availability for the game.
"We had no other significant injuries from the game (at South Carolina). We have a couple guys banged up, but everyone should be available for this weekend."
Love for the fans
Muschamp said he was only referring to a small percentage of the fan base when he said after Saturday's loss that some Gator fans needed to get a grip.
"We have great fans here," he said. "It's a small percentage. It's just frustrating for me. Anybody that knows me, I care about the kids. I'm fine (with the criticism).
"That's part of the profession. But for our kids, it's frustrating.
"They've worked extremely hard, and that's who I hurt for. We have great fans. I mean, I'm talking to a small percentage of our fans (about getting a grip)."
As for the conversations he's been having with his players during this troubled time, Muschamp said he's been keeping it real.
"I'm not any different than at any time," he said. "You're real with the players. I told them after the game that it was a great effort, but at the end of the day, it's about winning. You've got to do what you've got to do to win the game in those situations.
"(I'm) very upfront and honest with our guys about where we are and what we need to do to get better. We're in it together. Those are the things I talk to them about."
Jarrad Davis starting again at LB
True freshman linebacker Jarrad Davis is a three-star recruit who is looking like he has a chance to become a five-star player for the Gators. He was impressive in his first start at South Carolina and has earned a second start Saturday against Georgia Southern.
"He really has played well," Muschamp said. "He made a huge play on fourth down, coming from the backside and making a really nice open-field tackle.
"He's an explosive young man. He's very smart. He'll start again Saturday. He deserves that opportunity. He continues to improve. Everything we've put him in, he's been productive."
Davis was only ranked a three-star recruit coming out of Camden County High School in Kingsland, Ga.
"I know, so he's not allowed to start at Florida," Muschamp joked. "But he's a really good player. I'm glad we got him."
Muschamp on the mend
Muschamp was wearing a small bandage on his right hand Monday after cutting a finger punching a chalkboard during halftime of Saturday's game.
"Good," Muschamp said, when asked if his hand was OK.
Muschamp said he struck the chalkboard to emphasize a point to his players.
FSU game time
Second-ranked Florida State will visit The Swamp on Nov. 30 for a noon game that will be televised on ESPN.
Robbie Andreu is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.