UF’s offensive woes don’t discourage Cook

Cook is not wavering on his decision to attend Florida. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

Florida’s offensive woes this season, particularly in the past two games, have confirmed what Miami Central running back Dalvin Cook already knew when he committed to UF in April.

The Gators need him.

Some fans are calling for offensive coordinator Brent Pease to be fired following losses to LSU and Missouri, but Cook doesn’t think coaching is the problem.

“I think a coaching change wouldn’t help at all,” he said. “They have the coaches. We just have to get the right players there. If you didn’t really know football and you just liked Florida, you would probably decommit right now. The offense isn’t looking too good from an outsider’s perspective.

“But the offensive line needs some work, and they’re lacking the playmakers. There are plays there to be made with what the coaching are calling, but nobody is stepping up and making them. I feel like I can do that.”

Cook is the Gators’ highest ranked commit on ESPN and was No. 1 in The Sun’s list of Florida’s Top 50 seniors. He spoke with both UF coach Will Muschamp and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, his primary recruiter, over the weekend.

“They just told me hang in there and that they need me in The Swamp to bring the excitement back and get the offense going how it used to be,” he said.

With quarterback Will Grier and receiver Ermon Lane also on board, two recruits Cook saw in action at The Opening, he believes the trio of All-Americans will turn things around.

“I look at the future, and the future is bright for Florida,” he said. “The guys we got coming in can make an impact at the positions that are lacking, and we’ll be alright.”

The 5-foot-11, 192-pounder has always wanted to take trips other schools despite his pledge to the Gators, and that’s still the case. He has already been to Texas and will officially visit Florida State, Arkansas and Southern Cal.

Cook planned on using his last official to visit UF but now wants to check out either Alabama, Ohio State or South Florida instead.

“I just want to see other places, but I’m 100 percent committed to Florida,” he said. “I’ve been there three times and saw everything I needed to. The only thing I haven’t seen is a game, and I’m going to the Florida State game.”

Cook said he will not back off his commitment if UF continues to struggle in 2013.

“If you’re a Gator, and you’re a real Gator, you’ll be there no matter what happens,” he said. “Every program has ups and downs. Our time will come. We just have to be patient.”


  1. I don’t agree with his assessment of Pease but I’m glad that he wants to be a Gator. We really need him in this offense. Grier, Lane, and Cook are vitally important to our success. Other than Taylor and Lane, they’re our biggest offensive recruits in 4 years.

  2. Love, love, LOVE the attitude, Mr. Cook. I like the way he puts a positive spin on the situation (unlike some of the fans) is great! I really think with Mr. Cook, Grier, and Lane in the fold UF will turn this thing around. Combine that with Taylor, VH3, Fowler, & Bullard and this team could be scary good next year. Gotta get some more lineman to block for these guys though. Still love my Gators despite all the troubles. GO GATORS!!!!!

  3. Looking forward to when Taylor, Cook, Lane, Fulwood, Roberson, and some talented TE from somewhere join Will Crier to form an explosive offense for the Gators. But it will never be that until the UF gets a SEC quality OL. Muschamp has to recruit some top notch OL to go with these talented playmaker recruits.

  4. ok now that the SEC is no longer a possibility, its time to start taylor, fulwood and robinson for the rest of the year to get them experience now so they will ready next year. same goes for any other freshmean who can help. i dont care what insignificant bowl we go to this year, we need to get these guys experience now. if taylor doesnt start from now on, the coaching staff should be FIRED immediately. no one cares if your 7-6 or 8-5, but we do care if you get these ready for next year. its time to play the freshmean NOW. no more excuses. we are playing for next year and its time to admit it and take the most advantage of it.

  5. I think Champ is locked into that old school way of thinking that freshman don’t play. If they’re better than the other guys then play em, otherwise another coach will come in & reap the benefits of his hard work!! I agree that you need to just play the young guys. What do you have to lose?? Other teams play freshman all the time & this ‘wait your turn’ crap needs to be shelved. If the guy proves he can play then play him. Practice ’em hard & see how they perform in the games. If he doesn’t pan out then special teams is always an option toget them on the field. GO GATORS!!!!

  6. Does any of the above matter if the starting quarterback next year is Driskel or Murphy? Until we have a better QB than Brantley or those mentioned, it makes little difference who is the coach or anyone else around them. Open your eyes and realize that since Tebow left, the quarterbacks have been bad. It is embarrassing to see Missouri have a backup freshman who is light years ahead of any QB the Gators put on the field. What is really going to hurt is possibly seeing Brissett play well at N.C. State next year. That will be as bad as being the 4th best team in the state.

  7. We need Cook. Guy is an absolute baller. He sounds like an incredible leader and that’s what the good ones bring to the table. Our fan base has been so spoiled by success that we can’t see that we are so close to being a dominating team. We had 8 starters out of the game for Missouri. Our Oline hasnt been around enough to build chemistry. Teams aren’t scared of our passing game so the tee off and load the box. As painful as it is to watch, it’s understandable if you look at what what our offense is going through. Urban’s last year and Muschamps first recruiting class had terrible success in O-line recruiting. Our core is on campus now and it’s only going to get better. Can’t wait so see Cook run next year!

  8. Nov. 30 circle that date. FSU players play grown man football. The only thing Florida players want to do is jump around, showboating after one play. I get tired just watching them celebrate for getting a first down. Those CB’s that you guys are so high on can’t tackle are play bump in run. Just watch Purifoy or Roberson; NFL ready, yell the non-football league. Look these players are not that good really and we will see Nov.30 when we come to Gainesville. Nov. 2 is going to be a beat down on the Hurricanes. God bless ya’ll Gatornation.

  9. Driskel would be just fine with a fairly good OL. Murphy cannot even come close to beating a blitz. In fact Murphy is making the OL look worse than it is. When they over load on a blitz there is a quick option somewhere. Murphy cannot identify where that is. Driskel is way better at handling a blitz. This is why the offense is going backwards right now. Other teams now know Murphy cannot handle it and will continue to do this until he does. Driskel had this team moving the ball just fine. In fact it was really improved from a season ago. EXCEPT for the turnovers and that is fixable.
    Muschamp has shown in the past he will play freshmen. Flower , Bullard, Morrison, Jones etc… This is not an issue.
    Taylor should be starting running back. However I am sure Taylor was not ready at the beginning of the season especially in the block department.
    Playing calling is terrible. Either Muschamp needs to remove himself from this or Pease needs to go. I can give Muschamp one bad/terrible defensive game in 2 ½ seasons and injuries are playing a part in this. However, that is why you need a top notch offense. When the defense fails the offense picks up the slack. Cannot expect the offense to just flip a switch and start picking up the slack!

  10. Yes, Driskel moves the team just fine? What was the only question about the Gators coming in to this season? whether there would be any improvement at quarterback. The Gators really rolled over Toledo, didn’t they? Did not Driskel miss a wide open receiver in the end zone against Miami, just like Murphy against Mizzou? And that play would never have occurred if he had been accurate on the bomb to Patton, who would have walked in for a touchdown. I also remember Driskel’s last play this year; that is who he is. Wake up from delusions. Just because a guy is a 5-Star and has a cannon for an arm and can run very well does not a quarterback make. The most important feature of a quarterback resides above the neck.

  11. It’s amazing to me that so many fans expect positive results from every young many wearing the Gator uniform, yet all they are willing to put forth themselves are whiny, negative insults and childish demands.
    I know this will fall on many deaf ears, but this is truly one of those times when the Florida Gators needs the support of its fans.
    Go Gators. Win or lose.

  12. Doug,
    I would venture a guess and say that somewhere around 98% of the whiny comments come from Gator fans under the age of 30. Those of us who have been around a little longer have seen where this program once was. The young’ens is spoiled.

  13. Tim,
    I suspect that you’re right but, whatever it is, it harms the team and it makes me sick. Displaying their hate on a recruiting site, of all places, is so ridiculously ironic that I’m sure it escapes their comprehension.
    Go Gators. Win or lose.

  14. Well I guess I am going to just judge Driskel on his whole body of work I saw from him this season. I saw a QB that got us into the right play, I saw QB who would stand in the pocket a deliver strike while knowing he was fixing to be leveled. He will be a good QB which is just my opinion. However, I am not going to judge a QB because he missed a wide open receiver, because all QB do that. Did he make a lot of bad decision? No he did not! He made a few and they were costly. It is a low blow to judge a young man on a play made while having his leg broke. GO GATORS!

  15. since sum of u wana talk crap to the younger generations. ill stand up for them. im exactly 30. steve spurrier built this team to be a sustainable program. there is no reason uf should have inept offense and bad qb play. ever. I understand not having 10 plus winning seasons things happen, but just because I didn’t watch the gators and the 70’s doesn’t mean we cant be mad at wat were watching. and as fans that grew up watching winning gator football we should expect nothing less then winning football. I feel that way bout our bball team also. now that billy d has made it that way. ive watched enough football to know. driskel, murphy, Brantley, doug Johnson, noah brendice, jesse palmer, weren’t good uf qbs. the main reason why is there pocket presence. the only qb that I didn’t like and turned out to be helluva qb was chris leak and really I didn’t like his demeanor. and I have never seen such bad oline play for the last 2 years. its unacceptable at the UF. those of us who grew up watching uf dominate know wat it takes not thankful we don’t suck like the 70’s. were past the point of that the old generation had to deal with that. we new generation, want winning football that’s all we know and should expect. we darn sure shouldn’t be taking steps back after how hard spurrier worked and be like well at least we aint as bad as the 70’s. that’s stupid. we should be saying we need to get back to championship contenders like the UF should be and belong. go gators. muschamp develop ur players or kick rocks. all teams in top 15 recruiting are pretty much even talent wise its on the coaching

  16. Recruits come in and they are evaluated on how they are on the field. Jeff is a QB with running back skills. He is average at throwing out routes, accuracy, but I haven’t seen him throw the ball down field. Every playmaker should have a job. The playmaker are there, but you have to use them in the right way.
    Some players have speed, some good hands, some run the best routes, but the coaches have to trust the players and if they mess up so what growing pains. We went through them, but we were open to playing different players no matter what year or who feeling get hurt. Will Grier is coming in highly talented and Florida will not start him until Jeff leave. Circle Nov. 2 , Nov. 30.

  17. Hey, everybody, our primary challenge is up front on offense. We opened this season with exactly ONE returning O-lineman able to go. It’s a coaching axiom as old as Gen. Bob Neyland that new offensive lines take a minimum of four to five games together to gel. This group lost Chas Green for the season and Jon Halapio is playing with a torn pec. We have one experienced back-up, Kyle Koehne. Humphries and Moore had four previous starts apiece, and as true freshmen. Driskel made mistakes under a heavy rush. Matt Jones was barely healthy before going down, and honestly, Zmuschamp inherited no playmaking receivers. Let’s give the venom a rest and show that Gators stick together. This team will turn a big corner next year and might even surprise a few people the rest of this one.

  18. For comparison, just check out SEC passing record holder Aaron Murray’s stats and turnovers since the Dawgs lost Gurley, Marshall, Mitchell, Bennett and another receiver and got their O-cline banged up. I’m behind Coach Muschamp. And for what it’s worth, in college basketball, hot-headed disappointed fans in Chapel Hill hung Dean Dmith in effigy early in his Tar Heel career and angry boosters almost ran Coach K out of Duke his second season. Gators and Zmuschamp are gonna be fine.

  19. In case you missed it while you were in English class, b, it was Gator ‘fans’ who ran off Spurrier, too. 10-2 and a curb-stomping of Maryland in the Orange Bowl just wasn’t good enough; and many Gator ‘fans’ told him so. They expected more. They DESERVED more.
    His reply? Later Gator…

  20. Muschamp is no fool. He wants an offense, in his own words after the Missouri debacle “that can spread it out there like everyone else.” Who knew that Aubrey Hill would have to resign in August last year, leaving wide receivers without a position coach. We’ve seen improvement in the three guys we’ve got as Joker works with them. It’s going to come together for D-Rob and Fullwood and a couple if other young guys next year. Hang in there.

  21. We really need Cook. He and Taylor will make one of the best RB tandems in the country. We, also, need Sharpe and 3 or 4 more solid offensive linemen. Meyer left our OL in the ditch and replenishing OL depth and quality isn’t something you do in a year or two.

    As for you people claiming that Muschamp doesn’t play freshmen are lacking brain cells. There have been several freshmen who have and are playing. Anyone that knows college football know that you are better off to redshirt a player, unless you can’t or they are very talented. Robinson, Fulwood, Taylor, VH III, Townsend and McMillan have played a lot this year.

  22. I didn’t read a single comment in this thread just in case there was all the negativity that always pops up in these forums.
    I love the guy’s attitude and perspective. If all the Gators looked at things this way, the sporting world would be a much better place.
    I agree with all the talent coming in we should be better, but if the O line does not improve, which includes getting some more bodies recruited, it may not matter if we have Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, and Charles Johnson.
    Go get the guys we need ‘Champ!!
    Go Gators!

  23. Zach writes probably the most encouraging article I’ve read all season about an elite recruit that we need desperately loving the gators unconditionally… and some of you are complaining in the comments…. WOW. JUST WOW. I wish you’d all go pull for another team.

  24. Halapio’s playing in much pain, wearing a brace and harness to protect his torn pectoral. If anything he ‘s a hero. Sometimes our country awards medals to courageous men and women for fighting valiantly in losing battles. Many of the comments hurled at these players are at best made out of ignorance, at worse from plain old fashioned meanness.

  25. First of my many comments: :Purifoy is an average cornerback at best with fair tackling skills. I don’t know why he gets so much love from the announcing crew. Roberson has the talent to be excellent but it seems like he gets more interference flags than pass breakups. The OL obviously needs a major overhaul. I didn’t think that the absence of Chaz Green would be so obvious. This team has taken so many hits with injuries Im surprised they even stayed in the LSU game the previous week. Murphy is not the reason the offense “lit” it up in the games he won, he played against average to poor defenses. I feel Driskell is still the answer at QB. He has the skills and was moving the ball against Miami. No protection from the OL led to his fumbles, as it did Murphy’s against Mizzou. I feel that Muschamp has done a decent job and has also cleaned up the program that Urban left behind. It seems when they call a run that the so called gator fans want him to pass and when he passes they want him to run. He cant win for losing with some of you guys. I am confident he will get the program back to where it belongs. I lived thru 0-10-1 in 1979 and saw Charley Pell turn it around and make us a better team. Granted we don’t have SOS here like it was in the 90’s but I believe that better days are ahead.

  26. Thanks for showing me there are still real Gator fans out there. Thought the “fire Champ” crowd had scared ’em all off. We WILL turn this thing around and the boo-birds will be eating crow. And to our friends from that school out west…you might want to check your happy thoughts until AFTER our little get-together on 11/30…just sayin’

  27. If I remember, one of the best Gator games ever was in 1997. The Gators were down a little and hosting #1 fsu. FredTaylor ran wild and we denied the noles a shot at a championship. Don’t think for a second that Fred Taylor won’t be reminding son Kelvin and Company of that sweet victory over fsu.

  28. I’m a Gator to the end, whether we’re 0-12 or 12-0 and bowl eligible. But however our Oline has sucked for the past 3 years. No one can say this is because of injuries to the oline, because we sucked even when we had everyone full speed the past 3 years. I like Muschamp and what he brings but we can’t play ground and pound with an spread option quality o line. These guys drop like flies consistently against the bigger d lines. Mizzou brung the blitz’s and not once did we go into the diamond formation where we bring in the extra o lineman to offset the blitz. The play calling is spotty we can’t stick to an game plan decently. It’s either run run run on this series and pass pass run on the next. I don’t know what’s the issue with…and some bust number 73 (Mr. False Start) is. But I have confidence Muschamp can turn it around, I just wish he could taylor his offense to his personnel

  29. This is for Driskell fans not Gator fans. Stop bashing Murphy if you actually been watching the games you would see Murphy gives us a spark and should have been the QB. How could this kid be a five star. He cost us the Louisville game, the Miami Game and if he keeps playing we will never be a championship team. Muschamp need s to either let pease call the offense or he be fired, this is not Big 12 football in the SEC it’s win or go home.

  30. Compairing TM to JD is ridiculous. Niether is lights out, TM makes quicker decisions. JD has not shown a leap in progress which is why going into next year the qb competition should be wide open. Please slow down on the Will Grier for savior campaign. He looks good against what would be 1A high school football here in florida. He will have to get bigger and stronger (weighs 175 lbs.) to absorb hits from bigger and faster players. The problem with this is that it takes time to adjust some make it others dont. The defense has/is NC capable for two years. Stop saying this guy should be the QB based on your personel preference. Look at the body of work and then decide who should be quarterback.

  31. If you want to look a the problem with tis offense it’s not so much Pease as it is Pease being hand-cuffed by Muschamp’s “3 yards and cloud of dust” mentality on offense. I don’t care what the “experts” say or what the assistants might say, anyone who knows anything about football can see this is Muschamp’s personality all over this offense.

    Now, does Muschamp finally learn after two embarrassing losses to adapt, or go down in flames in his own stubbornness?

  32. I wonder who will have the most fans in THE SWAMP vs. FSU? FSU most likely, when a large majority of the Gator fans sell their tickets to Noles fans for a big profit. Remember the Bama game when Brantley got hurt. Half the stadium was filled with Bama fans while Florida fans sat at home, counted their money, and watched and heard, “Roll Tide,” all night long.

    I was at the game…..and it was embarrassing to be in THE SWAMP and have it ruled by Bama fans. I kind of expect the same will happen for the FSU game this year. You watch.


  33. fanan, you/re in the minority that thinks not getting young guys ready for next year should take priority over playing seniors. i dont want anyone fired, but if the coaches don’t take advantage of playing the young guys when the old guys are not getting the job done then change is needed. its called adjusting, maybe you should put the kool aid down. i’m a true blue gator and that is why i want them to play these guys. it will make a huge difference for next year, you know the year that isn’t already basically done. if we win out we go nowhere and the young guys then have to learn on the run next year, assuring further loses then. for example young safety in um game giving up TD over his head. it was a rookie mistake, one he probably doesn’t make next year because he learned it this year. Game time experience can not be garnered in practice.

  34. Redshirting is part of prepping the young guys for the big dance. I mentioned it before and I’ll make the reference again, Gary Pinkel dealt with the same issue (unusually high number of injuries) last year and though he had to grin and bear it, he got through last year while red-shirting the QB that torched us last week.

    Regarding all the sky-is-falling nonsense regarding attendance, give me a break! The people that are fans and go to games will go regardless of w’s and l’s. @Tampa Gator I was at the ‘Bama game a few years back and the bama fans had the (usual) travel sections full..no more, no less. The hused sound of disappointment from the Gator fans that night was far more deafening than the traveling bama fans.


  36. Fire up that crow! I am ready but before you light that fire tell me why we threw the ball three times after running for 70 and a touchdown and holding Missouri? I have put this out there on several sites and have not gotten an answer. The only thing I can conclude is that we have and incompetent player caller, be that Pease or Muschamp, I care not. Peace, R.

  37. I judged Driskel prematurely, with our OL’s lack of push, consistency, pass protection, and depth, no QB (even Manning) is going to have any success due to getting brutalized by defenses. A good OL is mandatory to be successful in the SEC. Before we start firing and criticizing coaches, we need to look at the totality of our current situation. We need play makers but good OL is our biggest need right now. I think Peese would look alot better if we had that.

  38. I could not agree any more with you Maurice. Once we get the OL fixed (which may or may not require a new OL coach) we will be able to run the full offense that we have not seen yet. You can only get so much out of players out of position and there has to be more of an urgent recruiting push for top notch lineman. Go Gators!!

  39. All fans calling for Driskell to be our qb must watch the games with their eyes aand ears closed. This guy threw for 1600 yds over a season a SEASON had four straight games under 100 yds passing that’s hard to do in a triple option, have y’all not watched qb play at UF from 1990 to 2009 JD is not the ans Tyler may not be either but certainly not Driskell, don’t get me started on the bonehead int’s don’t have enough time to go there