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Gators Notebook: Coach Will Muschamp worried about line play

Posted: April 8, 2014 - 11:20pm  |  Updated: April 9, 2014 - 8:05pm
Will Muschamp shooting a jumpshot near at the tenth tee for a free mulligan for his group during Tim Tebow's Celebrity Golf Classic at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday. Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, March 15, 2014.  The Florida Times-Union, Gary McCullough
The Florida Times-Union, Gary McCullough
Will Muschamp shooting a jumpshot near at the tenth tee for a free mulligan for his group during Tim Tebow's Celebrity Golf Classic at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday. Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, March 15, 2014.

GAINESVILLE — It’s four days until the spring game for Florida, which for the first time in two years will resemble a real game. Injuries along the line of scrimmage forced Gators coach Will Muschamp to hold a glorified practice last season.

Added depth will allow Florida to hold four 12-minute sessions with the first-string offense facing the first-string defense and the subsequent units going head to head. There might not be injury issues, but Muschamp has continued to rail against the discrepancy between the first- and second-string lines on both sides of the ball.

It’s an issue the fourth-year coach has harped on the last two weeks.

Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Antonio Riles moved to guard at first as an experiment but now has impressed the coaches with his athleticism and lateral movement.

Injuries ravaged the Gators’ line of scrimmage last season, which hampered Florida’s ability to be physical in the trenches.

Kickers regain form

Muschamp regularly fielded questions last season about Kyle Christy who went from starting punter to bench warmer.

Christy had shoulder surgery in January of 2013 to repair damage done in a scooter accident. For whatever reason, Christy was never the same. He lost his job to walk-on Johnny Townsend, who didn’t duplicate the booming kicks that Christy made in 2012.

The place-kickers didn’t fare any better, with Austin Hardin, Brad Phillips and Frankie Velez all taking turns at field goals. Florida’s punters finished with a net average of 40.9 yards, a stark difference from Christy’s school record of 45.9 yards in 2012. Its kickers made 12 of 22 field-goal attempts.

They showed promise as a group during a scrimmage on Saturday.

“Kyle Christy punted the ball extremely well, really hit the ball well. Austin was 7 of 9 field-goal wise. He missed from 47 and 41. Frankie was 7 of 8 and missed from 46,” Muschamp said. “So I thought we’ve made some improvement as far as being more accurate in kicking the football and some red-zone things and converting and getting points there.”

Praise for Driskel

Muschamp was asked how quarterback Jeff Driskel has looked.

“I think he’s throwing the ball extremely well,” Muschamp said. “I think he had three dropped on Saturday on a bubble, slant and dig. On the interception, I thought it should’ve been caught. It was a dig on a third-down conversion. I think he’s throwing the ball and is very accurate. We create a lot of run-pass issues, run-pass conflicts, I would say, for a defense with what we’re doing.”

Comments (3)

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Davethecaveman 04/10/14 - 09:57 am
For the same reason FSU

For the same reason FSU didn't demote Fisher to offensive coordinator after getting stomped by the likes of Wake Forest and others a few years ago.
We will see if Will Muschamp can repeat what he did two years ago. Things are looking up so far. GO GATORS!!!!

Stecker 04/09/14 - 08:45 pm
Premium Member
Why UF hasn't demoted

Why UF hasn't demoted Muschamp to defensive coordinator is beyond me. How many more losing seasons do they want to endure under this guy?

BayStreet 04/09/14 - 10:22 am
Fans notebook: Florida fans

Fans notebook:

Florida fans worried about Will Muschamp

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