The Florida Gators went 4-8 last season in a year that was full of injuries to key players, including defensive tackle Dominique Easley and quarterback Jeff Driskel and had some off-field incidents, including the suspension of linebacker Antonio Morrison resulting in Will Muschamp facing questions about his job security.
Despite going through the most trying year of his career and for many Florida fans, Muschamp is not wavering in his confidence and he spoke to the Gator Club of Jacksonville last night and expressed his optimism about the future and the present for the Gators.
“Well, I think the future is bright,” Muschamp said via The Gainesville Sun. “The responsibility of my and our expectations at the University of Florida is winning championships on and off the field. Four-and-eight is unacceptable. It’s my responsibility to get it turned (around) and that’s what’s going to happen.
“We’re going to have a good football team next year. That’s not just a false sense of being positive. It’s real. I feel really good about this team, where we are, where we’re headed. We had some things that I probably could have managed better last fall that were difficult to overcome, but it happened and it’s my responsibility.”
Part of the optimism is likely rooted in the belief that Florida is due some good fortune after losing double-digit starters or key reserves to season-ending injury a year ago, but the real reason is new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper who should bring back the high-scoring fans in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium are accustomed to seeing.
“I’m really very pleased with where we are offensively in 15 days,” Muschamp said. “A lot of credit to Kurt Roper and our offensive staff. Our players have been very receptive of what we need to do to be successful.
With Driskel healthy and in an offense tailored to his strengths and Kelvin Taylor primed for a breakout season at running back, a veteran offensive line and a deep group of receivers, Muschamp should be pleased with where they are.
With a defense returning Jonathan Bullard, Dante Fowler Jr.and Vernon Hargreaves III, who should all be All-SEC performers this season, it wouldn’t be a stunner to see Florida have one of the biggest turnaround in college football this season and prove Muschamps words to be spot-on.