Sunday, October 19, 2014

Homecoming Disaster: Missouri vs Florida

Six. The Gators committed six turnovers in one of the worst SEC/Homecoming losses in program history. It seems that during my tenure here, I keep witnessing more negative Gator football history each and every week. For the first time since World War II, the Florida Gator football team has lost back-to-back Homecoming games.

I honestly believed with all of my heart that the Gators were going to win yesterday's game with ease against Missouri. Coming off a close loss to LSU and with Missouri getting shutout the week before, how could they lose? Little did I, or any other Gator fan in The Swamp last night, expect the Gators to get blown out of the water from the get go.

Missouri won last night's game 42-13! They set the tone from the get go as redshirt senior Marcus Murphy took the opening kickoff 96 yards back for a touchdown. This was just the beginning of the Missouri return game as Murphy struck again with an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

In addition to phenomenal special teams play, the Missouri defense ran back both a fumble and an interception for touchdowns. On the night they forced a total of three interceptions and recovered three of four Gator fumbles. The defensive line racked up six sacks in the game and Missouri scored 24 points off of turnovers.

I'll be honest, I left the game after the first quarter when it was 17-0 so I could go and watch the Notre Dame/Florida State game. I could spend forever talking about the highway robbery at the end of that game, but this article is about the problems with the Florida Gators.

I continued to watch the game through WatchESPN and at some points I was on the verge of tears because of how bad the Gators looked. The Gator defense only gave up 119 yards and one offensive touchdown and the team still somehow lost by 29 points! There is no excuse for that! All of the Gators' points came in garbage time and even the extra point on the second touchdown got blocked!

All support I have issued towards head coach Will Muschamp is now gone. Even my best friend and writing colleague R.J. Walsh, who has defended Muschamp and Driskel throughout both last year and up till now, has drawn the line. I am going to make this very clear. WILL MUSCHAMP NEEDS TO BE FIRED TOMORROW!

Gator football has become a joke! Fans needs to realize that Tim Tebow is not coming back. Jeff Driskel will NEVER BE Tim Tebow and Muschamp will NEVER BE Urban Meyer. That was a golden era of Gator football that will not be coming back anytime soon. As teams like UCF, Miami, and Florida State continue to progress and win, Florida keeps on regressing and losing.

How much longer are we going to let this debacle go on? Jeff Driskel has had plenty of chances and every game it is the SAME EXACT THING. It's interceptions and fumbles. Granted, it may not all be Driskel's fault, but at this point, Florida fans will blame nearly everything on Jeff Driskel. Yes, his o-line is doing a terrible job blocking and the receivers can not catch a cold, but at the end of the day, blame and glory will always reside with the QB.

I do feel bad this for kid. But he also knew that this came with the territory of being the quarterback at the University of Florida. Will Muschamp has not realized that continually sticking with Driskel is like beating a dead horse. 2012 was a fluke! R.J. and I looked at the scores and saw that even back then it was the same, boring game plan of let the defense take over and offense stay out of the way.

My father always told me, "You can't play not to lose" and that is the vibe I get from this offense. I thought having Kurt Roper come over from a 10-win Duke team (again he was successful with Duke) would help reenergize the offense and help Jeff Driskel succeed, but the play calling has continued to be conservative and inconsistent.

I slowly realized throughout the game that the Florida QB situation in general is a mess. Driskel threw two interceptions and fumbled twice while Treon threw one interception and fumbled once. The poor play of both is not going to make the decision of picking a starting QB any easier. However, a decision needs to be made because this system of using two QB's obviously does not work.

The Gators best bet at this point regarding their QB situation is to start true freshman Treon Harris and maybe even give redshirt sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg some reps. The Gators will never win the SEC East, let alone an SEC Championship with Jeff Driskel as the starting quarterback.

It's time for a change. If the Gators have to take their bumps with Treon, then so be it. SEC contention is gone now. At this point it is about getting reps for the young guys who are the future of the program and trying to make a bowl game.

My biggest fear in keeping Muschamp for this season was that the Gators would start losing and Muschamp would just be fired this year as opposed to last year. This is looking very plausible at this point and now two seasons have been thrown down the drain! I reluctantly let Muschamp off the hook after 2013 because of injuries, but there are no excuses for getting blown out at home during Homecoming by a lackluster Missouri team.

If anyone is wondering, I won't be reporting any of the players' stats from this game because there is nothing to report. The offense could not hold on to the ball, the defense never had a lead to defend, and first year special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler needs to be fired after two runbacks by the same player! The only true highlight from this game was when punter Kyle Christy mishandled a snap and yet still found a way to punt the ball away. He is a beast! Kyle Christy should win the Ray Guy Award.

If you ask me, it's time to clean house. Everyone except maybe defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin needs to go. If Muschamp gets fired tomorrow like I am anticipating and the defense continues to play at a high level, then we will realize that not even the defense can be fully credited to Muschamp.

It truly is dark times in Gainesville right now as the Gators are now the laughing stock of both the SEC and the entire country. Things feel even worse right now when you add the fact that FSU keeps winning and getting away with lying, cheating, and stealing. Jeff Driskel may be a terrible QB, but he has 10 times the amount of character as Jameis Winston and that is something I can respect him for.

That's all I'll say about Florida State, I have a "special" article in the works for them in the near future. As for the Gators' future, next week is a bye week and part of me thinks that the bye week might beat us. After overcoming the bye and deciding on a starting QB for the rest of the season, the Gators will head to Jacksonville to take on the Georgia Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 in SEC play).

I thought the Gators would have a chance with Gurley out, but after last night I give them NO SHOT of winning this game. They will be lucky to keep the game competitive. Muschamp is 0-3 against Georgia, so why even give him the chance to go 0-4 by keeping him around?

As for Missouri, they are now 5-2 (2-1 in SEC play) and will do battle with Vanderbilt next Saturday in Columbia at 4 p.m. The momentum from this win in Gainesville will be huge for the Tigers going forward but they still have to worry about their own inept offense as their defense and special teams will probably not carry them every game.

The SEC East is now either Georgia's, Missouri's, or South Carolina's to win. The Gators are just another stepping stone in that journey. I don't know when the Gators will be competitive in the SEC or even college football again.

All I know is this: As long as Will Muschamp is the head coach, the Florida Gators will never ever win an SEC Championship or even resemble the team that took the field from 2006-2009. This is the worst era of Gator football ever, and at the end of the day I will look back at my college years and smile and cry over the infamous football history that I can say I was a part of.

I know this is a trying time Gators fans, but keep the faith. Things will get better. Remember, in all kinds of weather, we all stick together.

*All stats, if any, are accredited to

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