For some reason, I don’t think Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp feels too secure with his job right about now. For some reason, that vote of confidence the University of Florida’s athletic program gave him early last week has all but vanished and following the 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern at The Swamp on Saturday, things in Gainesville got a whole lot more difficult.
The loss to the FCS school guaranteed the Gators a losing season for the first time in 22 season and all but put a hot poker under the seat of both Muschamp and his staff. With Florida State on the horizon next week and the realization there is no bowl game and nothing to be happy about in 2013, the season for the Gator Nation is essentially over.
Now comes a media storm that has basically followed Muschamp for the past six weeks, which is how long it has been since the Gators have won a ballgame. As a writer who has grown up in a predominantly Gator-biased home for the past 40 plus years (I graduated from FSU), I can ho9nestly say this may be the lowest point the Gators have been at since 1979.
Here is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of this contest…
The Good: The Eagles Soared
Well, on the ground, they did. Kevin Ellison ran for two touchdowns, Jerick McKinnon had a huge score late in the game. Georgia Southern ran for 429 yards on the day, never completed a pass (they attempted four all game). According to ESPN.com, McKinnon finished with 125 yards rushing, including a 14-yard touchdown with 2:57 remaining. Ellison added 118 yards on the ground, scoring on runs of 45 and 1. Fullback William Banks also gashed the Gators, getting 94 yards up the middle. His 53-yarder on a third-and-2 play set up the winning score.
The Bad: The Gators season, altogether
This really hurts. Skylar Mornhinweg had 122 yards passing and two touchdowns. Kelvin Taylor ran for 92 yards. Solomon Patton has 69 yards in catches and two scores. But the Gators played from behind most of the game.
When Florida tied the score at 20-20 late in the fourth quarter, Georgia Southern just fought back. McKinnon’s 14-yard scamper sealed the deal for the Eagles.
The Ugly: What comes next?
The Gators are in a free fall. Hugh Freeze, David Cutcliffe, James Franklin, and Gus Malzahn will all be mentioned as replacements, should the Gators pull the trigger on making a head coaching move. The Florida offense has been shoddy all year and inconsistent. While the running game looks to be in good hands with Kelvin Taylor and the receivers are young, the coaching and injuries have done this team in.