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If Will Muschamp Stays, Who Will Take the Fall for Florida's Decline?

USA Today
Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterOctober 17, 2016

Will he stay or will he go?

That was the question surrounding Florida head coach Will Muschamp following the Gators' 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon. That loss drops the Gators to 4-7, ends their 22-game bowl streak and ensures their first sub-.500 record since 1979.

Apparently, that wasn't enough to show Muschamp the door.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 02:  Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators watches the action during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on November 2, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

According to the Orlando Sentinel's Edgar Thompson and Mike Bianchi, spokesman Steve McClain says that athletic director Jeremy Foley is standing by his endorsement of Muschamp and that he will be Florida's coach in 2014.

Foley told GatorZone.com's Scott Carter in mid-November that he is "a thousand percent convinced that Will Muschamp is the guy to lead this football program."

But what about staff changes?

Florida's offense managed just 279 yards in the loss to the Eagles, is the worst in the SEC (327.9 yards per game) and ranks 111th in FBS this season. Muschamp was clearly frustrated with the offense following the loss on Saturday.

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 09:  Will Muschamp, head coach of the Florida Gators, call for a timeout during a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Imag
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

"It's very difficult for us to create explosive plays, to get anything down the field," Muschamp said, via the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "Just don't ever do it."

The Gators finished 12th in the SEC in total offense last season with 334 yards per game, but they have regressed this season. CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reported before the loss that offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis would be shown the door following the season.

So does the loss mean Pease and Davis should start calling moving companies?

No. Well, not yet anyway, according to Thompson:

"No changes have been made at this time." Muschamp on his staff. #Gators

— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) November 25, 2013

Let's be honest, though: Pease is as good as gone.

Injuries can be used as an excuse, but Florida's offensive issues are much deeper than the loss of quarterback Jeff Driskel, running back Matt Jones and several offensive linemen.

The Gators need a philosophical change on on offense. A change from the ultra-conservative approach Muschamp has chosen to employ since he got the job in 2011. A change to a system that allows Florida's athletes to display their talents in space.

Muschamp looks like he's going to keep his job, but the status quo won't be tolerated. As a result, Pease will likely be the fall guy.

After two years of offensive ineptitude and the nose dive the Gators have taken this season, it'd almost be impossible for him not to be.

 


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