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2011 Florida Gators Football: A Look Back at Will Muschamp Facing FAU Owls

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2011 Florida Gators Football: A Look Back at Will Muschamp Facing FAU Owls
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Bloodless here, Will Muschamp will coach his first game at Florida this Saturday against a familiar foe.

No doubt the most memorable image of Florida football coach Will Muschamp during his years as a highly respected assistant came on August 30, 2008.

That day saw Texas defeat visiting Florida Atlantic, 52-10.

However, it wasn't the fact that then-Longhorns' quarterback Colt McCoy completed 82.8 percent of his passes or even that McCoy also rushed for more than 100 yards against the Owls that had people talking.

No, it was the video and still photographs of Muschamp, UT's defensive coordinator at the time, continuing to coach up his guys with blood running down his left cheek, the result of an accidental cut.

Hey, he had points to make...who has time to wipe away a little blood, right?

This Saturday, Muschamp will coach his first game at UF. The opponent?

FAU.

With that in mind, let's take a look back at how the Longhorns' D fared that day three years ago.

Facing a team that had a future NFL quarterback (Rusty Smith) under center, Texas was dominant that day.

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The Longhorns forced eight punts and didn't allow a score after the second quarter. They hounded Smith into a 15-for-31, 253-yard, one-touchdown, one-interception performance.

But it was the run defense that controlled the contest.

Eight different Florida Atlantic players had carries that day, as the Owls were limited to 37 yards on 23 carries (1.6 yards per carry). And get this, take away runs of 15, 13 and 11 yards by FAU backs that day and UT held the Owls to negative two yards on 20 carries.

Muschamp also probably held back showing some of UT's blitz packages—saving those for conference games—evidenced by the Longhorns recording no sacks that day.

That number provides a good indicator as to how good and how well-coached Texas's secondary was, as Smith is a talented quarterback who obviously couldn't get going even without constant pressure.

That wasn't the only time Muschamp's defense at UT took on FAU.

Just last season, the Longhorns bounced the Owls, 51-17.

That game saw Florida Atlantic be a little more competitive, punting only five times and actually being down just 27-17 in the third quarter, with similar results.

How many sacks will the Gators record against FAU?

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The Owls finished with 88 yards on 35 carries with still-starting-tailback Alfred Morris accounting for 80 of those yards on 18 carries.

As had been the case with Smith, FAU quarterback Jeff Van Camp struggled, completing just 11-of-26 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (one of which, UT's Emmanuel Acho took 57 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter).

One big difference from 2008 to 2010 was Texas got to Van Camp, sacking him three times for a loss of 33 yards, despite once-again playing primarily vanilla schemes.

Things could go very differently on Saturday in The Swamp, but those games in 2008 and 2010 could provide a skeleton template as to what might happen (at least defensively) in Muschamp's highly anticipated debut.

Either way, Florida should win comfortably, making it a bloody good night for Gator fans.

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