MUSCHAMP’S ‘HOT SEAT’ COOLS A BIT
A victory against South Carolina on Saturday could help embattled Gators coach Will Muschamp keep his job. After a debacle of a loss against Missouri, Florida has two straight SEC victories against Georgia and Vanderbilt, improving to 4-3 in the SEC and 5-3 overall. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley has been supportive of Muschamp all season. A win against USC would give the Gators a 5-3 record in the SEC and keep them alive for the SEC Championship Game. After USC, Florida plays Eastern Kentucky and Florida State.
Following an injury-marred 4-8 disaster in 2013, Muschamp had to show some progress. “Never a thought in my mind that I wouldn’t be retained,” Muschamp said. “(Foley) understood some of the things we dealt with. The things that went wrong are certainly fixable in our organization.”
NEW BLOOD AT QUARTERBACK
Playing freshman Treon Harris at quarterback instead of Jeff Driskel has made a big difference. Harris hasn’t been terrific for Florida at quarterback, but he has helped resurrect the offense and avoided the rampant turnovers that defined Driskel.
The Gators have run for 632 yards the past two games, and Florida now has scored 30 or more points in consecutive SEC games for the first time since 2012.
Florida threw six passes in beating Georgia two weeks ago, but Harris saw more work against Vanderbilt, completing seven of his first eight passes before finishing 13-of-21 against the Commodores. Harris also ran for 49 yards.
Everyone always likes to talk about Steve Spurrier returning to The Swamp, but for USC fans, it’s mostly been a case of any leftover mojo still favoring Florida. In 2006, the Gators blocked USC’s game-winning field goal. In 2008, Florida hung Spurrier’s worst-ever loss on him (56-6). In 2012, turnovers gifted the Gators a 44-11 win. There was that 2010 game, though, when Marcus Lattimore rushed for 212 yards on 40 carries, and USC beat Florida to clinch the SEC East title.
Florida long snapper Kyle Crofoot is still following the family tradition. His four older brothers all played at SEC schools, and he’s the fifth.
John Crofoot was the Gators’ holder from 2010-12. Ike Crofoot long-snapped and held at USC from 2003-06. Chas Crofoot snapped at Auburn from 2004-05 and was followed by Clayton Crofoot from 2008-09.
MR. ROPER, MR. ROPER
Kurt Roper is the Gators’ fourth offensive coordinator since 2009. He came from Duke after the Blue Devils posted a 10-win season in 2013, posting offensive numbers that hadn’t been seen since the Spurrier era in Durham.
DID YOU KNOW?
Florida has had at least one player represented on a Super Bowl roster for the past 12 years, last missing in 2002. The Gators had at least one player start a Super Bowl in all but three of the past 12 years – 2008, 2011 and 2014.