November 1, 2014

Florida Gators

   Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |

  Florida coach Will Muschamp knows both sides of the Florida-Georgia rivalry.

And with his job on the line, Muschamp is aware how meaningful a Gator win would be over the rival Bulldogs.

"It's a critical game," Muschamp said. "It's an East rival. It's an SEC rival. It's a rival of the University of Florida. And it's very important to our university."

The Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC) come into the game in Jacksonville trying to restore some lost confidence. Florida is coming off a bye week after back-to-back home losses to LSU and Missouri. The Gators turned the ball over six times in the 42-13 loss to Missouri to increase their total to 16 turnovers on the season.

"More than anything when you have 15 turnovers in four games, it's a struggle to get anything going offensively," Muschamp said.

During the bye week, Muschamp announced that freshman quarterback Treon Harris will start at quarterback over ineffective junior Jeff Driskel. Muschamp said he won't scale the playbook back and will try to focus on Harris' strengths in the play-action passing game.

"Our offensive staff has done a pretty good job identifying some things that Treon does extremely well," Muschamp said. "We won't pare things down as much as you might think with a freshman quarterback. He's an extremely bright young man."

Muschamp is 0-3 against Georgia, his alma mater. Muschamp was a walk-on defense back for the Bulldogs from 1990-94 who started at safety in his senior year when Florida beat the Georgia 52-14.

Florida senior linebacker Mike Taylor said Muschamp has remained the same despite UF's recent woes. The Gators have lost 10 of their last 13 games dating back to October of 2013, which has kept Muschamp on the hot seat. Overall, Muschamp is 25-20 in three-plus seasons at Florida.

"People can say whatever they want to say, but if we go out there and play well on Saturday, we win, a lot of stuff that comes on my Twitter feed," Taylor said. "(It) will be a lot more positive than what it has been.