Florida Focused on Fixing

Florida Focused on Fixing

The bye week gives the Gators a chance to rest their legs and heal injuries before hosting No. 3 LSU on October 6. Despite the 4-0 start, Florida head coach Will Muschamp sees enough areas needing improvement to focus on only those Tuesday and Wednesday at practice before starting preparation for the Tigers on Thursday. Muschamp wants to fix his own team before starting to look at another one.

"We met yesterday as a team, and I told our guys that starting with me all the way down, we all have room for improvement," Will Muschamp said. "Let's figure it out, let's be coachable and let's be understanding. Let's accentuate on the negatives of our football team right now, understand what they are and let's get better.

"In my time here, that is one thing guys will do. They will work, and they have been very understanding of the things that we need to do to improve."

There are plenty of things Muschamp is pointing at one both sides of the ball. The offense will continue to work on short-yardage plays, even though the issues looked improved against Kentucky. The Gators have two weeks to make the short-yardage play better before hosting the dominant defensive line of LSU.

Muschamp said that when the Florida coaches aren't on the road recruiting during the bye week, they'll be studying the film to continue correcting the issues.

The Gators are ninth in the SEC by converting 39.7% of their third downs. Florida is second in the SEC while scoring in 92.9% of its red zone possessions, but Muschamp still isn't happy. Five of the 14 possessions have ended in field goals with eight ending in touchdowns.

The two-minute drill will also get some work this week in practice, especially after the Gators struggled with it at the end of the first half against Kentucky. Quarterback Jeff Driskel was sacked and time ran out since the Gators didn't have a timeout.

"We need to get three points there," Muschamp said. "Jeff needs to get rid of the football. Those are things where we're going to try and create those opportunities for our players."

Two weeks of practice before another game will give Driskel extra time to get comfortable in the offense. The consistent improvement he has shown since being named the starter is a product of him getting more time on the practice field and during games with the first team offense.

As he continues to get that, the game slows down.

"The main thing that was holding both quarterbacks back was experience," Muschamp said. "It wasn't talent level. It wasn't arm talent. It wasn't guts. It wasn't toughness, mental and physical. It was experience. The more snaps (Driskel) continues to get, the better he is going to get. He is a cerebral guy. He takes coaching very well."

Muschamp said the defense would continue to focus on perimeter runs that gave the group problems against Kentucky. It's about discipline and understanding of roles in the defense that will help that area of the team improve.

The Gators will also focus on two-back runs during the two weeks of practice. They'll see plenty of it against LSU on October 6, and they've already faced some problems with it in the first four games of the season. It mostly came from Kentucky and Tennessee, but Florida will see plenty of two-back runs from LSU.

"We're going to spend a lot of time fitting the two-back runs, which obviously we will get with LSU," Muschamp said.

The Gators will also focus on red zone defense after allowing touchdowns to opponents on seven of ten red zone drives.

The special teams unit doesn't present many glaring needs for improvement. Kicker Caleb Sturgis and punter Kyle Christy have given Muschamp exactly what he wanted. The head coach also said on Monday that he was happy with the production from the coverage units.

The Gators could use some more production from the punt return group. Florida has thrown multiple players back to receive the punt, but they're still searching to find the best fit.

"We've got some explosive guys," Muschamp said. "We need to settle on a guy and get a guy back there that's going to field the ball, but also can get the ball north and south. We haven't been very productive as far as our block unit is concerned. We've got to do a better job of blocking, staying on blocks. We're going to spend a good portion of both of these practices Tuesday and Wednesday really working on special teams in regards to the punt block and kickoff return unit."

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