Muschamp happy with first scrimmage

Florida went through its first scrimmage of fall camp earlier than the coaches elected to do it. They felt like this was the best time to get the players out on the field in a scrimmage environment and see how they respond.

“I felt like we needed to get out and let the guys play a little bit,” Will Muschamp said. “A new offense, let those guys make adjustments on the field, continue to work on being a good situational team.”

The scrimmage included 80-85 snaps and drew positive reviews from the Florida coaches. The reps were split between the first and second team units.

Coming out of the scrimmage, the coaches lined Monday’s practice up with situational settings. They ran third down and 10, second and long, and one-minute drills that needed to end in a field goal or a jump ball. That was designed for the day after a scrimmage.

In the first scrimmage, Muschamp wanted to see an understanding on both sides of the ball. He wanted players to line up right, get the signals in correctly and be in position. Those were the most important things, and the team did a good job meeting the coaches’ expectations on Sunday.

“I’m pleased with where we are,” Muschamp said.

The kickers have been up and down during camp. During Sunday’s closed scrimmage, the reviews were positive. Muschamp said Austin Hardin went 6-7, Brooks Abbott went 4-5 and Frankie Velez went 3-3.

The issues with the kicking are mostly with the snapping and holding. Florida has veteran players Kyle Crofoot and Drew Ferris in those positions, and Muschamp was on them Sunday. With shaky kickers so far, the Gators need their veterans around them to be solid.

“Operation time is not where it needed to be, and I don't think that was on (the kickers),” Muschamp said.

INJURY REPORT: Florida’s Monday practice was thin. Multiple players were in the pit working out while others were back at the football facility getting treatment.

Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III ran on the anti-gravity treadmill and “looks fine.” The coaches believe he could return to practice on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Receiver Andre Debose had some swelling on his knee and should return Wednesday. Running back Matt Jones also had swelling on his knee but should return Tuesday. Running back Kelvin Taylor strained a hamstring but won’t return until later this week.

Defenisve lineman Alex McCalister hurt his shoulder and “should be fine.” Offensive lineman Trip Thurman and defensive lineman Bryan Cox also hurt their shoulders but should return son. Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard hurt his ankle but will return on Tuesday. Defensive lineman Taven Bryan has strep throat and his return is uncertain.

Freshman defensive back Duke Dawson had a shoulder injury and should return in the next few days.

The timeframe for freshman defensive lineman Thomas Holley is less clear. He had sports hernia surgery in high school and built up scar tissue. He’ll need surgery to shave that down on Tuesday. Muschamp said it’s not a major procedure and that it’s similar to having a scope done. His return timeframe isn’t clear.

SCOOTERS: The Gators have been ugly and suffered multiple injuries on scooters in recent years. Muschamp admits that he has thought about banning them, but ultimately, he didn’t think it was necessary.

“I’ve talked to them a lot about it,” Muschamp said. “It’s hard sometimes. A young man can’t afford a car, only can afford a scooter. He needs transportation. Many a night I’ve thought about trying to ban them, but I don’t know if it’s the right thing.

“It’s kind of like Twitter, social media, and you tell a guy you can’t do it. Just be smart. Let’s be responsible. No texting, no scootering at the same time. We have that rule. It’s something we emphasize with our players. We tell them about it. They’ve got to understand being careful. They can’t live in a glass bubble. That’s just something that can’t be done.”

Muschamp said safety Keanu Neal had a scooter accident in the summer where his tire slipped on the road. Neal messed his finger up in the accident. Also on the scooter was his girlfriend, Florida gymnast Kytra Hunter, but she didn’t suffer any injuries.

“She’s a much better athlete than him,” Muschamp joked. “Nothing happened to her. He messed his finger up. She’s a lot better athlete. I should have recruited her.”

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