Will Muschamp inherited a tougher situation than most people imagined when he took over the Florida football program. First, he would have to deal with expectations created by Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, two men who won three national/BCS crowns between them. Second, he would have to restock a roster that had been built to fit Meyer’s spread offensive system. Third, he would need to instill some off-field discipline back into the Gator program… something that was sorely lacking under Meyer.
Add all that up and it’s no wonder Muschamp’s first year turned out about the same way Meyer’s final year in Gainesville had — average. But that doesn’t mean the second-year coach isn’t pleased with the progress his program is making:
“We are where we are. We’re 15-11 the last two years. I think we’re on the upswing. I think we’ve recruited well. I think our upcoming junior class has some really good players in it. I think our senior class has got some mature guys that are ready to have a good year.
I think our upcoming junior class for the most part played for the first time last season… I’m excited about where things are headed at this point.”
Muschamp told The Gainesville Sun that he’s “excited about where we’re headed” in part because his team should actually be able to run the ball a little bit this season. In the SEC, that’s a rather key component of a pro-style offense. ”The cohesiveness offensively and being more physical and running the ball, we are better than we were at any point last year because of experience, because of knowledge, because we’ve kept some continuity with some things terminology-wise.”
Left unsaid: The fact that the Gators’ top two running backs in 2012 will no longer be 5-9, 175 pounds (Chris Rainey) and 5-7, 191 pounds (Jeff Demps). Those guys could fly — especially in Meyer’s spread-option attack — but to be featured in Muschamp’s power, pro-style attack? Fuggedaboutit. (NSFW)