With another awful season unfolding, Florida coach Will Muschamp is firmly and squarely on the proverbial hot seat. The Gators (3-3, 2-3) have lost three of their last four games, with the only win coming by a point against Tennessee.
Overall, Florida has lost 12 of its last 19 games.
“First of all, I feel terribly for Will Muschamp,” former Gator and NFL receiver Chris Doering said on The MoJo Show. “I’m a guy that believes he’s a good coach. Last year, (his team was) decimated by injuries. I’ve never seen more injuries at key positions than what Florida suffered last year. Going 4-8, there was a lot of pressure heading into this year. A lot of people thought this was going to be a bounce-back (season).”
It hasn’t been. Florida beat Eastern Michigan 65-0 in the season opener but then struggled at home against Kentucky, needing three overtimes to survive, 36-30. The Gators then lost 42-21 at Alabama on Sept. 20.
“Things have just kind of fallen apart since that trip to Tuscaloosa,” Doering said. “There’s a lot of frustrated fans.”
Florida trailed Tennessee 9-0 through three quarters but scored 10 fourth-quarter points to escape Knoxville with a win. The Gators, however, have lost each of their last two games: 30-27 to LSU and 42-13 to Missouri.
“You think about the pressure that was on from probably half the fan base last year,” Doering said. “Even the most loyal Gator fans or loyal Will Muschamp supporters are probably finding it hard to support him after this last loss Saturday night.”
Florida allowed just 119 total against Missouri, but the Tigers had four return touchdowns – the opening kickoff (96 yards), a punt return (82 yards), a fumble return (21 yards) and an interception return (46 yards). Those last three touchdowns came in less than eight minutes of game time in the third quarter and made it 42-0.
“There really is not any leadership on the offensive side of the ball,” Doering said. “Normally just because of the position, the quarterback is your leader, but I think there’s obviously a lot of heat on Jeff Driskel from the start of the season. He just really hans’t been able to rally the troops there. But it hasn’t been his fault alone. I’ve never seen more disappointing plays not being made by receivers. Demarcus Robinson looked great against Kentucky but there really has been very little consistency at that position – and for that matter, there hasn’t been that much consistency at that position the entire time Will Muschamp has been there. You’ve recruited some guys that have been big names, but the development hasn’t been there.
“All in all, the defense has played great the entire time Will Muschamp has been the coach at Florida,” Doering said. “Two years ago, Will’s the SEC Coach of the Year in the conference. It was much like what you’ve seen in the last couple seasons. It’s been defense (and) special teams, (but) the offense has just been pretty poor. Unfortunately, the last two seasons, the defense has been decent but there’s been very little luck on their side as you witnessed the other night. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that in a ballgame before.”
Things don’t figure to get any easier for Florida, which plays No. 9 Georgia (6-1, 4-1) this Saturday in Jacksonville at 3:30 p.m. ET.