Muschamp punches chalkboard to fire up team in loss to South Carolina
The hits just keep coming for Florida coach Will Muschamp. Literally.
His right hand was bloodied and bandaged following Saturday’s 19-14 loss to South Carolina, and Muschamp gave a succinct explanation in his post game press conference.
“I hit a chalkboard,” he said after the game. “Dumb.”
Muschamp said he punched the chalkboard during halftime to fire up his troops.
Saturday’s loss was his Florida’s fifth straight. The Gators now stand at 4-6 and must beat both Georgia Southern and Florida State to avoid their first losing season since 1979.
The third-year coach’s answer to a question about how his team has fought through the adversity of several injuries was not nearly as brief.
“Guys, it’s not excuses. It’s real. It really is. You can say what you want to say and write whatever the hell you want to write, but it’s real. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for that locker room. To hell with me, I worry about the kids. These kids fought their butts off. There’s a lot of negativity out there, and some of our fans needs to get a grip. They really do. We have a bunch of kids in that locker room fighting their butt off. You can criticize me all you want. I’m great with that. They pay me enough money to deal with it, but those kids don’t. They really don’t. They fought their butts off, and they continue to fight and play hard. Nobody has ever questioned their efforts. I’m just extremely proud of them and of the resolve and the fight and coming together like Florida Gators do. Extremely proud of them. We just couldn’t get it done. That’s my fault. Nobody else’s fault.”
The pressure on Muschamp has been mounting. Two weeks ago, he got into a verbal exchange with a fan who was giving him an obscene gesture after the Georgia game.
Following last week’s loss to Vanderbilt, he told reporters, “I’m a lot harder on myself than y’all are or anyone else is going to be or anyone else in this Gator Nation. You know, again, I’m very critical of myself and what I need to do to be better and I don’t need to hear any fan from the outside telling me what we need to do with this football team. I can assure you that.”
Photo: Steve Johnson, UF Athletics