HOOVER, Ala. — Florida coach Will Muschamp is confident he has the remedy for questions about his job security: Winning a lot of football games.
These are strange times for the Gators, who are coming off their first losing season since 1979. Nearly everything went wrong in last year’s 4-8 disaster, but Muschamp was upbeat during his Monday address at SEC Media Days, saying Florida has the talent for a quick turnaround.
“There will be a lot of chatter about hot seat business and that’s part of it,” Muschamp said. “The way you combat that is by having a winning football team and winning football games, which is what we’re going to do.”
The return of quarterback Jeff Driskel should help.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound junior played just three games last season because of a season-ending leg fracture. Muschamp also hired offensive coordinator Kurt Roper from Duke to revamp a unit that scored 18.8 points per game — last in the SEC.
Driskel said Roper’s offense is “the polar opposite” of last year’s style, which put an emphasis on time of possession and controlling the ball. It’s the third offense Driskel has had to learn over the past three seasons.
“I think the game is just moving toward having to score points and trying to get as many plays in as possible, which is coach Roper’s mindset,” Driskel said. “He’s a positive coach and puts players in positions to be successful.”
Florida returns seven starters on both the offensive and defensive sides. The defense — which has been consistently good during Muschamp’s three seasons — is led by sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and junior defensive lineman Dante Fowler, Jr.
Hargreaves was named a third-team AP All-American last season as a true freshman after finishing with 38 tackles, 11 pass breakups and three interceptions.