Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Off Week after off Stretch; Gators Will Try to Regroup, Get Healthier before Georgia Game

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Off Week after off Stretch; Gators Will Try to Regroup, Get Healthier before Georgia Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco

AUBURN, ALA. Florida coach Will Muschamp wants to accomplish three things during the Gators' bye week.

Get healthier.

Evaluate personnel.

Eliminate the stupid penalties that are killing their drives and extending opponents' drives.

"We've got to do a lot," Muschamp said after the Gators' 17-6 loss at Auburn on Saturday night, UF's third consecutive defeat. "The open week's coming at a good time from the standpoint of we've got some guys banged up. We need to go back and work on fundamentals of what we're trying to do. Not that we haven't done it before, but just become a more fundamental football team in doing the right things."

Florida (4-3, 2-3) has six starters or key players dealing with injuries, including quarterback John Brantley (lower right let), who hasn't played since the first half of the Alabama game on Oct. 1. Running back Jeff Demps (ankle), right guard Dan Wenger (left foot), kicker Caleb Sturgis (leg), receiver Andre Debose (ankle) and defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell (undisclosed) have all missed parts or all of the last three games.

The player the Gators need back the most is Brantley, because true freshmen Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel have struggled in his place. They've combined to complete 25-of-49 passes for 236 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions in two-and-a-half games.

"I'm hoping [Brantley can return for the Georgia game]," Muschamp said. "We'll see what happens. I don't know. His rehab's going very well.

"... They're going to be really good football players. I'm excited about both of them. We just need to continue to move forward. It's been tough with Jeff being hurt a little bit. We were going into the fifth week of the season [and] Jacoby didn't have a whole lot of reps because he's the third-stringer. That's the reality of it, but that's part of the game. …

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