Blog Entry

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

Posted on: October 24, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 12:54 pm
 
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Florida
head coach Will Muschamp said Monday he expects his team to get the biggest possible boost as they face Georgia in the 2011 edition of the World's Larget Outdoor Cocktail Party Saturday: the return of starting senior quarterback John Brantley.

Though not officially official just yet -- Brantley's availability could be affected by how his ankle responds during the week of practice -- Muschamp described Brantley's current status as probable and said he expects Brantley to get the start against the Bulldogs.

 "I feel like John will be ready to go for the game, Muschamp said. "Getting him back is going to be a huge psychological shot for our football team."

Brantley has yet to participate in a full practice and will be limited Monday, but Muschamp said that based on Brantley's recovery trajectory since suffering the high ankle sprain against Alabama Oct. 1, he should be ready by Saturday. Brantley was able to put weight on the ankle the day after the injury and has been aiming since then to return the week of the Cocktail Party.

While Brantley's return would be bad news for Georgia, at least they have a better understanding of who they'll be facing; Mark Richt called preparing for Florida's wide range of quarterback possibilities a "pain in the rear" Sunday, and that he wasn't expecting to find out the identity of the Gator starter until kickoff.

(Frankly, we're surprised Muschamp didn't play things more coy about the status of Brantley's injury. It's hard to imagine Muschamp mentor Nick Saban, for instance, telling his opponent which of his quarterback options they ought to spend the most time preparing for.)

There is one area of uncertainty for Muschamp: the Gators have not yet decided whether Jeff Driskel or Jacoby Brissett will serve as the team's backup (or replace Brantley as the starter in the event he can't go). The two true freshmen have struggled in Brantley's absence, for the season combining to complete only 19-of-58 passes (33 percent) for less than 5 yards an attempt and a 1-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. With Brantley out, the Gators lost to LSU and Auburn by a combined 41 points.

"The production when he was not in the game went down," Muschamp said of Brantley. "You've got to give our opponents some credit for that."

Some, yes. But no one who watched the start of the Alabama game and the next five halves of Brantley-less Gator football would say Florida was anything like the same team once the senior went down. If Brantley is indeed back under center Saturday, Georgia is going to get a much, much stiffer test from Muschamp's team than the one the Tide, Tigers, and Tigers got.
Comments

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

Thanks.  I was not putting our defensive unit on the same level as Bama or LSU.  If you go back and read the original post that he tried to call me out on, I was talking about the size and speed of our linebackers and how it will affect the pass-rush with Brantley being hampered.  Add in the poor execution to date of the offensive line and it just doesn't look like a good position to put Brantley. Especially after being in a boot for 3 weeks and just coming back to practice the week of the game.  I was simply using the LSU/Bama LB corps as point of reference.  Size (like Bama) and speed (like LSU).  If he takes a bad shot early in the game and Brissett and Driskell haven't been getting a lot of reps, it's going to make Weis look really inept.  That was my point.



Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

UGAmutt,

I don't believe that sixer gator is denying that our team is not that good this year, I believe he is just amazed that you are stating that Florida will have more of an issue with the Georgia D as opposed to the Alabama or LSU D.  I would have to agree with him and say that I would not rank you anywhhere close to those two units.  That being said, the Gator's complete ineptitude on offense since week 4 has been obvious and I don't believe that many would get on this board and argue against your point.  We are all just waiting to see what happens next.  Good luck to the Bulldogs.



Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 3:16 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

Georgia's defense gave up 21 pts to SC (the rest were turnovers and ST).  They gave up 21 to Vandy (the last one was a punt return from ST), and the last pts scored were mostly on draws and QB sneaks while we were in a pass shell b/c we were up by 16(where the QB is the only offensive player not accounted for).  You're right, it's just my opinion that they are faster and more athletic.  But I've also watched every televised Bama, LSU and Georgia game this year, and from what I've seen, Georgia's linebackers are bigger and stronger than LSU's and more athletic and faster than Bama's.  I guess we will just have to wait until Saturday for your opinions to change.  You should really check yourself, SixerGator, b/c this is the weakest UF team I have seen since the mid to late eighties.   This is the best Georgia defense since 2005 when Van Gorder left.  Florida is one of the worst passing teams in FBS football.  Your play on both sides of the line of scrimmage is atrocious.  The only playmaker you've had in the receiving game all year is Andre Debose, and he will see double coverage without fear of another receiver to step up.  Demps and Rainey have proven that they are incapable of running the ball anywhere but outside of the tackles, and even then they have been abyssmal against better run defenses.  I hope this is a good game where Brantley doesn't get injured, because the last thing I want to hear for the next 365 days is a bunch of Gators whining about how they didn't have their starting quarterback.  I still have not heard a single argument from you that supports Florida's position in this game which was the entire point behind my post.  Say something other than "you're not better than Bama and LSU" which is a moot point b/c I never said we were.  Say something other than "you gave up such and such to so and so" because we aren't playing them on Saturday.  If you really want me to embarrass you, I'll start talking about the Auburn game, where you proved that you are a horrid team.  They are the worst defense in the SEC and you scored six points.  They have no passing attack without Emory Blake, and you allowed them to dominate your defensive line and push the ball at will with no experience on their o-line.  So please, make a relevant comment about Florida's ability to move the ball and stop a balanced offensive attack instead of insipid comments trying to dissect a thoroughly researched post.



Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

Show me the proof.
Um, just becuase you give a players height, weight, 40 time and SAY they play faster doesn't make it a fact.  I know this, you guys gave up 28 points to VANDY....VANDY!!!! and you're arguing you have better defenders than Bama?  Bama has given up 55 points all year...UGA gave up 45 to South Carolina alone. 



Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

I never said we had a better defense.  Read the post and show me where you did anything but INFER that statement yourself.  I made a comparison in the linebacker corps b/c it is where the majority of our plays are made behind the line of scrimmage (tackles for a loss, sacks).  Looking at those numbers knowing that they are faster and larger, how can you do anything but pray for Brantley in this game?  I'm more objective than any Georgia fan you will ever talk to, and the fact remains that you are putting an already immobile QB who is not close to 100% in a rivalry game against one of the (statistically) best defenses in the country.  Everyone will challenge the validity of this statement, but we still maintain the 19th best SOS in the country (ill provide a link for you) and that Boise D that everyone was so high on this year plays the 45th ranked SOS and still trails our overall defense by 10 pts in the rankings.  Argue for Florida in this situation, I would really like to hear it.



Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

Tree, Washington, J.Jones and Gilliard ARE faster and more athletic that Upshaw, Nico Johnson and Dont'a Hightower.  All are sub 4.5 straight-line and play faster uphill than any of those previously mentioned.  Washington is 6-4 269, Tree is 6-3 236, J.Jones is 6-3 241, Robinson is 6-2 233, and Herrera is 6-2 231.  The largest LSU linebacker is Ryan Baker at 6-0 227.  How is anything I posted an unfactual statement?  Show me the proof.



Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:40 am
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

That said, I'm really not concerned who Florida plays at QB.  If they play Brantley, I think it is a flat-out mistake and they're showing way too many of their cards.  He's going to be facing faster/more athletic linebackers than Bama (Upshaw and Hightower are both great college linebackers, but seriously overrated) and larger than LSU.  The core of our D is the line, but the playmakers are all LBs and DBs, which is why this defense is so good.  Brantley was already horribly immobile, which can work in a pro-style system as long as you have a consistent offensive line.  Florida's offensive line is about as green as they come in the SEC.  Except Chaz and that ND transfer, this line has basically laid down all year.  If Brantley makes it to half time, they should give him a helmet sticker

This has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read.  You're basically saying you have a better, faster, bigger defense than that of Bama and LSU.  SERIOULSY??? If your defense is so "great," yet Boise State hung 35 on you, South Carolina 45, and flippin VANDY, yea VANDY got 28 on you...you and probably just a few of your other UGAly dawg fans are the ONLY people in America that think you have bigger, faster LBs than Bama and LSU...seriously dude, I'm in absolute shock.



Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 6:56 am
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

That's the problem with complex pro-style systems like the ones that Weis has.  Unless you are extremely experienced in a similar system, or a flat-out savant the way that Luck is, you will not be confident and successful taking 3 reads with good timing and still knowing where your checkdowns are at.  At least in Brissett and Driskel's case, it seems like they aren't ready for the speed of the game.  Brissett is definitely closer than Driskel.  I can see why Weis was so high on this guy.

That said, I'm really not concerned who Florida plays at QB.  If they play Brantley, I think it is a flat-out mistake and they're showing way too many of their cards.  He's going to be facing faster/more athletic linebackers than Bama (Upshaw and Hightower are both great college linebackers, but seriously overrated) and larger than LSU.  The core of our D is the line, but the playmakers are all LBs and DBs, which is why this defense is so good.  Brantley was already horribly immobile, which can work in a pro-style system as long as you have a consistent offensive line.  Florida's offensive line is about as green as they come in the SEC.  Except Chaz and that ND transfer, this line has basically laid down all year.  If Brantley makes it to half time, they should give him a helmet sticker.

Richt is being his usually frustrating and humble self.  He is not having "fits" planning for these QBs, that's called patronizing.  If they play Brantley, they're going to run zone blitzes for the first 2-3 series mixing the over/unders and forcing him to make quick reads while he shakes the rust off.  Pressure, pressure, pressure.  They're going to see if they can rattle him with knockdowns or take the easy match-ups to see if they can get to him quick (Washington and Jones against the RT or a TE).  If they play one of the 2 freshmen, all bets are off.  They're gonna pin their ears back and rush 4 from a hybrid set, play the run and force them to beat him with passes based on what the defense is giving.  Basically, they know if the freshmen play that they are free to stuff the run b/c they're one dimensional.  Florida will play it conservative with the frosh guys to keep the throws simple and not turn the ball over.  If that's the case, the Gators are sunk.  If they try to open it up early to try to build a little mo', these kids are going to make freshmen mistakes against a really sound and opportunistic defense and give up big play turnovers.  If they move to a shotgun or a wing to work some sweeps on the outside with Demps and Rainey to set up play action, the linebackers shift back to the base 3-4 and the OLBs take contain.  It's the exact same thing that Bama does.

This is the first year I can say with absolute confidence that the only way that UGA loses this game is if they try to get too cute and turn the ball over with alarming frequency.  Florida knows that this is a QB driven offense under Weis, and Brantley was coming around, but there is no way this kid is gonna be ready for this game after 3 weeks in a boot and 3 days in pads.  Muschamp has to know this, and I think he looks far less confident in the press conference I saw Monday than he did 12 weeks ago in camp.  I hope this is a really good game, but it has all the red flags for a blow-out.  Demoralized football team with three consecutive conference losses.  Injuries and lack of production in the key playmaking spots on offense.  Rivalry game for a first year coaching staff that is reeling from poor execution on both lines scrimmage.  Playing a team that is fundamentally sound on defense, on a hotstreak, in a game where they feel they have something to prove.  I could be wrong, because this is the WLOCP and Jacksonville is like a guillotine for UGA, but on the surface its a total mismatch.  If Richt doesn't go for the throat, he WANTS to be fired.



Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2011 4:53 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

Good news!

Let's give the Bulldogs a game Johnny!



Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:07 pm
 

Muschamp expects Brantley to get start vs. Dawgs

They sure will be happy in Tallahassee, though.  FSU is about to "get even" for the Meyer era.


Based on what? the "great season" FSU is having? Both teams have three losses, and in Florida's case, two of them to the #1 and #2 team in the nation, the other in the top 25...FSU has a loss to Wake Forrest, yea Wake Forrest.  I guess I just don't see how anyone can think FSU is about the get even for the Meyer era when they haven't done that much....and a win last year over the Gators was their first in 7 years, and every FSU fan was saying they were "back"....right.

As far as Brantley goes, I know this:  He improved every week, and during the first half of the Bama game, it looked like he was 100% confident in himself, the system, and the coaches.  he was 11-16 for 190 yds and a TD on one of the best if no the best defense in the land.  He had the one pick that fell into the defensive linemans lap, but again, that's basically an NFL defense.  Also, he had 3 drops where he hit the WR in stride, so you're talking a potential 14-16 for over 200 yds against the bama D...plus he converted like three or four key thrid down conversions. 


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