Florida's Muschamp: Gators need to finish strong - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Florida's Muschamp: Gators need to finish strong

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HOOVER, Ala. (WAFB) - Florida coach Will Muschamp has emphasized getting stronger late in games and improving on a turnover margin that was among the nation's worst.

The second year head coach says he watched his old head coach Nick Saban and his old team LSU in the BCS Championship and realized that right now his Gators just don't have the depth in the trenches. "Nick and Les (Miles) deserve credit for recruiting that talent and depth," said Muschamp, "and that's why we were watching that game instead of playing in it."

Florida linebacker Lerentee McCray says he's spoiled. After playing special teams on the Gators' last national championship team, Florida has fallen to a 7-6 team with a losing SEC record (3-5) in 2011. McCray says his school needs to "get our swagger back and put fear into opponents who come to The Swamp" the way the Gators used to be able to do. On the loss to LSU, "It was definitely embarrassing getting beat like that."

Linebacker Jon Bostic says Florida will have to count on in-coming freshmen to provide that depth immediately, and running back Mike Gillislee agrees with McCray.

Florida's Jonathan Bostic is looking forward to this year's matchup with the Tigers, saying, "I have lots of friends on that team. We hope to play them much better this year."

Now a senior, Gillislee not only wants to return Florida to the prominence it enjoyed when he won a ring as a rookie, but has a home game with LSU October 6 as one of his priorities, saying the Gators' 2010 loss to Miles team when a 4th down fake kick keyed the game-winning drive "is the most bitter loss" of his career.

Mushchamp calls himself a self evaluator and believes he could have done some things batter last year.

The coach will challenge his players this year, saying, "I hear some coaches challenge their fans to get going. We need to challenge our players to get the fans going."

Defensive end Ronald Powell will play this season. Powell tore a knee ligament in the spring game. Powell he has been cleared for all weight-room work and straight-ahead running, although no date has been set for him to get back on the field.

Muschamp also said  tight end A.C. Leonard is transferring from Florida. Leonard was arrested in February on domestic violence charges.

Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel are tied going into fall camp and both could play this season. As freshmen the two quarterbacks combined for two touchdown passes and six interceptions.

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