This past week, athletic director Jeremy Foley attempted to cool what many perceived as Will Muschamp‘s hot seat by saying he was “a thousand-percent convinced” the Florida head coach is the man to lead the Gators.
Saturday afternoon in The Swamp, the Gators drove a tanker truck full of fuel straight into Muschamp’s coaching seat.
The final score said it all: FCS Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20. Again, in Gainesville. Adding insult to the humiliation, it was the way the Gators went down in flames that’s most disturbing.
Georgia Southern totaled 429 of offense… and none of it came through the air. The triple-option Eagles attempted three passes on the day and completed none, meaning an FCS team ran for 429 yards — on 54 carries, a 7.9 average — against what’s supposedly an FBS-level defense.
After the Gators had fought back to tie the game at 20 with just under six minutes remaining, it took the Eagles just five plays and three minutes to go 75 yards for what would prove to be the game-winning score. Thanks to a second missed extra point in the game, the Gators still had the opportunity for a last-minute win but, in large part because of butchered clock management, the final drive stalled at the Georgia Southern 17-yard line as the last-gasp pass fell incomplete.
You can trot out injury excuses when you’re playing the South Carolinas and Missouris of the SEC, and do so with somewhat of a straight face. Trotting out that tired line against a lower-level program is as lame and laughable as the Gators’ performance was Saturday.
Even worse for Florida? They close out what will be its worst season since 1979 against No. 2 Florida State. The Seminoles may well hang a hundred on the woeful Gators.
It remains to be seen whether Foley’s “thousand-percent” backing of Muschamp will remain in effect coming off arguably the most embarrassing loss in the storied program’s history. At the very least, it should give one of the successful and respected ADs in the country pause. And, perhaps, reason to rethink his very public and vociferous commitment to a coach who is quickly surpassing Ron Zook as the one who has done the least with the most.
And, hell, even Zook never lost to a Georgia Southern, either. Chew on that, Gator Nation.