Will Muschamp: 'Some of our fans need to get a grip. They really do'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday November 17, 2013

Will Muschamp gave his right hand hoping to inspire his Gators, but it was not enough.

Florida led South Carolina 14-6 at halftime and led for most of the game, but the Gamecocks took the lead in the fourth quarter and won 19-14. Muschamp’s right hand had some bandage on it afterward.

“I hit a chalkboard,” he said of some halftime inspiration. “Dumb.”

The Gators have been decimated by injuries. Seven starters are out for the year and the third-string quarterback got his first-career snaps in his first start. The first question to Muschamp after the game was about being proud of the fight the Gators showed.

“Guys, it’s not excuses. It’s real. It really is,” Muschamp said. “You can say what you want to say and write whatever the hell you want to write, but it’s real. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for that locker room. To hell with me. I worry about the kids. These kids have fought their butts off. There’s a lot of negativity out there, and some of our fans need to get a grip. They really do. They have a bunch of kids in that locker room fighting their butts off.

“They can criticize me all you want. I’m great with that. They pay me enough money to deal with it, but those kids don’t. They really don’t. They fought their butts off, and they’ve continued to fight and play hard. Nobody has ever questioned their efforts. I’m just extremely proud of them and the resolve and the fight and coming together like Florida Gators do. Extremely proud of them. We just couldn’t get it done. That’s my fault. Nobody’s else’s fault.”

It was the third game in a row Muschamp defended his team from fans.

Muschamp also commented on the public statement of support from athletic director Jeremy Foley and president Bernie Machen.

“I’m very appreciative of Jeremy and Dr. Machen,” Muschamp said. “Thank goodness I have two guys that see the big picture and understand where we’re headed with the program, where we were, in two year period, what we’ve accomplished and understand the circumstances we’re in right now. More than anything, where we’re headed.

“They’re in the day-to-day operation, so it’s rewarding to have a strong athletic director and a strong president willing to stand up for what’s right. I appreciate that.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.