Muschamp's five worst losses at Florida
Will Muschamp’s gone.
The move, made official by athletic director Jeremy Foley on Sunday morning, won’t take place until after the regular season, but in just two weeks Muschamp will no longer be the coach of the Florida Gators.
He was a guy Florida fans rooted for, someone they hoped would turn things around because they wanted to see him succeed. Instead, Muschamp was never able to consistently develop any success with the Gators. His underwhelming offenses and inability to close out games brought along some low points throughout his four years with the Gators.
Here’s Muschamp’s five worst losses at Florida.
5. Jan. 2, 2013: Louisville 33, Florida 23 — The score looks close, but the 2013 Sugar Bowl was virtually a blowout. Louisville’s offense did what it wanted against the Gators’ defense and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dominated throwing for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals were up 23 points early in the fourth quarter before the Gators scored two quick touchdowns near the end of the game. Louisville head coach Charlie Strong outcoached Muschamp and maybe sent a little message to Foley that the Gators went with the wrong coach back in 2010.
4. Nov. 9, 2013: Vanderbilt 34, Florida 17 — Vanderbilt was by no means a bad team in 2013. The ‘Dores won nine games and won their bowl game. But with how much success Florida has had over the years against Vanderbilt, it’s never a team fans expect to lose to.
Well on this day, Vanderbilt manhandled the Gators. The difference was only 17 points by the end of the game, but it felt like a much larger margin than that. Florida turned the ball over four times and was down by as many as 21 points during the game. Vanderbilt embarrassed the Gators on Homecoming and the loss gave Florida its second four-game losing streak during Muschamp’s first three seasons.
3. Nov. 15, 2014; South Carolina 23, Florida 20 — Although the Gamecocks were 4-5, their offense was still top-notch and was expected to give the Gators some issues. However, Florida’s defense was outstanding limiting South Carolina to just 10 points for most of regulation.
With a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter everything changed for the Gators. Muschamp’s ultra-conservative offensive style led to zero first downs and the Gators couldn’t waste enough of the clock to keep South Carolina out of the game. Add in two special teams blunders in which South Carolina blocked and it spelled trouble for Muschamp and his team.
South Carolina scored a touchdown with seconds left to tie the game, before winning it in the first overtime. It was Muschamp’s fifth loss against an unranked SEC team and his 15th conference loss. He was told the school was going in a different direction just a day later.
2. Oct. 18, 2014: Missouri 42, Florida 13 — Coming into the game, the Gators and Tigers were both fighting for a favorable position in the SEC East. Unfortunately for Florida, the Gators forgot to show up to the game.
Thanks to a touchdown on the opening kickoff, Missouri jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back. Eventually, the Tigers scored 42 unanswered points with their last touchdown coming on a pick-six. In fact, four of their touchdowns were non-offensive.
Boos rained down from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and “Fire Muschamp” could be heard on the TV broadcast.
Florida fans had enough.
1. Nov. 23, 2013: Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20 — It’s not only the worst loss in the Muschamp era, but probably the worst loss in school history. The Gators had never lost a game to a lower division school and had beaten their previous FCS opponents by an average of 45 points.
But Georgia Southern’s triple option offense stymied the Gators throughout the game and racked up 429 rushing yards. What’s perhaps even more embarrassing for Florida was that the Eagles didn’t record a single passing yard. Zero. For a defensive-minded coach like Muschamp, it was nearly the knockout blow on his coaching career, but Foley stayed patient with him.
After the game, Muschamp described the loss as “an embarrassment to be in this situation.” This was the symbolic cherry on top of last year’s 4-8 season and seven-game losing streak.