To say the Florida Gators’ 2013 season was abysmal would be an understatement. The 4-8 campaign will forever be remembered as the year Florida lost to Georgia Southern in The Swamp.
Coach Will Muschamp, only a season removed from a BCS Sugar Bowl appearance, has received a ton of scrutiny for the campaign, with a strong contingent of fans even calling for his head.
Despite the massive amount of starting players to go down with season-ending injuries – including QB Jeff Driskel, RB Matt Jones and DL Dominique Easley – fans were still adamant that Muschamp should be doing a better job.
The nonexistent offense led to the firing of both Offensive Coordinator Brent Pease and Offensive Line Coach Tim Davis, who were reportedly at odds in the locker room.
With the season in the rearview mirror, and the Gators looking to rebound in 2014, Muschamp has received support from a fellow SEC coach. He told Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun that Gary Pinkel of Missouri has reached out to offer his support.
“He said he couldn’t imagine what we were going through,” Muschamp said. “I got a lot of calls like that. Everyone has injuries, but I had guys in this league who called and said, ‘I don’t know how I would have handled it.”
Pinkel’s squad suffered through a subpar 5-7 campaign in the team’s inaugural SEC season in 2012. The Tigers were bitten by the injury bug, just like Florida was this year, and could never recover.
Just a year later, Missouri found itself in the SEC Championship Game.
Despite the outcry from some fans, the injuries had a huge affect on the team’s record. It’s tough losing your starting quarterback alone, but when nearly half of your first-team players go down with injuries, that’s almost impossible to overcome.
With Muschamp making the necessary coaching changes, as well as opening his mind to tailoring the Gators’ offensive approach, Florida has nowhere to go but up next season.