HOOVER, Ala. — Will Muschamp’s defensive acumen has already helped Florida return to the upper echelon of the Southeastern Conference.
The third-year coach spent most of his appearance at SEC Media Days on Tuesday explaining how the offense plans to catch up.
Florida’s defense was among the league’s best last season, giving up just 14.5 points per game. It needed to be that good, because the Gators’ offense ranked just 10th in the SEC with 26.5 points per game.
“Offensively we’ve got to be more consistent and efficient,” Muschamp said. “I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.”
Florida was 11-2 and lost to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl last season.
Jeff Driskel, the 6-foot-4, 236-pound junior quarterback, returns after a promising but inconsistent season.
He emerged from a quarterback battle last season, but there shouldn’t be any controversy this August. Driskel said that certainty – along with having offensive coordinator Brent Pease back for a second consecutive season – should be a big boost.
MISSISSIPPI: Hugh Freeze says that in his days on a high school sideline, he wore a visor because he wanted to be like South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.
Now the second-year Mississippi coach is trying to win like him in the SEC.
Freeze certainly had a good debut season, reviving the Rebels’ program by finishing with a 7-6 record that included a win over Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
And he is already starting to get respect from his peers – including Spurrier.
“He plays golf, he wears visors, he calls plays,” Spurrier said. “How can you not like Hugh Freeze?”
Ole Miss will certainly be more experienced than a year ago. The entire starting defense returns and so do eight starters on offense, including quarterback Bo Wallace, who threw for 2,994 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.
MISSOURI: James Franklin doesn’t think the SEC has seen the best of either himself or Missouri.
The Tigers endured the program’s first losing season since 2004 in their SEC debut with the dual-threat quarterback missing three games and part of three more because of injuries. While Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M thrived in Year 1, Franklin & Co. are eager to get another shot at demonstrating they can win in the league.
“We’re really trying to get that accomplished this year is what we really can do, and go out and win a bunch of games,” Franklin said.