Florida preparing for Outback Bowl
By BRADY ACKERMAN
Florida Gators Football Sideline Reporter
Florida is going through finals this week before turning their full attention to opponent Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Will Muschamp, who was introduced on Tuesday night as the next head coach, has taken the time to speak to the team. Urban Meyer has asked Muschamp to come around and observe practice. This was a great move by Meyer and it should ensure his team will give its best effort on New Year's Day. Muschamp told the team that everyone has an equal chance to make a first impression on him as the next head coach. You can bet Florida's seniors will be ready to win one for Meyer and now the young guys will try to impress the new coach.
Urban Meyer is 32-3 with more than a week to prepare for a game in his ten years as a head coach. Florida's bowl streak is at 20 games, the longest in the SEC and second longest in the country. Meyer will look to improve his bowl record at Florida to 5-1.
It is still not known which offense the Gators will run, but there is a good chance that it will be the spread. Meyer's team has had its most success this season when spreading teams out and running the ball with Jordan Reed or Trey Burton. I would expect these two guys to share the position, giving the Gators the best chance to move the ball.
Muschamp may be putting in the pro style attack in 2011, but he will not have any input in the gameplan for this particular game.
Muschamp will finish up recruiting this week and then begin to evaluate the personnel on his roster. I would expect the new head coach to announce at least six assistant coaches on the Monday after the bowl game. The NCAA allows seven coaches on the road to recruit and the month of January is vital to Florida salvaging a good group. Muschamp can be one of the seven on the road so if he has six ready to go expect that right away. I would expect him to round out his staff no later than signing day. A lot of guys he would like to hire are involved in bowl games and possibly the NFL season. There is a possibility that he could retain a few members of Urban Meyer's staff. He did retain the most important guy in Mickey Marotti, the Florida strength coach.
Outback Bowl Bites
-Florida is looking for its seventh win in eight bowl games.
-Florida is 1-2 in the Outback Bowl all-time.
-The Gators have a 18-19 all-time record in bowl games.
-Florida is 6-4 all-time in bowl games versus Big Ten schools.
-Penn State Offensive Coordinator Galen Hall is the former Gator Head Coach with a record 40-18-1 from 1984-1989.
-Florida beat Penn State 21-6 in the 1998 Citrus Bowl.
-Urban Meyer is 6-1 all-time in bowl games as a head coach, including Utah.
-Florida played the 17th toughest schedule in the country.