There is no more ammunition left to defend Florida coach Will Muschamp.
The embattled third-year coach could only rub his forehead and eyes in disgust as Georgia Southern players went running across his field celebrating their improbable 26-20 win.
It was embarrassing for Florida and the lowest point for the program that probably didn’t think it could get lower following a loss to Vanderbilt two weeks ago.
The result marked the first Florida loss to an FCS team since 1978 and the Gators dropped to 4-7.
This was supposed to be the feel-good game. The game that stopped the bleeding of a five-game SEC losing streak. The game where the Gators beat up on a team of inferior talent and celebrated being on top for one week before No. 2 Florida State rolled into town for which would almost certainly be an epic beatdown.
But all it did was make Gator Nation feel worse about this lost season.
What’s more is it showed the Gators have either given up on Muschamp or are too beaten up to fight anymore.
Florida’s gameplan was to make Georgia Southern one-dimensional and it did so by limiting the Eagles to just three passing attempts for no yards. However, the Gators couldn’t stop Georgia Southern’s 54 rushes that totaled 450 yards.
The Eagles scored their game-winning touchdown with 4:15 remaining, but missed the extra point to give the Gators a chance to steal the win. But behind quarterback Skylar Mornhinweg, the Gators had trouble mounting a good attack, struggled to manage the clock and saw the game end on an incomplete pass outside of the end zone.
And then there was shock. Dismay. Frustration. And finally, anger. All directed at Muschamp, who had led the Gators to this dark and sad place.
Oddly, this isn’t the first time Muschamp’s team has failed to show up against a lesser opponent. Last season, the Gators blocked a punt for a touchdown late to escape an upset at the hands of Louisiana-Lafayette.
This time, there was no late magic to save Florida.
So, what now for Muschamp?
Is it worth firing him before a Florida State game we all know is going to go sideways regardless? Or do you let him go through the humiliation of that defeat before going through the humiliation of being fired? The latter might give Florida fans a small measure of satisfaction.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley has a tough decision on his hands because this is the same coach that led the Gators to an 11-2 season a year ago. A lot of things have gone wrong this season, some totally out of Muschamp’s control. Had Muschamp won this game, Foley probably could have given Muschamp a pass even with a bad loss to Florida State. But now, with this embarrassment, there's nothing left to do but cut ties.
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