GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Offensive coordinator Brent Pease found himself apologizing after Florida's season opener.
It had nothing to do with what the 24th-ranked Gators did on the field.
Pease apologized to his mother for getting caught on camera mouthing several obscenities during Florida's 27-14 victory over Bowling Green, a game in which the Gators struggled much of the afternoon on offense.
"That's a little bit how I am," Pease said Tuesday. "I am a typical guy that is competitive. I think everything's going to work. It's nothing personal against kids. I probably got a little potty mouth sometimes, and I apologize for that. I hear it more from my mom afterwards than anybody else."
His mom had some advice for the coach.
"My mother said to be careful and I need to watch my mouth," Pease said. "I had my mouth washed out with soap when I was like 9. It's not going to happen now."
Pease may be somewhat muzzled going forward. But at least the former Boise State coordinator won't be handcuffed.
Coach Will Muschamp told Pease to stick with the running game in the opener — even though Bowling Green stacked the line of scrimmage and the Gators kept failing to convert in short-yardage situations. The Gators came up short eight consecutive times in situations of 2 yards or less and failed to move the chains 10 times in 11 tries in those situations from late in the second quarter until the end of the game.
Muschamp took the blame for his stubbornness, saying he wanted to prove his players had made progress since he called them soft last November. Muschamp plans to be less controlling Saturday when Florida opens Southeastern Conference play at league newcomer Texas A&M.
"You can put that on me," Muschamp said Monday. "I told Brent what I wanted, and I wanted to make sure we played a certain way in the game. And I've never had any doubt in my mind that the outcome of the game was going to happen. ... Take away the third-and-shorts, very disappointed in the results with those. You extend those drives and you're talking about probably another 12, 14 plays in the game.
"But at the end of the day, we didn't make them, and we need to. So we'll be more creative with what we're trying to do as far as play-calling is concerned with formations and shifts."
The Gators ran the ball 42 times for 220 yards, with senior Mike Gillislee (24 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns) getting most of the work. They completed 13 of 21 passes for 145 yards, a big chunk of it coming when Frankie Hammond took a short pass and turned it into a 50-yard score in the fourth quarter.
The game plan may have been the best fit for a team with a sophomore quarterback and an offensive line that has yet to prove it can stack up with some of the elite lines in the conference.
But it made outsiders wonder why Muschamp would hire Pease and then limit the scope of his play calls, especially with Florida coming off a disappointing season and probably could have used an impressive showing against a middle-of-the-pack team from the Mid-American Conference.
"I'm not doing anything that I don't feel comfortable with," Pease said. "If I was doing something I wasn't comfortable with, I wouldn't have come here. I know what the strength of our team is, and I feel good about what the kids can execute. Now, looking back on it, I've got to help them out more and I've got to do a better job of run-pass balance on first down because I felt we need to stay ahead of the sticks.
"We were a heavy run team, which hurts the quarterbacks. ... So I've got to do a better job to try to help the kids out and create maybe plays that are going to hit for a little bit bigger yardage."