GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Will Muschamp told his players to take a hike.
For a week, anyway.
Muschamp said Monday that he wanted his players to take time away from football to relax after a grueling season that concluded with eight consecutive games, so he told them to stay away from the football facility the week after the Gators' 37-26 victory over Florida State.
"They need to get away," Muschamp said. "I told them the first week, they didn't [have to] come in the building. We got them back the next week and wanted to get them lifting a little bit and had exams this past week. I think it's really important for them to get away and decompress a little bit from football."
That way the Gators (11-1) would be fresh when they returned to practice on Dec. 7 and 8. After taking almost a week off for exams, UF has been practicing the past four days. It has been more of a fall camp practice, however. The Gators have worked on fundamentals and issues they need to clear up. Game-planning and practicing for Louisville (11-1) won't begin until Tuesday, Muschamp said.
Muschamp said he chose that schedule so the players wouldn't get bored with preparing for the Jan. 2 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
"I don’t like focusing too early on bowl games because I think the players get very stale with the preparation," Muschamp said. "They get tired of watching the same film over and over and over again. You’ve got to be able to get some good-on-good work, which we’ve been able to do the last four days only. We’ll start on Louisville tomorrow but we will continue to sharpen our skills working against each other as opposed to scout teams."
The time off also has given several players time to heal, including QB Jeff Driskel (ankle). The only players expected to miss the game are LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), guard Ian Silberman (shoulder) and S De'Ante Saunders (knee).