Quick Hits: Florida Gators embarrassed by Michigan 41-7 in Citrus Bowl rout

By Adam Silverstein
January 1, 2016

No. 19 Florida Gators (10-4) football played terribly for its fifth consecutive game as the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines ran wild on Friday to pull off a dominant 41-7 victory in the 2016 Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Since routing Georgia on Halloween, Florida has averaged 15.4 points per game, scoring just 24 in its last three contests combined. It’s hardly the end to the seemingly magical season that head coach Jim McElwain and Gators fans envisioned.


Defense doesn’t show up: The Wolverines got whatever they wanted on Friday, running up and down the field on the UF defense without much issue. In what was billed to be a low-scoring match-up of two of the top defenses in the nation was that way on only one side of the field – the side where Florida stood. The Gators were outscored 31-0 over the final three quarters and outgained 160 yards to 2 yards in the third quarter alone.

For as disappointing as UF’s offense has been over its final handful of games this season, the defense failing to show up and give effort speaks to the fact that Florida has much further to go as a team than McElwain would have you believe. Michigan scored on six consecutive offensive drives to end the game – six!

Offense is still an issue: Sophomore quarterback Treon Harris looked decent for most of the first half, and he actually had the Gators outgain the Wolverines 245-233 in the first half. The problem? As well as Harris played at times – especially when he made plays with his feet and extended drives on a couple of occasions – he also continued to make boneheaded decisions. UF turned the ball over twice on three red zone trips in the first half. The one time Florida scored, it had 1st and Goal from the 1-yard line but needed to use a trick play on third down in order to get the ball into the end zone.

Don’t get it twisted, though. Harris was not the sole reason his team lost this game. Not by a long shot. He certainly was not a solution, but the Gators’ problems extended well beyond quarterback play in this contest.

Straight burned: One of two (or three, if you believe McElwain) Gators to declare early for the 2016 NFL Draft, junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III had arguably his worst game at Florida. Hargreaves bit on a double move and gave up a 31-yard touchdown, only to get burned for a 45-yard gain later in the game. Those big plays (the first one, obviously) resulted in scores for Michigan that helped the Wolverines pull away early in the contest.

That’s a game plan? Outside of a couple trick plays – one that worked brilliantly, two that were poorly-timed and designed – what exactly did this coaching staff work on during the multiple weeks of bowl practice? Baylor had the same amount of time and came out with a completely unique plan to rush for a bowl-record 645 yards and win a game. Florida basically did the same things it has offensively since losing Will Grier. The defense appeared not to communicate whatsoever, even when UF was still in the game. Michigan did play well offensively, but not well enough to put up 41 points against what all season long was one of the best defenses in the nation.

Everything else: Junior running back Kelvin Taylor eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season by picking up 50 yards on 11 carries … freshman wide receiver Antonio Callaway led the way with five receptions for 75 yards, a touchdown pass and a couple nice returns …

21 Comments

  1. uf_84 says:

    Wow, I didn’t expect to win but I didn’t think it would be this much of a blow out. Totally out coached and out played. The defense decided to just go ahead and fold right from the start rather than wait for the 4th quarter this time.

    Completely discouraging and embarrassing performance.

  2. G2 says:

    Total domination….embarrassing. Even the D was steamrolled. No DBU here, VH3 looked like a freshman out there.
    This team was not ready to play, looked like we were content to run a few trick plays and call it a day. At least fsu looked almost as bad as they were out-coached and out played….only bright spot so far in the bowl season.

  3. Rich says:

    Embarrasing! They quit, probably knowing that with Harris there is no shot to beat any decent team. McElewain should have played anyone but Harris. We have had 3-4 QB’s recently transfer that could of been starting. Huge black eye for McElwain, all the Muschamps haters, including Adam Silverstein, should start apologizing to him.

    • Mac_supporter says:

      Black eye? Come on! The game was a total disaster, but finishing 10-4 is pretty impressive considering no one expected us to win more than 7 at the most.

      Also, I am pretty sure McElwain has said we have a long way to go quite a few times. We’ve had weaknesses all year that were exposed in the latter part of the season(O-line play, QB play, LB depth, inconsistent secondary play) Overachieving can only go so far! What is there to gameplan when you your line and QB play aren’t anywhere close to being at a championship level? Who is going to catch the ball besides Callaway? Granted it was a “break up” to keep UM from making an INT, Fullwood has to make that catch and Robinson can’t drop TD passes.

      Just glad we can move on to building for 2016 because overall, a 10 win 2015 season is a success for Florida Football!

      • Rich says:

        Total black eye, they quit on him, never in the game, Harris was better last year, McElwain babied him, team knew going In They had no chance, can’t even get a decent kicker, didn’t show any pride, he lost the team, put anyone i. At QB, no confidence in Harris, easy to coach when things are going well, Mcelwain wasn’t man enough to boot Robinson.from the team, he lost these guys, he was more interested in his own PR, now he looks foolish, good coaches never have their players quit on them.

      • Michael Jones says:

        Well-said.

      • Rich says:

        The team quit on McElwain, look at the last 6 Games, awful performance, someone on the roster has to be better than Harris. The kicking game is awful, had an effect on the last half of the season. McElwain couldn’t stand up to Harris, he babied him, he also didn’t have the courage to kick Robinson off the team. Who was a bigger detriment, Robonson orMcAllister. McElwain backed down and left it to the seniors who made the coach look foolish. The entire team knew they couldn’t beat Michigan with Harris at QB. How many QBs have transferred? All those Muschamps bathers need to look in the mirror, the team was better last year with Harris. They were an embarrassment in Orlando. An embarrassment the
        Last half of the season. The Grier transfer makes no sense. Has McElwain already lost control?

    • Razzlegator says:

      That’s rich Rich. You cocks got Chump now. ENJOY!!!

  4. Aligator says:

    A 10 win season and an SEC EAST title. I expected an 8-5 or 7-6 season at best. We have a lot to be thankful for and to look forward to. We have an obvious issue at QB that just killed our offense down the stretch and obviously put a ton of pressure on our defense to perform. Guess what, they didn’t show up today, almost like they had had enough.

    I am pretty sure we will be in a much better position next year at QB, RB OL and kicker. Our defense will be solid and we will be more well rounded overall. Adam thanks for all you have done for us this year and here is looking forward to next season! Go Gators!

  5. g8ter27 says:

    VH3 played below average today on what has been only an average season. I have said this all year and still do…what is it that NFL scouts see in him to think he is a 31 pick and the 2nd best corner in the draft? Taylor going pro is a joke, not sure who is giving him that bad advice. Robinson? Well we will see how that works out.

    This team quit today as a whole, not every player but most of them. Had no game plan, didn’t look like they wanted to be there and the O line has finally played down to its expectations. Coach Mac, when we walked out of that stadium today we weren’t thinking “this is pretty cool”. Hope the recruiting goes well over the next few weeks. Go Gators!

  6. SW FL Joe says:

    If you are what your tape says you are, then I hope the tape of this game plays nonstop in the weight room, training room, locker room and dining room until Sept.

  7. Michael Jones says:

    About half of the team didn’t show, which sucks for the guys who did show (e.g. like Morrison, who played hard the whole game). Didn’t think that could happen to a Mac coached team but I guess on any given day this sort of thing can happen to any coach. Still surprised me. But agree with almost all of what MacSupporter had to say.

    Although I don’t think Treon is a D-I QB, I can’t put today’s loss on him. I thought he played pretty decently. A lot of drops. A lot of guys scared of contact. Even saw Cronkrite, a power runner, and Callaway, usually a tough kid, running out of bounds instead of fighting for a few more yards. That really bugs me. Shows a lack of heart. You’re a football player, right? If you don’t like contact, play a different sport. Besides, that’s Robinson’s job.

    All in all though, it was a hell of a year. Coach Mac definitely made lemonade out of what he had to work with. Coach Summers did a great job. I think our future is bright but it will take a few more seasons to get to where we want to be.

    I hope that our staff stays together. We’ve got some great recruiters, especially Shannon.

    Go Gators!!!

  8. Corey says:

    Now if I remember correctly, under Muschamp the general routine was to run up the middle three times and punt, waiting for the defense to give us good enough field position to score.

    Even during these last five games, at least they moved the ball okay.

    I’ll also add that the best of predictions had Florida winning seven games and playing the Podunk College for Weaklings in the Whogivesadamn Bowl, some folks around these parts were saying nine games would be an a miraculous success, so…

  9. SJ210 says:

    It’s really hard not to look at this 10 win season and not think back to the smoke and mirrors illusion that was the 2012 season. After such a promising start, a horrific finish. I understand Treon is not very good, but if Mac is some kind of offensive guru I would have expected he would have been able to get more out of this group than the pathetic Muschamp-like performances we saw from Vandy on. We head into 2016 with no proven QB or RB, a very young OL, and one playmaker in Callaway. If it were up to me, I’d give Franks every opportunity to start from day one and pray we can land a couple Callaways in this class. Play the young guys and hope to lay a foundation like we did with Leak et al when Zook was here. If Del Rio were any good, he wouldn’t be on his 3rd school. Adam is right, this team is nowhere close to being back.

  10. G2 says:

    A season of “what if’s”….what if Greir wasn’t suspended… think we would have been in all these games, maybe even make the playoff even with the lack of players he inherited. Something to think about.

    I for one think we take a step back next year with the players we lose to the NFL. Don’t know what KT and Robinson are thinking? They may not make any NFL team much less be drafted. Hope this didn’t hurt our recruiting efforts, need all the 4/5* guys we can get!

  11. 1974Gator says:

    That game was a reflection of who wanted it more, nothing else. There was no value in a win for the Gators. Michigan has done it to us twice, both times they had major incentives, in 2007 for Lloyd Carr’s last game and yesterday for Jim Harbough’s first bowl AND to prove to the world that they were the best in the Big 12 and better than Mich State.
    At least Bullard played his heart out though none of the other draftees did. He is a stud and I will predict he will be the one of this year’s team we see shine most in the NFL.

    • Spuntly says:

      UF had the same major incentive in it being Coach Mac’s first bowl game as a Gator and to prove to the world that the SEC East champ can beat the 4th or 5th best team in the BIG 10. There was no reason for the Gator’s not to be up during this game. It was very disappointing to see how under-prepared the Gators were for that game. I’ll give Coach Mac the benefit of the doubt, but there is no excuse for that performance. This offense has progressively gotten worse over the last 6 games.
      I think the most obvious difference between Harris and Grier is anticipation. Grier was good at hitting the first read quickly. He could anticipate where the receiver was going to be and he would get the ball out quickly. Grier is able to drop back and step into a throw in one motion, in rhythm.
      I have never seen Treon do that. Treon never hits his first read. He is afraid (or unable) to anticipate a throw and get rid of it in rhythm. This offense thrives on the quick 1st read as it showed with Grier at qb.
      We will be better next year because a better QB will be starting, but there is still a long way to go.

      • 1974Gator says:

        Don’t agree about the incentive to win for the same reasons stated. Harbaugh burns his teams out with his over the top, everyday expectations and Michigan IS Much better than 4th or 5th best in the Big 10. I rank Michigan second behind OSU.

  12. BobinGainesville says:

    Michigan also beat us in 2002 in the Outback, when I was in attendance. So we’re 0-3 against them, ugh. Though we will get another shot in the 2017 opener.

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