Florida coach Jim McElwain absurdly puts onus on players for lack of execution vs. Texas A&M

By Adam Silverstein
October 14, 2017
Florida coach Jim McElwain absurdly puts onus on players for lack of execution vs. Texas A&M

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain did not mince words Saturday night after his team was held scoreless in the fourth quarter as the Texas A&M Aggies scored nine unanswered points to pick up a 19-17 win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

“The plan is good. The execution piece needs to get better,” McElwain said of Florida’s offense when asked why the Gators failed to convert on third down and extend drives in the second half.

In a way, he’s right.

It is well known by now that redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks locks on his primary target and does not generally go through his progressions. The offense line too often lets rushers into Franks’ pocket, forcing him off his spot and on the run where he’s made a couple plays but not enough. The wide receivers — those remaining that are still healthy and eligible to play — do not get the kind of separation needed for Franks to make easy passes in such situations.

But in a larger way, McElwain could not be more wrong.

You see, it is McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier who call this offense. It is that duo that chose not to allow star freshman running back Malik Davis or talented sophomore RB Lamichal Perine to touch the ball at midfield while calling three consecutive pass plays — two play actions — in the second half. None of the plays gained a single yard; Davis was averaging 7.6 yards per touch, while Perine was averaging 4.8 yards per carry at the time.

It is McElwain and Nussmeier who recruited the team’s offensive linemen and playmakers — both the talented ones not on the field as well as the ones providing depth that have been unable to step up and fill those shoes over the last two games. And it’s not like the Gators’ offense was exactly running on all cylinders when nearly full strength (sans the two suspended starters) most of the season.

Florida ran 41 plays in the first half but just 27 in the second. Texas A&M was able to put together 24 plays to UF’s 10 in the fourth quarter. Outside of the Gators’ first series of the game, which utilized well-timed tempo but only resulted in a field goal, the offense was not equipped to keep the Aggies off balance the rest of the contest. What good is all of that work, then, if it’s only going to last 13 plays and result in three points?

To be fair, Franks is missing wide open receivers. Redshirt junior tight end C’yontai Lewis was uncovered on the other side of the field when Franks threw his first interception of the evening into the end zone. On a play later in the contest, redshirt senior wide receiver Brandon Powell was so open he was waving his arms while Franks was forced to roll to the other side of the field.

In other words, it’s all bad Florida’s offense right now. But to claim player execution is primarily to blame is an absurd statement when you are consistently outcoached in the second half of nearly every game you play — whether the result is victory or loss.

Ultimately, the execution of the players is the responsibility of the coaches, and the ones on the sideline and in the box for the Gators on offense — and on special teams, but we’ll get to that another time — are not getting more than one phase of their job done right now.


  1. Mg says:

    Just fire Mcelwain already this is ridiculous

    • Louis says:

      I totally agree with that!

    • kmc says:

      Orange is the new black; get a new coach!

    • Glenn says:

      The financial loss of hiring 3 bad coaches cost UF $100 million dollars in lost revenue. A winning program bring in money in multiple areas.
      Just look at the increase revenue at Alabama. UF fans aren’t nearly as fair weather fans like Alabama or fsu, but our revenues are down while we are trying to upgrade facilities. We will lose 6 games this year. We can’t beat a ranked team. We are not ranked. Hell, I can’t even find UF scores for stats without click more scores 3 times. Coach Mac had the wires post game interviews when he does win. Other coaches will steal our recruits in December if coac Mac is still our coach. They will say he will be fired next year . We need a big name coach like a chip Kelly to save the good recruiting done by coach Mac

  2. Bob Loblaw says:

    is it time for hot seat talk, or still too early? my vote is hot seat talk.

  3. Lawrence c jones says:

    Quit recruiting felons…cut out the cancer and fire McElwain…time to start over…either that or outfit the team in striped uniforms next game and rename them the Florida Felons😕

  4. Blanez says:

    It’s starting to remind me of the Muschamp/Driskel era. The Gators can’t hope for luck to win these close games. The BS from Mac only makes it worse. A win over GA is a must ……Go Gators

    • Michael L. Jones says:

      You can leave the Driskel part out of the Muschamp era. He is in the NFL right now, in case you didn’t notice. We could only wish to have a QB on this team as good as Driskel. He was a victim too . . although so much of Gator Nation can’t resist using him as a whipping boy, which is a bunch of BS.

      • JGL says:

        Agree Driskel a victim of a crappy offensive scheme. UF getting a rep for turning top QB recruits into mediocre players or if they wise up in time, they transfer. On current team: average team, poorly coached in all phases with program heading in wrong direction. Mac’s gotta go.

      • Jeff Clarke says:

        Bingo! Not only is Driscoll in the NFL so is Brisset. Mac is Les Miles without the resume. Stubborn and stupid. His “game management” is pathetic.

  5. JoeyC says:

    Only a poor craftsman blames his tools.

  6. Bo says:

    I agree with Mac! I thought Nussmeyer called a good game tonight but we are having growing pains with our youth. I personally have learned more from my failures than my successes and I’m sure these guys are no different. It makes me really excited to see how good we will be as all of these freshman and sophomores get more and more mature. I disagree that firing Mac is the answer. We jumped the gun with Muschamp and we don’t need to do it again. Every coach deserves at least 4-5 years. Then make a true assessment. We are Florida for crying out loud. We can afford to give a guy some time. We aren’t Boise State who might fall off the radar. I saw a lot of positives tonight, I’m so glad we got Davis! Great pickup!

    • JoeyC says:

      This was a predictable offense with Franks being put in situations to fail. I see no offensive geniuses calling this game, I see the Zook don’t lose us either game offense 3 yards and a cloud of dust. This season is lost and next will be his last unless he shows this alleged greatness.
      This is a multi-million dollar business, with the university asking for more money next year to watch this “amateur” football. Gone of the days of being loveable losers when people are forking over thousands to watch football.
      The coaches are also paid millions to win, not graduate kids, and should be forced to show results for being paid more money than 95% of the population will ever earn in a year.
      They looked ridiculous in the uniforms, a money grab, and where coached poorly as they where dressed.

    • Loyal says:

      Are you high? We jumped the gun on muschamp….we waited too long. Fire mcelwain now…Hire chip Kelly or Bob stoops. Don’t let two more years of mediocrity happen. GatorNation deserves better.

  7. Mike The Ref says:

    We aren’t going to be able to hire good coaches or recruit if we fire our head coaches every 3-4 years.

    Honker down and ride out the storm.

    ….unless we can get Charlie Strong….

    • James says:

      Scott Frost should be the next gator head coach

    • mike says:

      Recruit Good Coaches? THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Stop hiring these wanna be head coaches with no talent, Jim Mcelwain, Muschump no name coaches. Hire someone like Les Miles, Bob Stoops, Chip Kelly and you would not have to change coaches every 2-3 years. We had an amazing QB in Will Grier and Mcelwain kicked him off the team to again recruit no name qb rejects at other schools. This siw aht you get when you lack discipline and common sense. Georgia will beat the Gators and I hope they do. Then only will the athletic dept finally realize what a fool Mcelwain is, he is way over his head. Just let Spurrier coach the rest of the games.

      • Nik says:

        Mac was not ready when he was recruited by Florida. He needed a couple more years at CSU to clarify how he could recruiti and coach. Then maybe a stint in the mid level BIG Or SEC before taking on a Florida. Yes, still a little annoyed at how he left us but not that he left. I think in the long run we got the better end of that stick. Good luck!

        • 1974Gator says:

          Nothin’ wrong with his HC capabilities that a seasoned QB and 9+ more scholarship athletes (to replace the suspended players we will never see play for UF again) won’t solve. Let’s not forget the numerous injuries to our upper class DBs.

  8. Alex says:

    Another week, another loss ( 2 in a row at the swamp to unranked teams). As I said last week, this is Florida Football.

    The sad part is that he will be the Head Coach in 2018. We also haven’t hit rock bottom: we will lose to USCe, UGA and FSU.

  9. Ryan says:

    Good points. Not liking oc play calling, but Mac is headed in the right direction. Making some mistakes but still keeping us in games.

    • Loyal says:

      Boosters don’t give him millions to lose games close or not especially not to in ranked teams even more so at home in back to back weeks where we were favored. He is awful, he is muschamp 2.0… does not know how to win and win convincingly.

  10. Tommygator says:

    If you can’t coach em’, blame em’. Mountain West Mac is becoming an embarrassment to the Gator Nation!

    • kevin crotzer says:

      Yeah,i really got angry when Mac threw his players under the bus at his post game press conference! real men and coaches take the blame where it belongs,on themselves!

  11. M Palmer says:

    Wow…what a mess of a football program that has been created in 3 yrs by poor play calling & above all coaching !!!!! We again saw the 2nd half of being out-coached….And knew it was coming.
    The OC needs to have been gone games ago. If the head coach can’t see it & fix this mess then he needs to go too. When you start blaming the players that a sign you can’t fix it. We will be lucky to win 1 more game & probably not be bowl eligible. I don’t want to have to live another season of this. Coach has had enough time……
    Who wants to go to spend $$$ to a bowl game & watch a poorly coached team. Here comes the “beat down” in Jville. from a 2nd year Coach & a Freshman Quarterback !!!!! I support our talented players ….Go Get Dan Mullen & Go
    Gators !!!!!

  12. Astadd says:

    Everyone needs to take a breath. Yes Nuss needs to go or step up. We have a freshman qb. Del Rio unfortunately got hurt. Our first string are felons who didn’t give a rats ass about the school, playing football or the fans. We are using what we have and they are doing their best. Are they making mistakes….yes. Are they young…yes. I feel Coach Mac is doing the best he can with what he has. Franks needs more time and experience. Did he make some bad decisions last night….yes. A true Gator Fan will show patience and support our team….Go Gators!!!🐊🐊🐊

  13. JD says:

    After 6 games can we all agree that we were two miracles from being 1-5? Butters is a hot turd sandwich.

  14. Richardk says:

    The Gators have a chance to win in only two of their remaining games, Missouri and UAB. Nussmeier must go and go noe. Offense is way to predictable. Coaching staff unable to adjust to what the the other team is doing. Mac and his staff have been outcoached again. This is exactly what a program in decline looks like and we og the Gator Nation can not allow this to happen. Make your feelings known.

  15. Vance says:

    Need a new Head Coach..OC.. and QB.

  16. G2 says:

    Lets see what MZ can do, have nothing to lose but some more games. Its obvious that Franks isn’t getting it done.

    They put him in against UM when he isn’t really prepared, and then half way thru the season hasn’t gotten another chance??

  17. Minnesota Jon says:

    Man, where is a little patience. To fully implement your program and get your recruits on the field takes 4 to 6 years. Injuries and youth have made it difficult right now and some common sense is needed now not a bunch of fair weather fans calling for the coaches head. Wins over Georgia, UAB, Missouri are coming so get over the edge of the cliff and start getting pumped. Chomp Chomp!

    • ice says:

      We havnt been good senseTebow ,Myers.offense can’t get out of its own way. Franks sucks , can’t complete a 5 yard pass , has more interceptions than TDs . cant read his progressions. Last year was a fluke .

  18. BG says:

    I do not understand why Zaire has not been given another chance. He is more mobile and probably a better passer at this point. The play calling is predictable….not as bad as the Muschamp and Addazio play calling…but close. I was in support of McElwain, but his seat has definitely heated up quickly. Looking at what Kirby Smart has done at GA in his second year makes this even more frustrating. I say gauge Chip Kelly’s interest and then pull the trigger.

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