Dooley: Painful Gators loss after uneven performance

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University of Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell is upended by LSU wide receiver Russell Gage (83) during the Gators Homecoming game against LSU at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

The feel-better theme was the honoring of Tom Petty on Saturday and you couldn’t walk the distance of an extra point (ouch) without hearing one of the Gainesville singer’s greatest hits all around The Swamp.

But when the game was over and LSU was celebrating its revenge with all-world taunting, the Florida locker room had a different rock group for a theme — R.E.M.

“Everybody hurts,” said left tackle Martez Ivey.

Sing it with me,

“Cause everybody cries

And everybody hurts

… Sometimes”

This one hurt every Gator with a pulse because this was LSU and the bragging rights of the last athletic year are over and because we can’t make fun of Joe Alleva and Ed Orgeron for at least a year and the Tigers got serve back and because Eddy Pineiro, the folk hero, was the difference and not in a good way.

His yanked extra point was the difference and we all know it shouldn’t have been. Florida had all of the momentum after falling behind by two touchdowns with a high-volume crowd ready to see another DVR-worthy fourth quarter.

But it didn’t happen.

Not even close.

LSU wasn’t going to score again, not with three-fifths of its offensive line watching from the sidelines because of injuries, an erratic quarterback and a Gator defense that finally started feeding off the crowd (LSU had 62 yards after the opening second-half touchdown drive).

All Florida needed was to get into field goal position to allow Pineiro a chance to shed his goat horns.

But it didn’t happen.

Not even close.

After two fruitless fourth-quarter possessions with just one first down, the Gators got the ball back with 4:01 to play at their own four-yard line.

For the next 2:15 of game time, the Gator players approached offense as if they were a bunch of 6-year-olds ordered to take baths.

Let’s go, guys, like how about TODAY?!!!

“The sense of urgency wasn’t there,” said Florida coach Jim McElwain.

Why not?

That’s one question that comes to mind. I’m guessing it is a part of practice, but because we can’t watch, who knows?

The Gators lollygagged their way to the line of scrimmage while fans grumbled and booed. They lollygagged their way out of the huddle. They lollygagged getting the plays in.

And you know what that makes them don’t you?

Lollygaggers.

It came down to one play and Franks locked on Brandon Powell like he was the only player on the field, allowing two LSU linebackers to fall into the route and break up the final pass.

Although, it didn’t have to be the last pass. LSU took over with 1:46 to play. Florida only had one timeout. Simple math told you that Florida would not get the ball back.

Unless …

They let LSU score. The Tigers would have been up eight with a made extra point but at least you would have had a chance. It’s especially bitter that Florida didn’t because McElwain made such a big deal about Malik Davis scoring last week when taking a knee would have ended the game.

The point being that McElwain can’t have it both ways.

Look, there is no shame in losing to LSU and there is no shame in this team losing to just about anybody. The Gators are down 12 scholarship players and have dealt with a ton of adversity.

They have battled through it all to pull off these last three games, but when you are a flawed team a game like this is going to get up and bite you. Florida is fortunate not to be 1-4 right now.

“We’re going to find out a little bit about this team,” McElwain said.

I think we already know a lot about it. The performances are so uneven they are baffling.

How does a team give up 83 yards on speed sweeps in the first quarter? How does it drive to a pair of touchdowns on consecutive possessions that cover a combined 151 yards and only get 151 the rest of the game?

How does Pineiro miss that kick? How does Duke Dawson miss two possible interceptions on one series? How does Florida run one trick play and it ends up with an intentional grounding penalty?

How is Florida again going to probably be in the 100s in offense when the numbers come out Sunday? How could that official have made the pass interference call on CJ Henderson? Wait, I’m getting off track here. But that was brutal.

The hows and whys are for us to discuss while a coaching staff grabs another handful of masking tape to try to patch this thing together.

Which brings us to the other closing theme McElwain preached to his team after the game.

“We still control our own destiny,” Ivey said.

Technically.

But it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

 

71 COMMENTS

  1. I think we just need to recognize Frank’s is just not good. Neither time nor experience is going to help. Some kids have it, some do not. Frank’s does not have it.

    • David. Franks plays like a bad Jeff Driskel. Enough said. And I think you are correct. It is not going to get better with Franks. He has been in the system going on two years and looks like and plays like this is his first week playing QB anywhere. Time to see what Zaire can do. And time to demote Nussmeier from the OC position. McElwain needs to take over the play calling or he needs to hire Spurrier to call plays. I guarantee you Spurrier would have called better plays in that last series and would have called them in a much more timely manner. Spurrier may be Franks only hope of ever getting any better. That is not going to happen for him under Nussmeier.

    • It takes some QBs longer to develop at the collegiate level. But it looks like Florida has Matt Corral coming to Gainesville in ’18 and he is likely to pull a Jake Fromm and be successful starter as a freshman. Franks has a big ego and probably thinks he can beat Corral out for next year’s starting QB. But I’ll bet in the back of his mind he is wondering where to transfer. I hear that Jacksonville State is looking for a QB for 2018.

      • Frog, you have absolutely no idea how Corral is going to play as a freshman. Franks was ranked as one of the best QB’s in the nation we were licking our chops waiting to see him finally be the QB we’ve been waiting for. The truth is there is such a big difference in Friday Night Lights glory and Saturday SEC football that we just don’t know how a kid will pan out in front of 90,000 and the increase in speed and talent he will face once he’s here.

    • I think this is much more of a coaching problem. Franks is in his first year as a starter, so I’m willing to cut him quite a bit of slack. What I gauge is whether or not Mac is passing the litmus test of getting the team to excel on the side of the ball for which he is purported to be a guru? Clearly, the answer is no.

      The offense has stunk in pretty much every area since Mac was hired. It’s no better than when Muschamp was running things. But at least Champ excelled on the side of the ball that was his forte.

      Mac’s dumb luck wins and visits to the SEC championship game will unfortunately allow him to be the head coach for a 4th year. But I don’t expect much to change during his tenure.

      • I agree. Del Rio was never going to work. Franks will take chances and that is what you need to do to win. I saw Franks signalling the sideline to go for it on 4th down deep in our territory. The staff elected to punt which kept the ball away from our offense. I like Franks’ tenacity and arm. The two biggest issues are bad offensive coaching and the receivers not getting enough separation.

      • Michael go back and look at the tape. There were receivers open all over the field and Franks just locks on to his primary and loses his mind if he’s not open. He scrambles out of clean pockets on a consistent basis. There’s only so much a coach can do before it becomes the players responsibilty to execute properly. Franks is just not ready to be a college Qb. He has all the tools to be one, but when you’re scrambling out of a clean pocket, that’s way more of a mental issue than a coaching issue and mental issues aren’t easily corrected. Mac’s already proven he can run a successful offense as he had a top 5 offense in the nation at CSU. He needs to fire Nuss and take over play calling like a lot of HCs do. He’s got top 5 recruiting classes lined up for the next 2 years, so firing him will set this team back a minimum of another 5 years. That’s the last thing they need to do. Mac is not the problem, he’s just had some of the worst luck I think any head coach has ever had to start out his tenure. Not one year since he’s been here has he not had massive amounts of injuries and boneheaded decisions made by players to hurt the team.

        • Joe….I trust Pat Dooley when he says that the offense looks in disarray and receivers aren’t running wide open all over the field. The O-line was supposed to be strong this year according to Mac, but I don’t see gaping holes for runners and QBs having lots of time to throw.

          What Mac accomplished at CSU is fine when your competition is Wyoming and Montana….He’s now competing against the big boys and not proving to be up to the job. Seriously, CSU is your standard?!

          He’s had 3 years to find his QB. And he’s the one who said, in so many words , that he could make any QB look good. Finally, his recruiting has been average. Gator class ranking from Rivals over the last few years are: 2015 – 23rd, 2016 – 14th, and 2017 – 9th….and yes, Mac will get his 4th year based on stumbling into the SEC championship, but I don’t foresee a better team next year.

    • We play A and M next week. They start an 18 year old true freshman. Apparently he has been coached.
      We are the University of Florida. Can’t we recruit a quarterback? I mean seriously. Florida is a recruiting hotspot. And that Aggie QB-from IMG in Bradenton. Apparently Mac can’t find that.

    • Right!! I’d rather go with Toney at QB, but as long as long as the “Cool Cowboy” is at the helm we’ll just keep shooting ourselves in the foot.

  2. Well I’m not supportive of the coaching at this point, BUT…when did Dooley finally grow a pair of walnuts and decide to start ripping on the coaches? I certainly do not recall Dooley ever doing this to Muschamp. Maybe those two just had a powerful Bro-mance…

    Dooley – Thanks for finally growing a pair…lol

  3. Why not put MZ in? We needed something, a spark, come on.
    I would have been happy with Toney in at QB, kid can run and throw. Guess Mac gets a pass this year with all the suspensions etc. Don’t see him taking us anywhere but the occasional east title if we are lucky like last year. Think the dumpster is heating up again!

    • Yes, yes, yes regarding your suggestion to go with Toney. Better he than continue this inane graduate transfer merry-go-round.

  4. Former player Bryan Cox called the Florida offense a high school offense. He was overrating it. I watch high school games and most high school teams have a better offensive scheme than Florida does, and certainly better play calling. Nussmeier has to go. And, Pat, I wish you would ask McElwain if he thinks it is about time to change who makes play calls during games, or simply who is the OC. Nussmeier is not the solution. He is, however, a major problem with this offense and any QB playing in it.

    • I think you’re letting Mac off the hook. He is supposed to be the offensive guru and get involved to set things straight. Look at Saban (defense), Urban (offense), and heck, even Muschamp (defense). Wherever they go, the side of the ball that is their forte get noticeably better.

      Mac doesn’t pass that litmus test and he’s a very average recruiter. That’s not a very good indicator of future success.

  5. This seems to be the mindset of this team: Ivey gets called for a holding penalty and responds by laughing about it on the way back to the huddle. We have defensive tackles who jump offside when lined up right over the ball. The offense is miserable again. It hasn’t improved at all since Muschamp was here. It’s fundamentals taught in middle school (offsides for example) and a piss poor attitude. It’s NOT #@-&%$ funny, Ivey.

    • Thank you Scott! I too was po’d with Ivey’s Spoiled child response, and knowing the lousy couching that enabled it. Mac the Hack will never be a championship coach at Florida.

  6. Putting aside the puzzling (choking) playcalling on the last two possessions, I feel a lot better about this team’s ceiling after this game. The Oline played physical against a typical LSU front 7 and most importantly Chauncey Gardner established himself as a physical SEC safety.

    The offense will get better and the young players on defense will get better but this team goes nowhere if they don’t have at least one guy on the back end willing to come up and hit somebody in the mouth. I thought the freshman safeties also brought more athleticism to the position, the one glaring weakness on D before this game.

    Good call on winning one out of the next two Pat. I think barring injuries, this team beats A&M and gives Georgia all they can handle. I also think they would give Alabama a more competitive game were they to be so fortunate. This was a physical game and this team fought hard. I think that is going to pay big dividends going forward.

  7. Sitting in the Swamp, I told my son that the team with the better head coach would win today in what figured to be an even contest. And they did. A week after losing to an awful Troy team, LSU came to our homecoming game and killed our season.

    You can say all the happy coach-speak nonsense after this bitter loss in your pitiful post-game explanations, but quite simply one coach had his team ready to play today and one, as usual, didn’t.

    Get real.

    If you don’t think this isn’t the weakest LSU squad in a decade you’re wrong. If you think the Gators have any chance to win the SEC East this year, well you’re wrong about that too.

    Teams are a reflection of their HC and McElwain’s low key, whatever happens is OK demeanor shows up every week, uninspired play after play, failed drive after failed drive, missed tackle after tackle, dropped interception after interception.

    5 games into your 3rd season and we’re 3-2 and could easily be 1-4. Possible losses loom to Texas A&M, Georgia, South Carolina, FSU and maybe even Mizzou on the road. Heaven help us if we can beat UAB. How’s 5-6 or 4-7 sound Coach Mac?

    Cool huh.

  8. Insanity–doing the same thing all the time and expecting different results. Most of these comments are spot on. Coaching was terrible, play calling was terrible, not adjusting to a simple high school running play (coaching) was terrible, two minute drill (when you start at the four, four minutes should feel like two minutes) was terrible–again. You are right coach, there was no urgency–but don’t throw the players under the bus, that comes from the sidelines. Clock management was terrible–why are we calling time-outs with over 4 minutes to play, knowing we will need a long drive in all likelihood? Special teams continue to be poor (do we even have a coach for this?)

    The BACKUP QB at Iowa State went into the #3 team’s home field and beat them. I guess he gets coached somehow. We have had ZERO QB development (except Grier a little) the last 3 (really 8) years. Wasn’t Mac supposed to the QB Whisperer?

    Time to quit saying we are fine, just have a couple little things to fix here and there. So many players are saying this, it HAS to be coming from the coaches too. News flash guys–everything is NOT all right. Yes, losing 9 players has hurt (although Scarlett’s loss seems to be a blessing in disguise–I REALLY like our RB rotation. Yes the Oline is playing better. But again, we have no receivers and a QB that after two years has not developed one bit. All this is coaching (or lack thereof) because I think the raw skill is there.

    And Eddie (Or Johnny if the hold was off, hard to tell)–NOT YOUR FAULT! We had over a quarter left to get another score (17-17 doesn’t win us the game anyway), and we couldnt even sniff mid-field. A 55 yarder to win it would have been sweet, but coaching prevented that opportunity. I see more and more that coaching is what is killing us, be it lack of player development, player attitude, lack of urgency, whatever), and NOT lack of quality players or lack of effort. You can teach a freshman lots of things. But who teaches coaches, especially head coaches, how to coach?

    There is no reason for this program to be in the mire it is in today. I see some bright spots in the RB’s, but unless we can make teams pay for putting 8 or 9 in the box, I don’t see more than a 6-5 year. Lets not get excited about only losing by one to LSU. They lost at HOME to Troy, and got beat to death by MSt, who has since gotten blown out twice. And yeah I know we could be FSU (1-3) or Tenn or any number of worse off teams, but I don’t care to compare the might Gators to them. Remember when teams used to compare themselves to us? I love the idea of getting the HBC involved in the offense somehow, just not sure how interested he would be. And who cares if feelings get hurt. You can pay me 6 or 7 figures and then hurt my feelings all you want!

  9. Uninspired performance. This is Mac’s team. He has made all decisions. The good and the bad. He gets credit for good decisions and he owns the bad ones. He is responsible for everything this team does or fails to do. He oversees and controls all aspects of team performance. He sets the moral compass and is responsible to recruit, develop, and supervise all players. He has to have his fingers on the pulse of everything they do or fail to do. To date, his teams haven’t done anything particularly exceptional. Their play performance ranks near the bottom in all indicators. Don’t get me wrong. Mac is a great person and deserves everyone’s respect but as the CEO-Head Coach of this program- the team simply hasn’t measured up. What makes us think things will get significantly better? Well, we hope things will improve because we are loyal fans and believe in the Gators. As difficult as it may be, I hope UF can right the ship and make a decision that’s best for the Gator Nation. Too many excuses. We need to see more. Go Gators!

  10. Nussmeier gets paid over a half million bucks and the Gators have no passing game to speak of against a team every other opponent passed on at will, even Miss St. That ain’t working.

  11. Get rid of the entire staff, now. Give Spurrier anything he wants. ANYTHING! Get a real coach on the sidelines. Until that is done, I spend no money and watch no games. Today was the last item. Today was unacceptable.

  12. Hi Pat, agree PI call was “brutal”. So tell me about Gators Rb stepping out of bounds three times and still getting credit for another 20? Or is it only “brutal” when it goes against your guys?

  13. Remember last year when coach Mac said they played like dead fish. I’m starting to think he is the dead fish and they follow how their coach is. He is the one that is OH well we lost another one that is the SEC…… REALLY. It seems he just does not care if they win or lose a game. If a coach has a fire in him so will his players. Just Saying.

  14. All this while Georgia appears to be stepping up its game and recruiting to thoroughly take control of the East – leaving Florida and Tennessee in the dust for the next 5 years. No need to watch Gator games any more.

    • Gator Steve, good point on UGA recruiting picking up. They just got a verbal from Fields for the 2018 class, giving them three (3) Five (5) star QB’s on their roster (Eason, Fromm and now Fields) next year. Wow! Good thing they can only play one at a time. Maybe we can scoop up one of them down the road when the inevitable transfers begin! Of course, someone would still need to “coach ’em up” which may be a challenge fro UF these days. Oh well, GO Gators!

  15. Waa, waa, waa. People just need to get a grip. The only difference between Franks at QB and when Del Rio was running it last week is the speed of recognition. I think some people might need to watch this one on TV as they even spoke about how they want Franks to look to the sideline quicker to get the play so that he is ready to go for the next play. I don’t know how his “football I.Q.” is, so there’s no telling what he’s getting out of the filmroom so that he can recognize plays that aren’t going to work. I am surprised that they don’t have him check the sideline for any possible audibles though. As for Piniero….Dooley definitely needs to watch that XP miss, because he’ll see that the ball came off of Townsend’s finger and was leaning forward when Eddy kicked it. If he needs a lesson with that, he should go out to the golf course, put the ball on a downslope and hit it as if it was sitting pretty. Chances are that ball is not going anywhere that you planned for it to go. UGA is the game now, as this team is still in control of it’s own destiny, and people need to remember that even for Spurrier, the first goal was always to win the East and get to the championship game.

    • There are some writers and talking heads who think the “unwashed” masses they call Gator fans, should stop criticizing the coach,the program or the players. well here’s the way i look at it. fans are consumers,we buy the tickets,the merchandise,we see them on national t.v.(who sponsors pay knowing fans will be tuning in). we buy the product,so we have a right to gripe and bitch when we are not getting are moneys worth. Mac is being paid to do a job,to turn the offense and this program around. has he done it? how many employers keep employees that don’t do what they are being paid to do? how many people buy defective products and just accept they got ripped and never complain about it? you don’t do your job,you get fired! that’s the real world, if you are a employer you fire those who can’t get it done,and hire those who will. if not you will lose to your competitors and soon be out of business! GO GATORS!

  16. I think you meant 36 yards after the two TD drives that totaled 151, Pat. That’s I believe what we netted on our final three posessions.
    That Mac cannot give coherent interviews or change the “dead fish” OL, or make adjustments on D to stop a simple play happening over and again, are all signs that point to the inevitable.

  17. Almost every team (at least the very good ones) in college football has gone uptempo with no huddle packages. We’re in year three of the Mac era and once again we are one of the slowest offensive teams in college football.

    Mac and Nuss have been talking about how important the TE is in this offense for three years. Was there even one pass attempt to a TE yesterday? I can’t remember one and am too disgusted to look at the tape. The TE is a young QBs best friend. Why aren’t we throwing to the TE?

    Finally, I completely agree with Steve above. Mac’s on the field post game comments are almost impossible to watch. The things he says during his press conferences are completely baffling. I sometimes read the transcript rather than listen and still can’t figure out what he’s saying.

    Unfortunately because of injuries and suspensions he’ll get another year and it will be another year of offense ranked between 100 and 120 out of all college teams.

  18. Very unlike the dominating Gator teams of the Spurrier and Meyer eras, Mac’s teams have the unfortunate attribute of playing passively to the level of the competition, hence many close games. No dominance at all. This is truly reflected in the For and Against Statistics which are published every week. The margin for error is always small and if you were to ask Mac if he has been successful in teaching his teams to “Sweat the Details” he would probably admit that he has failed in this “important to get to the next level”, self-defined task. Our AD who comes out of the lower level of the SEC must understand that the Florida expectation level is very high. From a business perspective our Brand is now continuously under assault. It is easy to imagine that at the end of this season there will be a significant body of evidence to justify terminating Mac’s contract. Nonetheless, it’s Great To Be a Florida Gator. Perhaps UF can start the trend of not giving coaches unearned extensions which weakens our leverage to require performance at a very high level.

  19. With all the injuries and suspensions, losing by one point to LSU, on a missed extra point, even at home, I will give the team a pass. What I cannot accept is how poor the team is coached. We have no offense, no ability to score and a defense that can’t stop even the worst teams in the conference. It is time for coach Mac and Cheese to hit the road.This team will never get better as long as a cheesy side dish is the coach.

  20. Geez. The replay on tv clearly showed Townsend mishandling the snap on the missed PAT. Why is everyone blaming Eddie

    • Reluctantly, I have to agree. He doesn’t check down well, he locks on to one receiver, ?he can;t audible and he dang sure can’t run. I’ve watched him every game. He has a lot to learn. I know he’s missing playmakers, but I will repeat what NFL Scout Chris Landry said about Franks. “I think the answer at QB is going to be Trask,” but he’s red-shirted. In today;’s college football world, you need a mobile QB. This is not the NFL. Franks looks like a statue.

  21. Pat…I’m afraid your comments about the last none series that should have lead to a glorious winning field goal are correct and that’s the possibility that scares me the most. Has Mac’s seemingly laid back attitude been adopted by what left of the team? Nine guys going to jail had to have a BIG locker room affect. Living on the edge leads to these types of losses, simple statistics. If you could get the coaches to admit it, it appears they are simply limited by (1) what Franks can’t read and (2) guys who can’t get open…neither one is happening.

  22. To be fair on the extra point, Townsend spun the ball too fast because of the snap (IT WASn;t that bad of a snap) to get the laces right, then let his finger off the ball before Pinero got to kick. Watched the replay and clearly saw Townsend’s finger leave the ball and the ball was dropping forward when Eddie kicked. Townsend took full blame later. On an extra point, having laces turned toward the goalpost is not that important. That said, it would only have tied the game and the Gators are just not that good this year. Not a lot of playmakers WITH Cleveland out and Callaway gone and Franks NOT looking like he can run faster than Fat Albert or find an open receiver downfield. And whatever happened to Mark Thompson, the 6-2 RB, 235 lbs. who runs a 4.5 40? I don’t think he got in the game. This looks like a 6-5 team at best. Hopefully, Gators can beat Missouri, South Carolina and UAB and get into the Poulan Weedeater Bowl. This is not a very good team right now. A lot of defensive players are young—and the team is down 10 scholarship players. That said, every time I read this site, some fans blame the coaches. It was Meyer for waffling, Muschamp for no offense (and the 4-8 season) and now McElwain.
    I know Georgia is licking its running game chops at that Gator D. There. Got it all off my chest. Go Gators.

  23. Pat practice what you preach. You started the season in fan mode then you drifted into writer mode ad now you’re back into fan mode. The truth is this team was never going to be great even if they had 12 players n the roster. We came into the season with the same unknown’s we had for a while no established QB, non physical OL, tremendous loses t defense via NFL. You complicate that scenario with injuries and suspended players and we’re lucky to be 3-2.

    The players haven’t quite so we as fans shouldn’t give on our players. It would be akin to hating our military personnel because you don’t agree with the war. If anybody deserves any wrath it would be players they let down their brothers for greed. Yet when I loo at the time involved charges against them it appeared that it started with a couple f who probably bragged abut getting something for free easily and led the rest down. No excuse either way.

    We have issues yes but they are not new ones or even unexpected ones. When you’re incapable of blowing anybody out you will have games like these. We had our luck earlier this season and it was bound to end sooner rather than later. Next game I hope we have a chance to win at the end of the game because I think that’s the only way this team can win.

    I’m solidly behind Mac. I have never been a fan of Nuss or Nord and Mac needs to take care f that in the off season. It was like coach Summers remaining as a Gator. Sometimes you just have t let go.

  24. Pat, here’s another ‘How’ question for you…How do the Gators lose to THIS LSU team at home It’s a bad team, with bad coaching. Plain and simple.

  25. I am not a big proponent of “musical coaches”, and realistically I think we are stuck with the ones we have.
    The two biggest coaching failures (play calling and sense of urgency or intensity) are glaring, and will probably not change. What continues to baffle and annoy me is the ridiculous lack of football sense (or “FBI”) demonstrated by our players. These guys have been playing the game for years, and have all been starters, not bench warmers. Yet they continue to commit the most basic and stupid errors as if they have never played the game. We go out of bounds when we should stay in, and stay in bounds when we should go out. We commit dumb penalties at critical times in the games when our concentration should be at its sharpest. We line up off-sides (this one is beyond stupid). We hold defenders far from the point of attack. We b*tch slap an opponent instead of walking away (should have been ejected). We continue to stare down the primary receiver exclusively. Our ball handling/fakes are so poorly done, when done at all, that they only seem to fool us, and not the opponent. I have yet to see any deceptive ball handling or disguised blitzes or blocking schemes that even a dumb opponent would fall for. Our pursuit angles are flat, we are always running hard to where the ball carrier was, not to where he is going. Honestly, where did these guys learn to play the game? This is stuff that middle school players get benched for. Our guys commit these errors as if they have no clue of the fundamentals and mental side of the game. Baffling and frustrating. At least lets identify 22 guys who understand the game (if we have them) and let them play. We will no doubt continue to get pushed around and whipped, but perhaps not in such an embarrassing fashion.
    One last thing – it would be nice (and a complete surprise) to see even one coach get excited, angry, emotional, intense, or otherwise actively engaged in coaching these players on the sidelines. Most just stand and stare with open mouths and closed minds. Baffling and sad.

  26. Could not have said this any better. I’m a die hard Gator Fan, but This team is Painfull to Watch. Will be Lucky to be 6 and 5 this year. If we are The Gators Under Mac will be 10-4, 9-4, and Maybe 6 and 5. That is going down instead of up. Mac and Nuss would have to go or they would accept a Middle of the Road at Best Football Team.

  27. Does anyone know how the McElwain family BBQ sauce sales went yesterday in The Swamp? What a complete joke.

    Mac’s getting $4MM+ per year to coach the team plus endorsement money and he’s still trying to scoop up nickels and dimes from the fan base with his BBQ sauce. How about winning something other than the incredibly weak SEC East before attempting to monetize the fan base?

    Talk about bad decisions and/or bad advice.

  28. On the last Offensive play for Florida was 24 Thompson wide open on the left flat?? LDR would have made that check down…it would have been a huge gainer if not a Score! Franks had time to check it down…instead of starring down 4 Powell.
    GO GATORS!!

    • That’s a major park of the problem, Franks is not scanning the field to see what the #2 target is doing! LDR is pretty good at surveying, just a weak arm. Coaches are not providing “educational LEARDERSHIP”…Pat was right on that last drive there was no urgency??? Why???

  29. Along with youth and suspensions, Gator fans should have expected a roller coaster season when Felipe Franks was named the preseason starter, and later when he regained the starting job after Del Rio’s injury. Mac’s limited success the last two seasons in winning the SEC Least has enabled his conservative, don’t lose a game, offense. Hopefully, he will open up the offense and allow Felipe to throw a few interceptions to go along with the touchdowns because his young defense and offensive lin this year is not good enough to win every game playing conservative football. If he is not willing to take his lumps and let a quarterback develop, he is doomed to the same fate as Muschamp. Florida fans would accept mistakes if the offense was more aggressive over a stubborn coach who plays not to lose. He probably gets a pass this year. He needs to take advantage of it to make 2018 a success.

  30. I could mention a lot of mistakes. Not going for it on fourth down when if you got a first down that would have made a large difference. In the end not taking what the defense would give you but insisting on going over the middle ended our day. Very poor coaching, very uneven play by all portions of our team. Time for the HBC to actually make the game plan and call the plays. Another loss to a TAM team that looks much better today than a couple of weeks ago.

  31. Hey, Spurrier isnt coming back to call plays, Tebow doesnt play anymore. So sick of Florida fans bringing up those names. They just are not very good. Simple. Will lose 3 in a row, and possibly not bowl eligible.

  32. Some very good points today about this poorly coached team. Usually when you develop a good running game, you expect the passing game to get much more efficient. Not the case with this team. As I look at some of the other first year QBs, they look like they have been coached up (A&M has an 18 year old) and he looks like a veteran. And Geo has a freshman who is lighting it up. All comes back to QB and receiver coaching. We suppose to have QB coaching on this team, but that hasn’t proven out. Franks has been in Gainesville long enough for a good coach to make him more proficient. Franks is still locking on one receiver while others are running wide open. Unfortunately, I do not see things changing.

  33. Boy, I couldn’t even read all these whinning comments. Put things into perspective. We are playing without 12 scholarship players. Our best receiver is out. So with Callaway suspended and Tyrie Cleveland out, a lot of our offense was gone; especially the ability to throw long. This is Mac’s third year. That means that his so called first recruiting class is juniors. I really think that is unfair because recruiting starts way before he was able to make any kind of impact. So, if you look like it that way most of his recruits are sophomores and freshman. Look at how those guys played. Our young DBs were pretty good. Our linebackers, especially Reese and Joseph (sophomores) were very good. Our first two RBs are sophomores and a freshman. Our quarterback is a redshirt freshman. Bottom line is we are very young, especially without the suspended players and quite thin at linebacker, DB, and wide receiver. Our class for next hear is currently rated about 10th in the country. Highest in several years.
    Point #2. There is something that smells in college football. Do we recruit some of the worst kids around. Seems like our players are always getting in trouble. Does Alabama only recruit saints. Georgia has a similar problem when Mark Richt was the coach. This year and last, almost nothing. Haven’t heard anything about Auburn? FSU? I believe that we have a different culture. I hope all of the suspended players are released. I would rather have a mediocre team than a bunch of thugs. I just wish it was more like that for all colleges. But, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Alabama, Auburn, FSU, etc do recruit better character players.

  34. “We will find out what this team is made of”. When will mcelame stand up and say what a poor job of preparation this staff does week in and week out. Franks is in over his head, if MZ could not make it in Southbend, coaches thought he was the answer in Gainesville. No way! Jake Allen QB (could be no worse), toney Cleveland, and Davis get 80% of touches. And yes mcelame they do allow a team to throw to a tight end in the power 5. Mcelame can coach in group of 5 not in big boy football. Send the coaches packing and restore the program Strickland! A & M 38 Gators 16. It is sad to our team sink this low again. Go Gators

  35. Reality is we had too high expectations for this season given an unusually high loss of players. The same exact thing is happening with FSU and they are doing worse than we are. The suspensions are not Mac’s fault , those fools were all adults, these are not children he is raising. They would have won LSU is they had LDR and Cleveland, that’s just bad luck. The thing that set us back more than anything else was losing Will Grier and that wasn’t Mac’s fault either, once again these guys are all over 18 adults. The best players on the team are freshmen and sophmores which means Mac is recruiting well the last 2 years.

    They are losing games because of a young thin team with mental mistake problems. There is no simple quick answer to that and its going to be a tough year so just get used to it and don’t be a fair weather fan. Recruiting situation looks good IF we have continuity with coaching. If we play coach hot seat BS we will be totally screwed for years.

    • And having all those blue chippers at these games…they see what we see and it can’t be good seeing how this is all going down this year. Most of the parents are there too. My last 17 years I had season tickets I sat in sec H, in the row right in front of the chairbacks where the parents sit while their kids are on their visit and in the South EZ during the game. I heard all the talk going on amongst them, good and bad. They have a say in this too. Sat in front of Tebow and his whole family at the FSU game he attended (don’t know if that was his official visit though), and that game might have been the one that made his decision (even though I was so afraid our Crown Royal induced ‘enthusiasm’ might scare him away). I know if I was a parent of a kid who was trying to make a decision on a school I wouldn’t give UF very high marks right now.

  36. If you watched the game on TV, Pat, you would know that the missed PAT was not Eddy’s fault, it was a terrible hold by Townsend who lost control of the ball.

  37. I guess in my frustration (i cant stand anything LSU), i just dont understand the laid back approach from mac or players. Can anyone show some emotion!! I dont mind losing to a better team, it is the way you look both in offensive philosophy and player attitudes during and after games. Care about losing for the Gator Nation, MAKE CHANGES to coaching staff. We as fans bleed orange and blue and the “oh well, we will fix mistakes and move on” attitude by everyone is very frustrating to hear

  38. Anybody who is trashing Franks is an idiot. The guy has the prototypical size for an SEC QB and has a very STRONG arm. He has been very accurate for the most part when he’s been allowed to throw the ball. Throws a beautiful deep ball. Just is still adjusting to the speed of the game as well as how to read the defense while on the field and is still learning to do things such as look off a safety before you make a pass. He does stare guys down and that along with still learning to read defenses are his two worst attributes. He has very good pocket presence for a young guy. He is fairly agile and fast/able to escape rushers when they do get to him. He’s starting to get very good at improvising when the play breaks down. All he needs is more in-game experience and he will be a very good QB, if not great. I know it’s hard to see now, but he’s always fairly calm, he is a good leader. He’s got a ton of the tools and if he wants it bad enough, if he’s got the heart, he will be great. Not to mention the poor kid played this week without the teams 2 best deep threats and basically two best WRs overall as well as a powerful punishing RB in Jordan Scarlett. I know, the suspended guys are as good as gone but imagine us having those guys we’re supposed to have. There is no doubt in my mind Feleipe would have hit a few more deep passes with them on the field together and that would have opened up the short to medium passing game as well as the run game. Callaway, Scarlett and Cleveland are basically what our entire offense was designed around this offseason and all the sudden we lose 2 of them right before the first game and were without Cleve yesterday. Kind of tough to get a whole lot going. We desperately need Cleve back! Franks will improve! He will be loved by the time he leaves UF! Mark my words!

  39. You know the difference between a Gidiot and a Troll? When we lose, the Gidiots come out calling for the coaches to be fired. When we win, the Trolls come out calling for the coaches to be fired. Either way, they are cut from the same cloth. Both hurt the Gator brand and recruiting whether intentionally or unintentionally.

    I’m not going to let the Gidiots and Trolls drive McElwain out of town. He brought us two division championships in the two years he’s been on the job. We could do a lot worse. Who are we going get? Mullen or Durkin, perenial 5th in their division finishers? We are trending up after the Muschamp years. Recruiting is taking off. We could end up like the UTs (both Tennessee and Texas). They drove their successful coaches who brought each school a national championship out of town. Ever since, they are have suffered through a decade (and still counting) of dumpster fire after dumpster fire seasons. Every time, they fire the next coach, the program is set back another 3 or 4 years. Looks like LSU is following the same blue print after firing Miles. Then there’s Nebraska…ditto. How long and how many coaches did Alabama cycle through before they finally landed Saban. The pasture is not always greener on the other side. In fact, it almost always is worse. I want the Gidiots and Trolls to get off my lawn.

  40. Being at the game with Gator fans talkin, agreeing it is a coaching problem. The interception called a tie should have had a time out. There were countless plays where a team that’s organized reacts & knows what to do, we looked lost several times. Never even tried up tempo in the 1st half. Franks is a true frosh QB. He can be quite good but he needs better coaching & play calling. 1st half was a disaster. 2nd half was much better. The missed PAT was NOT the difference. Eddie is one of our best weapons(out of the end zone practically every kick off) We have two great shots in the 4th quarter with 8 & 4 mins left to get the FG & did nothing. This game is ALL on Coach Mac & his staff, mainly OC. We need more points that 16.

  41. Its Mcelwains job to determine the bad coaching..If he is not willing to get rid of Nuss then mac is NOT doing his job. either get rid of nuss or both mac and nuss need to go

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