Will first Gator score ignite more Massey opportunities?

Florida wide receiver Dre Massey scored his first touchdown last week against Texas A&M at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

When the play call came in, Dre Massey and his Florida teammates knew his moment had finally arrived. After an arduous journey, Massey finally looked in prime position to reach the end zone.

Massey’s first touchdown of his Florida career gave the Gators a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter following a handoff from quarterback Feleipe Franks. While the 6-yard score ultimately wouldn’t be enough to down the Aggies in the 19-17 setback last Saturday, the touchdown was a significant one for Massey. A former junior college standout at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Mississippi, Massey enrolled at UF before the 2016 season and looked to have crafted a role for himself by the end of his first fall camp in Gainesville.

But in Florida’s season opener, Massey tore his ACL on the opening kickoff, ending his season before it could even begin.

After more than a year away from the field, Massey had been in search of that first touchdown, and it wasn’t simply because he yearned to contribute on the field.

“It was just kind of a feeling of I’ve been coming a long way, working very hard and getting back to the point,” Massey said. “Coming off the knee injury it’s like a mental thing, and finally getting in the end zone it was like a breakthrough for me.”

Considering an injury to freshman wide receiver Kadarius Toney created a larger role for Massey against the Aggies, he knows he has to continue working to assert himself as a mainstay in UF’s offense. He admitted the reduced action he’s seen this season wasn’t how he envisioned his year playing out, but Massey acknowledged that Franks’ youth has played a role in the offensive packages, which affects Massey’s impact.

“I thought I would (have a larger role this season). Yeah, I definitely thought I would,” Massey said, “but like, you know, I guess kind of playing with a younger quarterback we wanted to lean on things that we are more comfortable with, but I think as the season continues to go we will open up more.”

With the bye week providing necessary recuperation for the Gators before a season-defining clash in Jacksonville with SEC East-rival Georgia, Massey is hoping he and his fellow Gators can put the mistakes of the past behind them. Because just like a touchdown could re-define Massey’s UF career, a win over Georgia could revive Florida’s season.

“I think we kind of missed a few opportunities as the season has gone on, but it’s not over yet really,” Massey said. “We can still turn some heads, I think these next couple weeks can really show that. Georgia, that’s a big test, but as far as the East goes, we’re still in it.”


  1. I am sincerely happy for Dre Massey’s comeback from a terrible knee-injury. But the comment, ”…as far as the East goes, we’re still in it”, well, that in of itself, is a glarrring untruth. If Gatorsports.com wants to become like the mainstream media and ”deceive readers” and viewers with misleding statements, like that one, well, that’s another story completely. But to make a story about some of the Gator football players’ motivation and hopes, believing that ”their still in it” (the S.E.C. EAST race) in order to ”motive them” is a drastic measure, even for U.F. football. Their motivation should simply be: ”IT’S GEORGIA!”
    And beating the rest of your oppenents will send a message of a team resurgence and getting some national recognition that they’ve been so sorely lacking to date. Again, I get the jest of the story, but ”come on, man!” These 2017 Gator players’ motivation should be their record 3-3, and their lack of big plays on offense and even on special teams. Basically, their overall mediocrity should, by itself, give them more ”pep in their step”. Telling themselves, they’re ”still in it” to ”motivate them” is a false pretense, sitting them up for further disappointment… for them and the Florida faithful fan base.

    • Are you kidding me? Have you watched Gator/UGA games before? They often end up as messy affairs with half a dozen or more turnovers. You often get some highly rated team getting knocked off. Muschamp almost had two different RBs reach 200 yards each in his one UGA win. It’s the cocktail party dude. Yeah we might have 19 players out but if there’s any game where anything can happen it’s this one.

      And then, UGA has to drop one more SEC game. Not saying it’s very likely but if you give me 15 to 1 odds I’d take that bet.

    • Georgia’s record against the Gators is 6-21 over the last 27 years and have had the far better team in many of those losses. If the Gators can miraculously pull off a win they could very easily lose to Auburn 2 weeks later. All the Gators have left are crappy Missouri and USC. It’s a pipe dream, but not as misleading as you’ve stated. They’re still in it until Georgia beats them plain and simple. The fact of the matter is Georgia’s a very one dimensional team and haven’t proven they can win when someone stops the run. Not saying they can’t, but asking a true freshman to push aside that monkey on their backs and win with his arm against the Gators in Jacksonville is a tall task, especially with all the pressure they have while the Gators can play loose. It should be obvious to everyone in the organization what they need to do to beat them, they just have to go out and do it. You think anyone in the Syracuse fan base thought they’d beat Clemson last week?

    • Actually, you are absolutely wrong…The gators will win out and Georgia losses to Auburn, which, I think they will…UF wins the East…Florida just has a way of beating Georgia…after all every one picks UG to win this game …but, they rarely do…It doesn’t matter where they are ranked or good they are supposed to be…the same will happen again this year, providing Franks isn’t the QB next Saturday…Once again UF wins this game 31-21…as they should and it just feels right…UF has the talent to match UG man for man every where on the field…period…I’m just not buying in on Georgia.

  2. gatorgi70x7 it’s daunting task for sure, but let me understand. You want team’s players not believe when it’s mathematically possible however unlikely. I don’t understand that point of view at all. Once they are if eliminated you ask them to embrace the spoiler roll. What you never due is say awe it’s to hard so lets just tank it. You do what you can to keep your team focused and moticated on the challenges. You never tell them to quit nor do you quit trying as a coach to use anything at their disposal motivate your players as long as its moral. And the last thing you worry about is the disapointment of your faithful fan base when they preach quiting or that they shouldn’t try motivate their players because of your delicate sensitivity

    • Know you’re right, Glen. But though make a lot of decisions based on “probability vs possibility”, it takes special character, individually or as a team, to gain high energy motivation and urgency based on clinging to the possibilities. Time to see if we’ve got it, ain’t that the truth?

      • Yeah it difficult especially on a struggling team. My experience tells me if you don’t believe you can then you can’t. The issues on this team are well documented poor play calling, poor special teams, and limited roster. Those things can be rectified that why I look at are the kids playing hard are they presenting a unified front, do they feel they can still impact their season in a positive way. If you don’t see those indicators then it’s a sign a coach has lost the locker room and you don’t comeback from that. I do not see those indicators and our recruiting looks lie we will be consistenlty in the top ten again. If you look at college football it is the number one indicator for success. The better coaches tend to consistently finish in the top 10 recruiting.

    • My ”delicate sensitivity”? Wow! I will bet you 100 DOLLARS right now, with no points, straight-up, that Florida doesn’t win the SEC EAST! The RIGHT MOTIVATION, and the right reasoning behind it, was my point! So, please, the next time you want to ”call someone out like me”, whom you don’t even KNOW, other than by a few of my written PARAGRAPHS, well, put up or shut up! A 100 DOLLAR BET? And b.t.w., I have NO SENSITIVITIES to these players today, besides their injuries.

      • You bashed a player “Dre Massey” for his comments of believing in his team, so I decided to bash back. I openly admit we are not a very good team at this point. I probably should have left the remark about sensitivities out. I should have not made it personal. As for your offer of taking your bet I’m Gator Fan not a fool. I apologize publicly for making it personal that shouldn’t be done we are all frustrated members of Gator Nation and tempers are high.
        As for my philosophy coaching players to believe in their team despite unfavorable circumstances is a good thing i won’t back down from. I try to be careful with what I say because I don’t use an alias. It’s obvious by your reaction I wasn’t careful enough. Hopefully when people read our discourse they get some idea what our players go through on a daily basis.
        On a final note I apologize to you hopefully you’ll accept it.

        • Glen Fender, I am not ashamed of my alias, but some know that my ”gatorgi70x7” is for gator, G.I., (my actual name: Greg Ines), and the ”70×7” is indicative of ”God’s eternal forgiveness”. As I openly and unashamedly display my faith in Jesus Christ by using His ”70×7” saying about ”unlimited forgiveness’.
          So, not only do I accept your apology, as a Christian, I apologize to you as well. However, your ”personal attack” by saying I have a ”delicate sensitivity” did bother me, way too much, perhaps. But this new and inter-active comment and writing opportunities for us fans, which this website, ”Gatorsports.com” offers us is special to me.
          I do try to avoid personally attacking any one. Lastly, I wasn’t trying to attack Dre Massy. I was just taken back by his comment (which could become a ”team belief”) that the Gators have a ”chance still at the SEC East title”. As I know in my heart of hearts that their chances are slim to none. I just want to read that their ”motivations” are ”just win, baby!” Like the famous, and former Raiders owner, Al Davis, famously said. And let the orange and blue chips fall where they may. This ’17 season is, unfortunately, likely going to be one of ruining U.G.A. and F.S.U.’s seasons, with loses to U.F., hopefully! It is the best way to get the former Florida ”swag” back heading into the next season. I do admire Dre Massey, and sincerely wish him nothing but the best for the rest of the season. Go Gators!

          • Well if you do not accept thats your perogative. I was in the USN and my faith is my own. I agree nothing would be sweeter at this point than beating UGA and FSU. So we may have found common ground. Go Gators

          • I believe FSU’s season is already shot, being that they currently have a worse record than the Gators.

        • ”So, not only do I accept your apology, as a Christian, I apologize to you as well.” Is what I said above… so I am not quite sure what you mean about ”not accepting your apology”. Perhaps you’re just not understanding my writings.
          But we do, in fact, have a ”common ground” about beating U.G.A. and F.S.U. As that would be a great ending to this mediocre U.F. Football season on a high note. Lastly, a very wise Christian man once said, ”Faith is personal, but it is never private”. So, that is my motto, too. Go Gators!

          • G.I., I think Glen must have misread your statement. Reading the many comments he’s posted in these threads, he seems to be a very reasonable guy. As a fellow Christian, I appreciate your attitude and commend you for offering an apology. I don’t know who made the quote you cited, but it’s absolutely accurate. If we truly believe what we claim to believe, it can’t be private. BTW, are you the Greg who calls the WRUF talk shows regularly? Go Gators!

  3. I’ve been asking all season, “where’s Dre Massey?’, with no response on any article comments. The coaches highly applauded him in the pre-season, then didn’t use him. I’m reserving judgement, but it sure seems this group of coaches are not using their offensive weapons, and I mean ALL of their weapons, to the utmost performance. If he’s so good, why is he now just being used in the 6th game of the season, with 14:54 left in the game? If you had Massey and Toney, or Massey and Davis or Perine both in the backfield, who would you key on? Tough decision. Sort of like the 1972 Dolphins having Mercury Morris and Larry Csonka, one power, one speed. You would have to be ready for both. We are so predictable on our offensive play calling, and probably the most unimaginative play calling I have ever seen. If you want to run a Pro Set, then look at teams like the Phil. Eagles, or Panthers.

  4. We were supposed to have an entire package for Massey against A&M, where was that?

    Where have been all the touches for Toney?

    Where was the up-tempo after the first drive?

    We were supposed to get the TE’s involved a couple of weeks ago… where were they?

    With exception of our running game, these coaches have basically failed to deliver on anything they’ve promised.

    These coaches are ad-libbing their way through this season.

    It is amazing to me anyone would believe anything that comes out the mouths of this coaching staff.

  5. It is truly perplexing how players like Massey (and several before him) have just disappeared with Nussmeier as the OC, and after they have been praised by him all preseason. The freshman TE who was said to be very good this past spring and then into the summer, also just disappeared when the season started. As with all the other TEs catching the ball or being passed to by a QB. Perplexing. But like someone said, Massey gets the ball on a jet sweep and scores with tons of time left in the game and he never sees the ball go his direction again. Typical Nussmeier play calling. And a typical loss of a game they should not have lost as a result. I doubt Nussmeier will ever open up the offense. He did not at Alabama during is one year there. He did not during his one year at Michigan. And he has not at Florida going on three years now. The only questions is, why has McElwain given Nussmeier three years when two great head coaches would hardly give him the time of day.

    • Perplexing is right. You know it’s one thing to be uber conservative and clam up in certain situations. We’ve seen other coaches get into conservative protect your lead and don’t get a TO mode with varying degrees of success. But Nuss also seems to do this thing where he just refuses to lean on his strengths. The team does have strengths.

      And if you don’t wanta put too much pressure on a young QB there are other ways to take pressure off the run game. How many freaking slants have been thrown this year? How many jet sweeps? So you can’t get the defense to respect the pass — mix in other non traditional run plays and or some out and out trick plays and then continue to hit them with the Davis/Perine combo. Perine is good but Davis seems more explosive — so why isn’t Davis’s load ticking up? He was getting 6.5 yards a carry vs. LSU and it wasn’t like he had one long play, his longest was 24 yards. Not counting the 4 carry game against Tennessee in which he had the 74 yard run, he averaged by far his best YPC against LSU. But he got the LEAST CARRIES since his coming out against Tennessee!! What in the holy hell. The kid is on fire — give him the rock 10-15 more times than freaking 14 touches. On that last play I was just screaming for a draw play or something. Nuss does run when it’s 3rd/4th and short but I don’t know if we have EVER seen a run play on 4th and 3-5. You’ve got a RB averaging 6.5, the OL playing fairly well, but you ask the QB who has only completed 10 so far to throw on 4th and game. And I’m not saying this after the fact — I was begging them to not throw and hand Davis the ball, give him a draw play or something. The game is on the line and you have a strength and a liability — plus I don’t think ANYONE is actually expecting you go go with the run. But you go to the guy you haven’t been trusting anyways all game.

      Yeah, maybe Nuss has had hard luck with injuries and suspensions and maybe Franks just doesn’t take to coaching and Nuss really can be a good coach in the future. But it is just obvious that this dude can NOT call the game. He does NOT feel any flow for the game.

  6. It does seem we should have more than one good back in at least some of the time–heck run a “T” formation and use all three at once. yes, they need to rest-sorta, but our play calling is putting the entire O asleep….Nad hey, you refuse to challenge a first down spot? And then don’t go for it on fourth and 1/2 yard? why Play–three times we should have gone on fourth and one, fourth and two and fourth on !/2 yard….Nuts calling-poor coaching, and I think that more than anything cost us the last two games.

  7. Hey, it is possible that Gators can still win the east. Our 2 losses in SEC are against the West side of the league.. Georgia goes down to the Gators ….it proves they are beatable in the SEC….then Auburn, USC or even Kentucky can pull an upset…..big if,… I admit, but if that plays out Florida can still back into Atlanta…..in sports we all know improbable things happen at times…..Massey can be worked more into plays, get Toney back to healthy…..and if Franks can play to potential (we all know he can) potent Kool-Aid I know….but you gotta still believe it ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings….

  8. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I honestly do not want to go back to Atlanta this year. Not under any scenario that involves playing Bama. Finish strong, get a nice bowl game, and try to get some positive “Mo” out of the season, but please lets not be the sacrificial goat for Bama again. We simply (and regretfully) do not belong in the same stadium with them. I am no fan of Bama, but two years of humiliation is enough for me right now. Lets get better (way better) before we go back to Atlanta. The good news and the bad news is that it is highly unlikely that we have to worry about another beat down from Bama in Atlanta this year, as the East will not fall into our laps because of the comparatively lousy quality of the East teams.

  9. I grow weary of drives for a game winning FG from a guy who can kick 57 yarders stall on 3rd and 2/4th and 1 because Nuss wants to throw the ball. I grown weary of seeing Will Grier pass for 347 yds and 5 TDs nearly every game–for West Va=. I grow weary of a pro-style offense with no QB who can read the field, NO RBs who can run and receivers who are wide open but don’;t get the ball–or get covered and still get the ball. Franks has proven he cannot run to get a first downh. Best this season is 6-5 and Mack WILL be on the hot seat next year. Wasn’t it just yesterdday Gators and Tide were the elite of the SEC. My how times have changed. Georgia will make us look like a HS JV team. Hard to believe the D holds LSU to 17 and A&m TO 19 AND GATORS LOSE. Whould that ever happen in the Spurrier or Meyer days? Just call me weary. I hope the weariness goes away by the time Gator basketball rolls in.