Dooley Grades the Gators: Team McElwain left behind

Missouri's Kendall Blanton, left, catches a touchdown pass in front of Florida's Jeawon Taylor during the first quarter Saturday in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Offense F-

First half: Hmm, funny what happens when you actually try to throw the ball downfield against a bad defense. For the most part, looked like the same tired old offense.

Second half: You had to like the third-and-six run up the middle after a timeout. The first drive of the half was a nice one until the Gators started going backward.

For the game: The only thing that was different was that Florida did try the middle of the field with Malik Zaire. And sometimes it actually resulted in a completion. “I hope we go more to that next week,” Zaire said.

Defense F–

First half: You thought last week was bad. The Gators gave up 298 yards and were gashed by Missouri’s running game for 5.7 yards an attempt.

Second half: The defense actually held Missouri to 81 yards in the third quarter, but the Tigers had little trouble scoring when they wanted to.

For the game: It doesn’t seem that long ago when defense was keeping the Gators in games, but in the last two they’ve given up 87 points. That’s bad defense.

Special teams D

First half: A muffed punt by Brandon Powell. Terrible blocking on kickoff returns. Special teams didn’t exactly help Florida get off to a fast start.

Second half: The good news was that Eddy Pineiro made another field goal and the special teams didn’t hurt Florida. That’s an improvement. But Pineiro had an off-day kicking off. “That hasn’t happened all season,” said interim head coach Randy Shannon.

For the game: If the goal was to win the field goal kicking contest, the Gators won. But special teams are still a major problem.

Overall F

Just a miserable performance by a team that looked like it was miserable. This game showed that Jim McElwain wasn’t the only issue, but this also is the team he left behind.




    • Amen to that. It’s proving out what many have suspected for so long. As non-innovative of a coach and abrasive of an employee that McElwain appeared to be, his biggest weakness is that he had no ability to recruit and no understanding of how to attract top flight talent from the state of Florida and the Southeast. This team is littered with 3 star players who would not be starting at USF today, and they basically gave up. I am all for blowing the whole thing up and starting over from scratch. Outside of Malik Davis, I don’t know what real SEC talent is on this roster, and who knows how he will recover from his injury (Good luck MD). McElwain is awful HBC coach, he set this program back several years. I would take Will Muschamp any day of the week and twice on Sunday over that guy. Good job, Jeremy Foley. Please get this one right Mr. Stricklin..

      • You can have Muschamp. Down 2 TD’s to GA today with less than 6 min left his offense kept throwing 3 yard passes. Same old stuff. I’m not defending Mac’s off-field issues, but he get’s little credit for winning two east titles, because “the east is weak” and “he had Muschamp’s defense”, when Muschamp couldn’t sniff an east title under the same conditions.

        • Yeah, except the East was not weak under Muschamp.

          2011 – Georgia won 10, and there were 3 11 win west teams, Florida played 2 of them

          2012 – Georgia 12-2, SC 12-2, Vandy 9-4. 3 teams in the west. Florida played 4 teams with 11 wins and had a 3-1 record in those games. What’s Mac’s record vs ranked teams ?

          2013 – there were still some DECENT teams, bit the weakening was beginning. 0-3 vs double digit win teams. Two of those teams in the east.

          2014 – officially weak. 1-1 vs double digit win teams.

          Enter Mac –

          2015 – Florida and Georgia were the only 10 win east teams, and Georgia spent the year in flux amidst Richt rumors. They ended up showing him the door in a 10 win season.

          2016 – no 10 win teams. Georgia in year 1 of Smart. Mizzou in year 1 of Odom after Pinkel walked away after giving his life to the program. UT won 9 which was…the highwater mark for the Champions of 5 star life hearts under Jones. SC was in year 1 under Muschamp after the Spurrier midseason resigning.

          So yeah, not only was the east weak, three of the teams responsible for double digit season over the previous 5 years were ALL breaking in new coaching staffs.

          Mac is a bum, plain and simple. He was, at the time, the 4th best coach in the 6th best conference. If he was still there he’d be 5th best because Craig Bohl is there now and he’s better. But Foley hired a middling coach from the SIXTH best conference and sold him as a savior. Oh I know, Garret Grayson put up cute numbers. But they lost the games that mattered including to a service academy.

          Some people bought the hype. Maybe it was the win with his dog comment with his mountain twang. The envisioned Spurrier saying something like “ah can take out my 3 wood and smack a football 80 yards on the mark to Ahk Hiyard (Ike Hilliard) and thought he was Spurrier 2.0.

          It was nothing more than Foley going cheap again. Yes yes, I know, best AD in the country because Florida wins everything else right down to coed Pinochle. Whatever. Football is what drives the AD revenue. Invest heavily in it and there’ll be even more wealth to trickle down to the Pinochle team.

          • Grade for Coaching: ZERO-
            There was none.PERIOD. Mac is gone. Stop blaming MAC for all the problems. In all the comments about the NOFFENCE. Why is Nussbum still on the sideline? His resume will reflect that he has also contributed grealy to one of the most conditioned and experienced punting teams in the SEC. If he is still calling plays and coaching, I have to ask, WHY? And who is paying for it? Send him to the NFL to teach the how to kneel.

        • I could not have offered a better defense of my point. I don’t think anyone is claiming they long for the days of Muschamp, JS, but at least he knew what he was doing on one side of the ball. The cat knew how to recruit and coach defensive players. Coach “aw shucks”, once we had a team filled with mostly his recruits, was equally as weak on defense as it was on offense. And, for better or for worse, we were one fumble away from possibly playing for a national championship under Muschamp. We never even got to the parking lot outside of the bus station that would take us to the national championship game under McElwain.

    • The administration didnt “quit” on mac. When he made false death threat claims as a slap at the fans he signed his own pink slip. I said so on here when he did it. He hurt the University, recruiting(what parent wants their child to go to a school where the fans threaten to kill the coach and players) and he hurt the fans. It was clear it was a lie when he refused to give the school any proof and was too stupid to realize that would get him fired with cause, they shouldnt have given him any buyout!
      In a real situation he should have told the police and the University and NEVER said anything to the media. Of course if he had told the police he could have been arrested for filing a false police report, and you dont tell the police if you dont have any proof, do you?
      You dont damage your employer, your team and your players that way! What a moron! He left the school no choice!

    • If mac was on the sideline yesterday the result would have been the same or worse. This had nothing to do with the timing of the coach being fired. This result had mac’s fingerprints all over it.

      • Exactly. He’d already lost the team. They aren’t stupid. They saw what Franks was doing in practice and they watched Mac talk a big game about how prepared they were. The credit card thing was not at all a shock. That was the action of his who just don’t care

    • George. Plenty of talent on this team. No desire left in them for this year, however, it seems. And the coaching is the worst coaching I have ever witnessed. I chose not to watch much of this game today. So glad I did that. It is likely that very few of use in Gatornation will choose to go watch them play in The Swamp the last two games there. I doubt they will beat UAB and end up 3 – 8 this year. New head coach on the way and Nussmeier will be gone soon. Should have been a long time ago.

      • Yeah, except Florida is in the most talent rich state in the most talent rich region.

        Daytona Beach is a mere 2 hours away.

        Nebraska has to go around the country trying to convince kids to come to the nothingness of Lincoln where the most interesting thing to do is to serve on the judge’s panel of a scarecrow lingerie contest in one of the thousands of cornfields.

  1. Randy is just mopping up the mess. I thought Zaire tried and played as hard as he could under less than ideal conditions. 20 20 hind sight, it would have been best to have built the offense around him from the start, of course it would have been just for this year??? Would have given Franks and Trask time to “get it”. Now the next coach and staff will need 3-4 good years to re-build.

    Thanks to Foley’s lack of Coach discernment, again, the rest of the year will be big $$$ losses. Can anyone see more than 50K at the FSU game?

  2. I didn’t even know this was possible but Nuss got worse. A child throwing darts at a wall full of plays would do much better than this complete waste of space calling the plays now. I can not for the life of me figure out why he’s still calling plays…just mind boggling. I am still not a fan of Randy Shannon and his defensive philosophy. Good LB coach and recruiter, not a good DC or HC but I understand he’s in a tough situation from HC standpoint.

    Someone please send help soon.

  3. I just hope the remaining games do not cause Frost, Norvell, Campbell, or any other top coaches being considered to say, “No way,” concerning coming to coach these players, and the program ends up with another Muschamp or McElwain.

    • I think the top level coaches harboring an interest in this destination understand the mechanics and psychology of this team. They can identify the gamers and flamers. Sad day though it was, if we’re fortunate enough to get the right HC we will win with what we have and contend with a few more gamers. I’m not worried yet.

        • It will happen in stages. I think about Chris Peterson’s comment about winning with 1-2 star recruits at Boise State: “we’re looking for our kind of guys” and if you look at the lack of success teams have with top 5 recruiting classes, and FSU is the best current example- with UCF a nice counterpoint- we need a coach who can evaluate talent and coach-ability. Smart kids with some speed and all around athleticism who can learn to play a team game. Leaving ‘Bama aside, championships truly are not won on national signing day. I’d blather on about BS pro-set offenses vs spreads, but you get the idea. College football is a coach’s league. The NFL is a player’s league. We need coaches who focus on recruiting, but focus even more on TEACHING.

    • Rick–When a top tier program has a vacancy, it’s because things are bad and need changing. Another way of saying it is that no new coach comes into a great situation, far from it. Yet, good coaches keep taking these jobs because the upside is so good. Additionally, these coaches have had success in turning dismal programs around and they are confident that they can do it at the place they choose to go (see Frost and UCF). So, I’m not worried about scaring off any number of good new coaches.

  4. Soon we will have a new staff of coaches. We’ll see then that there is plenty of talent on this roster but these coaches are incapable of developing talent, schemes, gameplans, anything. Incapable of motivating players. Incapable of doing their jobs at all. Our coaching has been beyond pitiful and has made us the national laughing stock of CFB. Players just plain quit today (lack of coaching) and Randy Shannon’s D led the pansy-party. Start the 2nd string next week, 3rd string, anybody who actually wants to give 100% effort since the starters are quitters. This season is shot so play the bench and look for effort. All games remaining are likely losses, at least 2 by blowouts. A good high school team could beat the hell out of these guys. When we finally get back on top all Gators should remember what today feels like.

    • We don’t need some young guy trying to make his mark in college football. You know Muschamp was the next big name when he was hired at Florida, don’t you? A good assistant with no head coaching experience. How did that work out? We need a proven coach who has won consistently and has a proven track record. Enough with the experiments. We can’t afford another whiff. This is The University of Florida. We shouldn’t have to reach for a coach.

  5. F-. Somehow a kicker who always kicks it out of the end zone, does not. Stupid play calling bubble screen. Little if any read option or running QB. No defensive line play worth much. I could not stand to watch this quitting. How about putting something on tape for the NFL, some sure did that but not in a good way. Wait for next year used to be a regular thing at UF, I thought those days were long gone, apparently not.

  6. Well, Randy Shannon and the rest of the coaches need to update their resumes for a new job. I doubt it will help them as the Nation saw how bad they really are as all phases of this football team is absolutely terrible. Now I can see why the 10 did what they did in not wanting to play for these coaches and some of the players. Very sad for the players who play their heart out. The new coaches better know how to evaluate and sign elite high school players. Try to sign some smart players this time. Obviously some of the lineman are too stupid to know when the ball is hiked !!

  7. A great coach will not be turned off by this. Quite the opposite. A great coach will see this as the great opportunity that it is- the ability to quickly come in and be the savior at a program that has won 3 national championships in the last 25 years and is the biggest and richest university in one of the most talent rich states. A chance to reap the glory that comes with fixing a program that has fallen on hard times. Also- FSU has taken an unexpected downturn too (although probably not as bad). Sure- Miami is doing well, but I don’t think they are anywhere close to top level days of the past, and we all know they have inherent disadvantages of being a small private school. Even the SEC East sucks- even if UGA is truly up to elite status, that still leaves a bunch of other crapy teams. No one wants to come right after the great coaches like Myer or Spurrier, because then you have nowhere to go but down. In this situation, there is nowhere to go but up. Hell, I think most of us would be happy to simply see semi-competent offense at this point, let alone great. This team has enough talent to at least go 8-4 and put up a fight against the best teams in the league. They just need to be coached and developed. This is a great opportunity.

  8. At the end of the day these guys are still playing for the University of Florida and all it represents! Not for the Coach, not even the fans….They chose to come to Florida Now they should do everything they can to prove to the football world that the University has a history that is worth fighting for! The University of Florida is a highly respected college. There’s more to it than football! I love Gator Football as much as anyone they should feel honored to be playing for ALL IT REPRESENTS! The coaches for all the other teams the University supports teach their players “YOU ARE PLAYING FOR FLORIDA”……HOLD YOUR HEAD UP AND GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU”VE GOT ” and the fans will come, the coaches will come, the Press will come but don’t do it for THEM! God Bless this wonderful College!

  9. I am in agreement with others who have remarked that Mr. Dooley’s grades should include the coaching as well as the execution of the three phases of the game. I realize that this is quite likely to diminish his popularity with the coaches, but all the information gained at pressers and in interviews is canned “coach speak” anyway so there will be little loss in that regard. The success of head coaches is largely determined by the quality of their coordinators. I have noted previously that Stoops made the difference for SOS, and Mullen did so for Meyer. While McElwain was himself inadequate for the job, the performance of the team against Missouri highlights, as never before, the glaring incompetency of the coordinators and coaching staff in general. The player talent level is not what it should be, and the fact that they have quit is undeniable and inexcusable, but game plan preparation and the adjustments (especially halftime) are so woefully poor that it is legitimate to wonder exactly what is being coached and practiced. No wonder practices were closed to the press and the public! The sad truth may well be that as bad a coach as McElwain is, he somehow managed to assemble a staff of coordinators and assistants who are just plain awful individually and even more grossly incompetent collectively. How many millions of dollars were wasted on this motley crew? The fact is that the coaching grades for all phases of the game have been failing at both the fundamental (i.e. blocking and tackling) and strategic (X’s, O’s, and recruiting)levels for far too long. As this unfortunate season painfully plummets to a sorry end, the utter failure of the coordinators and assistants will continue to be more and more apparent.

    • I have said this before but I’ll repeat it. Look at the difference in the grades for the positions and the final score and you’ll find the coaches grade. Earlier in the season when we knew that the game grade should be a D but he gave B’s and/or C’s to the positions, he’d still come up with an overall D and we’d say: “those grades don’t average out to a D.” Well, that’s because the coaching/playcalling was an F. Now it works. With the grades he’s gave for this game, showing an F for coaching would’nt change it from an F so I think you’ve got your coaching grade.

  10. I give the offense a C-. Zaire did pretty well considering how little he’s played this year and Perine ran hard. Defense gets a solid F for making it too easy for MO to go up and down the field all day. Special teams gets a D- and not an F since Eddy made all three FG attempts. And Nuss gets his usual solid F- for continued incompetence in calling plays.