UF coach defends offensive line


The Florida offensive line that was supposed to be a team strength caved in badly in the loss to Michigan. But coach Jim McElwain isn’t giving up on the big guys after one poor performance.

“One thing I want you to know is I believe in these guys,” he said. “These guys believe in themselves. They looked at it (on tape). We’ve made corrections and we’re a pretty good football team. We’re going to show that.”

McElwain has been promoting the line as team strength for months. He said he did not see Saturday’s performance coming.

“I didn’t think it would be like that,” he said. “I am not going to sit here and tell you that I thought it would be like that. I knew it would be a physical game. Our opportunities, especially on first-and-10, and then getting behind the sticks like we did, that’s something I knew was going to give us trouble if that occurred, and that sure as heck is what happened.”

McElwain said the linemen struggled with their pad level and had numerous breakdowns. But not everyone graded out poorly.

“Brett Heggie played pretty good (at left guard),” McElwain said. “He’s one of those young guys that it wasn’t too big for him at all. I thought our communication (on the line) broke down at times as far as getting transferred from the center outside.”



  1. The more coach Mac talks about this game and what happened, and what needs to be done, the less confidence I have that we will see a different set of results going forward ( don’t count on Northern Colorado to be a big win!). It’s the same blather we have heard for 2 years. In my view, they should should just shut up and go back to work. Those speculating on coaching changes during this season will most likely be disappointed, but right now the light at the end of this season is the train that will hit once this season ends.

  2. If you received a national championship for potential or because the coach believes in you, we win it every year. However, in order to win, you must thoroughly prepare for your opponent then execute the plays. Florida did neither. What is so troubling is the fact that the coach says they watched tape and the guys understand what they did wrong and will correct it. Yeah, what they did wrong is fail to block and get out muscled. Didn’t the team go through Spring camp and Fall camp? What was taught during that time? Unfortunately the coach sounds like Zook and Muschamp with the “we can fix it” approach.

  3. The new Gator Head Coach in waiting is better than what we have now.
    2. Chip Kelly- Has the spread O skill to get her done.
    1. Tim Tebow- He will will us to victory’s, and that’s a good thing.#1 choice of the Gator Nation.
    3. Bob Stoops-He doe’s not like retirement.
    4. Mike Gundy-Great spread O teacher.
    5. Steve Spurrier- Fun & Gun returns.
    6. Les Miles- Mad Hater knows how to win.

    • 2. Chip Kelly- We could never land him, UF has become the place to come and fail, he’d rather turn around Arizona and have a stress free life.
      1. Tim Tebow- Love Tebow, however HC’s need organization and managerial experience … maybe one day
      3. Bob Stoops- Now you’re just being silly
      4. Mike Gundy-Why make a lateral move into more pressure?
      5. Steve Spurrier- The Fun & Gun is Dun & Gone. Love the HBC, but the game has changed, he hasn’t
      6. Les Miles- I’d prefer a coach who CAN beat Saben.

      Like it or not, we have our coach for the foreseeable future.

    • 7 – none of the above
      …I’m guessing there was some sarcasm with this list. Chip Kelly is on speed dial with the NCAA – dirty as they come. Spurrier? …come on man. Les Miles lack offensive evolution was on par with Muschamp. He always underperformed. Gundy? …we would be in search of Defensive minded HC in 3 years because Gundy doesn’t know what that is. Tebow? …now that’s being ridiculous. Stoops? …come on man part 2

  4. It is clear by now that coach mac is delusional. He does not have the abilitly to examine this team from an objective point of view. This team is regressing, and more dissapointment lies ahead once the real sec competition begins. When you see this, it will signal the beginning of the end coach mac and his minions. On another note, this team has no discipline, either on the field or off field. The investigation into criminal activities is not over, and is likely to expand. It is quite possible that there are many more criminals on this team, and coach mac is unable to control what is happening under his own eyes. Pathetic.

  5. I do not think this coaching staff has what it takes to help these players be successful, a student is only as good as his teacher and this is what we are seeing. I was thinking today about simple stuff the coaches could do to help the offense. Have a play ready and have the players line up and as the coach check the defense and signal the proper checks that need to be made or stay with the same play, use everything to your advantage that you can. There is major issues with this team, the basics have not been taught to these players and that is apparent by the production on the field.

  6. I tried of hearing excuses, we haven’t had a offense for so long I can’t remember what one looks like, I feel so sorry for the defense. They play there tails off and get no help. When you see all the empty seats this Saturday, it should tell you that a coaching change is in the horizon. We are a middle of the road SEC team and that’s became of a hard playing defense. It’s going to be a long year for us. Can Mary Wise coach football? She is a winner!

  7. To all of the people on this thread barking for a new coach, wise up. If you were a winning coach would you want to come to Florida and deal with the fire.com fan-base and try to succeed where two others have failed? With that parity in recruiting and TV money flowing more evenly to all schools, why come here and live a stressful life? Like it or not, We are Alabama of the 80’s and the UT of the 90’s … Our revolving coach door has made our hopes of getting a Chip Kelly caliber coach nearly impossible. No doubt we need a new OC … but calling for the coach’s head is ignorant and defeats our future prospects of landing an A-lister in the future.

  8. Michigan is going to be one of the top teams in the country this year. They have size and speed comparable to the top SEC teams. They crowded the line and blitzed from all over. Our guys may have been out physically, but mostly they were outnumbered and our inept offensive coaches didn’t know how to exploit what MI was doing.
    Slant routes was the answer with your tall QB, not misdirection with your little QB. And try deep passes to get them to back off, but our coaches didn’t know what to do and the game spiraled out of control.

    Can someone explain how MI converted all those third and longs? That was the only flaw with the defense.

    TN looks very beatable. I’m less optimistic that I was last week, but all is not lost. Let’s hope Mac figures it out.

    • They converted all those 3rd and longs because the defense was gassed. It’s the same story every year. The offense can’t stay on the field and the defense gets tired. They were on the field for 35 mins. They can only go so long and when you add no depth, especially at the LB position, that’s a recipe for failure. You can only ask the defense to do so much and for a while they were doing plenty to win the game, but you can’t blame them when they can’t do any more.

  9. Fishman, you are spot on. This team has many criminals on it and no discipline on or off the field. Meanwhile, coach Mac sits in his office eating his large bag of fritos and sees nothing happening under his own nose. He can continue to make light of the problems, but we will not have to put up with his nonsense for much longer, for he will be gone by this time next year. He will leave a massive wreck behind just as Urban did. He is a fraud and con man, but each day more people are seeing it. I knew we were in for trouble when he appeared for the first time getting off the airplane in flip flops. A real winner…

    • Start kicking these thugs off the team! It’s the only thing that will get their attention. What does a one game suspension mean to someone who puts themselves ahead of the team and being a Florida Gator.

    • And lost! Pretty sure Franks’ stats would’ve been just as good if he were playing in WVU’s offense and the coaches allowed him to throw it 53 times. What do you honestly think Grier’s stats would’ve looked like if he was playing behind that joke of an OL against Michigan? How did Grier look when the game was on the line and he had the ball on VT’s 15 yard line and threw 3 straight incompletions to end the game? Congrats to Grier for choosing a school/offense that allows every QB to put up massive numbers, but unfortunately massive numbers mean nothing when you lose. The Gator offense doesn’t suck because of the QB, they suck because of an offensive coordinator that doesn’t know how to call plays or make adjustments and still tries to run the ball when it’s blatantly obvious the entire defense is selling out to stop it.

  10. Mac needs to re-evaluate his commitment to UF. In the real world scheme there is “pay for performance.”
    He has not been earning an honest $$ this season. Just rolling the dice and hoping he can prove all us naysayers wrong! I’ll take more interest in the program when he quits drinking the KOOLAID!

  11. History of all great football dynasties are directly etched in a specific timeframe with a great coach. The ebb and flow of programs are defined by the coaching carousel of bad to great coaches. Observers can see the difference in team performance immediately when you are fortunate enough to latch onto a great coach. Spurrier, Meyer, Saban,…you know one when you see them. Florida’s coach is a good person and a good coach. Is good, good enough? If Florida aspires for greatness, as defined by Championships, then we must make the very difficult decision and move on.

  12. Michigan’s D-Line is not bigger than Florida’s O-Line. However, they did play stronger and faster and must be in better condition. Our O-Line is still pretty young overall. Let’s give our coaches an opportunity to coach them up, and our players an opportunity to learn and play smarter. This was just the first game of the season, and a tough one at that. GO GATORS!!!

  13. “The good Lord is good to teams with good tackles.” ~Florida Head Football Coach, Charley Pell, heading into the famous 1984 season. ‘Nuff said! I sincerely hope you’re resting peacefully, Coach Pell.

  14. I hate to say it, but I think GatorNation is finally out of the honeymoon phase and seeing the reality of the mediocre coach we have had. This is 9 years now. The discipline is absolutely a problem and HAS been. Yes, off the field, but on as well. Off sides, false starts and persoinal fouls year after year. There is lacking a “toughness”. The conditioning of these players is shameful. You can see how tired they are through the television and by the second half, just forget it. Some coaches are great coordinators but not good head coaches. Just like some people are hard workers but could never run a business. His record at Colorado St is exactly what we are seeing here. The only reason we have had decent seasons is because of how weak the SEC East has been over the past few years. UF needs to do thbe right thing a get the quality coach this program requires. Not everyone who coached under Saban is a winner (obviously: Kiffin, Muschamp, MacElwain). Let’s get real and hire a coach with a real winning record. Gary Patterson is my personal favorite but I don’t think those oil tycoon boosters are going to let him go anytime soon. At least the fans are waking up and seeing what has been killing me for so many years now.

  15. We’re just awful. The direct result of Mac’s laid back, laissez-faire, no-socks approach to running this team. No discipline, weak, soft, “they just wanted it more than we did” ad nauseum. Mac just doesn’t get what being the Gator HBC is all about. He doesn’t understand rough and tough. He’s just a country bumpkin in the big city that somehow landed a dream job and now we’re all paying for it until he’s fired.

  16. We are talking new coaches already. This is sad. It’s one game against a team that has our number. Name the last time we beat Michigan. Don’t worry I’ll wait. If we still look like the bad news bears after game 5 them I will worry. Every one thinks at coach can come in and just start winning. Not always the case. Remember, it’s not about the x’s and o’s it about the Jimmys and the Joes. The players have to step up and be accountable as well. Yes, we need better play calling but we also need guys to execute the plays that are evening called because the only bad call is the one that didn’t work. Calm down and give it chance. Complaining and giving up after one game doesn’t help anyone. Be a Gator and support our boys.

  17. I see a few people saying don’t press the panic button, but after hearing Coach Mac talking since last year about this O-line being on of the brightest position on the team and then we witness this disaster unfold (BTW) I didn’t think MI was that great of a team. They really poured it on after realizing they could MAN HANDLE our O-line. 17 points and 14 by the defense and 3 by special teams is a telling fact. It’s not the QB’s, those guys were on the run or their backs for every play. let’ see what games 3,4,and 5 give us. I’m really affraid that maybe N.Colorado has seen the film and now think they can come in and WHIP our BUTTS.

  18. I want someone to ask Coach Mac if he thinks Coach is worth the $1.12 million dollars he is getting paid after his offenses have been ranked anywhere between 112th and 116th the last three years and is currently ranked 127th in the nation. I would love to hear his answer!

  19. What is MacYet smoking? You actually believe in this unit? The O-line performed like a powderpuff group of girls putting on cleats for the first time. They were completely manhandled by a superior Michigan defense. Their problems are not “correctable” at all, and if they are, why can’t our coaches identify these problems PRIOR to the game being played??? MacYet raved about this group over the spring and summer heading into fall camp. The fact that he could not foresee the utter inadequacies of this unit makes me question his abilities has a HC. There is no panic button being pushed by the fans…we see the product on the field which is a joke. The team has no leadership, identity, or discipline…and that is on MacYet!