UF players working on mistakes, on to next game

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Florida wide receiver Josh Hammond fights for extra yardage after catching a pass, as Michigan cornerback Lavert Hill attempts the stop Saturday in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Based on the reaction — wait, make that overreaction — on social media from Gator fans and others, Florida lost more than just a game in Dallas last Saturday. They lost all hope for the season.

The players and coaches, of course, see it much differently.

It was just one game.

Granted, it was a bad one, but only one.

That was the post-practice theme among some of the players Tuesday.

“It’s only one game at the end of the day,” senior slot receiver Brandon Powell said. “We’ve got, what, about 12 more games to go. That’s nothing to us.

“We went through it last year. We lose a game and everybody is down on us. We’re not worried about everybody. We’re ready for the next opponent, that’s all there is.”

While fans seem content to let the humbling 33-17 loss to Michigan linger, the Gators apparently have already moved on. They’ve studied the tape, have identified their many mistakes and are now working on trying to correct them in time for the next game.

Yes, there are offensive issues.

And while Gator Nation continues to grouse about the lack of imagination, the play-calling of coordinator Doug Nussmeier and the general overall offensive ineptitude, starting with the line, the Gators have put that loss in their rearview mirror.

The season isn’t over. It’s just getting started.

“We’re not going to dwell on the past,” sophomore outside linebacker Kylan Johnson said. “We’re just fixing the mistakes and moving on and just moving forward.”

If their fans want to continue bemoaning all that they think is wrong with the offense, why Nussmeier needs to go, why coach Jim McElwain’s program suddenly has no future, that’s perfectly OK with the Gators.

They’re not listening. Or reading.

“We’re not worried about anybody, but the people on our team,” Powell said. “Everybody is confident. That’s all we really care about. Everybody can say what they want to say. It doesn’t matter to us.

“I don’t pay attention to outside stuff, I just worry about my team, whatever coach Mac tells us we need to work on. We watch film, we see what we need to work on. That’s all we really care about.

“As you can see, we’ve been out there grinding. Everybody is still positive, everybody knows it’s only one game. We’ve got a long season to go. We’re just trying to take it game by game. Northern Colorado is next up on the schedule, so just focus on them.”

The Gators are just like their fans in one respect. They too were disappointed in their opening-day performance on a national stage and experienced a deep hurt because of it.

“It’s the first game, everybody is expecting a better outcome,” Powell said. “You just take it game by game. Some days you don’t have your day. That was one of our days where we didn’t have our day. That’s why we’re at practice, trying to get better.”

Unlike the fans, the players are ready to walk away from the loss.

They have no choice, really. There’s another game Saturday (weather permitting) and there are at least 10 more after that, maybe even more.

“I just know our guys have got to go out and play again,” McElwain said. “We’ve got to have a good week of practice. In doing that, you can’t feel sorry for yourselves. Sometimes when you go through whatever it is you do it doesn’t work out the way you want it, you’ve got a choice to sit there and pout and cry about it or you’ve got a choice to sit there and go do something about it. I’m excited to get back on the field.”

There’s no reason to let the last game effect the next one.

“It ain’t like we haven’t been through something like this before,” Powell said. “We’re not concerned about anything. It’s only one game. We have a long season ahead of us.”

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or robbie.andreu@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.

 

22 COMMENTS

  1. Robbie, the fans did not overreact because they were not angry at one game; we were despondent over the continuation of a trend we’ve seen the last 3 … make that 7 years. A competitive game against Michigan would’ve been a welcome change, but a complete absence of offense against a top program is just more of the same. You and Dooley seem to get that when you want to make your points, then forget it when you want to chide the fans.

    So the players are moving on? Good, fine, that’s super. Why do you want the fans to, when we are apparently the only group left who will hold the coaches accountable for such ongoing mediocrity?

  2. I think what Is the tale of the tape is that Michigan had how many new starters on defense? 10. Our offense has been in this system for three years. I think not sstarting Luke was a mistake unless he is still trying to recover. Why not start a guy that knows how to check at the line when the defense is showing a particular look and if they don’t how the coaching is accountable for that. It’s the little things that add up to three points on the day.

  3. MAC said after the Arkansas game last year that he should have taken LDR out. LDR WAS INJURED. A fool would have known to take him out.

    At Michigan, MAC said the defense blew up his offensive plan. A fool would have had a Plan B. But not MAC.

    After Zaire failed in two series, MAC should have gone back to Franks.

    Zero on the coaching side for three years.

  4. I understand the players point of view. They have to rally around and support one another, and even their coaches for a lot of different reasons. They certainly are not going to say anything negative about their head coach. But the players need to understand the fan point of view, a view that has been watching offensive ineptitude go on by the Florida Gators football team since Meyer’s last year here. I think that would be almost seven years of offensive ineptitude. Powell will be graduating soon as a play. We will remain fans and many of us have been fans of Florida for a long, long time. This is not what we have known in the past, and it is not what Gator Nation is going to tolerate much longer. But we will always support the players. But we will also be real with our thoughts on the coaches who are getting paid millions of dollars to put a far better product in The Swamp and elsewhere. Those highly paid coaches are not doing that right now, even though they have the talent and the resources to do so.

  5. The players have to stay positive and look to the next game, as do the coaches. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Fans need to recognize, we have a minimum of two more years with coach Mac, at least.

    Look how long we kept Muschamp and Zook. Screaming on social media and ranting on boards will not change one thing, not one. So, once you realize we are an average team, with less than average hopes to get a new coaching staff in the next two years, the sooner you can sit back and enjoy the games.

    Yes, I get the fact that losing isn’t enjoyable, but it’s inevitable in the SEC given our coaches and 3.5 star players. So, do you beat your head against an immovable object trying to change what you can’t change, or do you sit back and drink the Koolaid? Like it or not, we have coach Mac for a minimum of two more years, and Nuss, well he should be shopping for a Realtor …

  6. I don’t see the fans as being totally over reaction, but I am glad that the players see that there are more games and need to improve. Now if just the coaches would understand that they also made many mistakes, need to evaluate their we only run our offense, and improve we have hope for this year. If the coaches don’t improve neither will the team, or at least not enough to justify those coaches still being employed at UF.

  7. Just one game…lol. Just one MORE game against a quality opponent where the Gators are not even competitive. It’s not about the loss…it’s about not being competitive, not having heart, and not being prepared. This loss should sting the very souls of the players and coaches…they should not forget how they were embarrassed by a vastly superior opponent who had similar personnel issues coming into this game. But for the players…”it’s just one game”. Great attitude by the players and coaches…until the next loss to a quality opponent. And to the “fixable mistakes”, I give you Zook 2.0.

  8. Robbie,
    The reaction wasn’t for one game…OMG you should get that.
    The response is over the past five seasons.
    I suspect Robbie thinks we’re “Deplorable” for wanting straight talk.
    I don’t care what or who you vote for, let’s get real here. The offense is a joke.
    Cheers,
    Doug

  9. Somebody explain to Mac, and apparently Robbie as well, that this isn’t Troy State. This is Florida. We expect more, and, Frankly, have been plenty patient since Mac got to town. Just one game? We’re going on what? Seven seasons of pathetic offense? This is not cool. Does Mac feel the heat? Good. This is his job. I don’t get back slaps when I produce mediocre work, so I’m not going to applaud and pretend everything is ok when he does. Do your job, or give it to someone who will.

    • The pisser is that we have made Zook, Muschamp and now Mac independently wealthy. When they left they didn’t have to do anything for the rest of their lives. We are overpaying these guys BEFORE they really achieve anything. I’m a great guy that always has a great plan, why didn’t I EVER get a guaranteed $300k/year, no cut contract the year after I nailed my quota by 200% (won the SEC East) and earned $200k+?

  10. My brother, who as a rule doesn’t follow the SEC (Buckeye fan), texted me after the game to ask if Mac was on the hot seat. So it’s not just Gator fans, it’s knowledgeable college football fans who look at UF football and say, How can you spell Flrida, without an O? You can’t. Mediocre recruiting, less than prepared game planning, and a “wait till next game” mentality has put fans in a turmoil. Yes, a word above? Competitive. That, we were not, and you should be, even on your bad days. And how can we trust this was a bad day when it was Day 1 and you had eight months to prepare? Maybe the players back THESE coaches because a new staff would bench them all. We shouldn’t be having these types of comments for one year, much less SEVEN! Yuck! UK is drooling to now end THEIR streak, now that Vandy and UT have.

  11. I also understand the players needing to move on and focus on next game, they have to. WE in Gator nation expect our team to win first, if you do lose atleast be prepared enough to look like you belong on the same field as the other team since you have been preparing since Jan to play this game. If that game plan is what was put in place what film are they watching? One blowout of Northern Colorado wont change the perspective

  12. Mac says every week- We are a good team, we are going to have fun and play our tails off. If I hear that again I am going to puke.
    1. Says after game offensive line not spending enough time in weight room. What is he watching all summer. Pretty pathetic that he realizes this the first game of season.
    2. Wide reciever says Michigan wanted it more than us. He’s on the field. This is refection of how prepared team was. Even if you lose you should still want it as much as other team. Embarrising that a player would say that much less feel that way.
    3. Same no offense as last 3 years and MAC says no changes should be made. Changes should be made but I don’t think they will be made.
    4. Tired of same COACH SPEAK after every game. I can tell you the after game press conference before the game.

  13. Burn those awful white helmets, place the old uf emblem from emmitt smiths days back on the pants, wear orange helmets, white pants and orange jerseys, and never ever bring those white helmets back on the field. We are orange and blue! Not white… the coaches who try and change the orange helmets should be fired… how many games we lost with those atrocious hats. STOP the white hats#

  14. Couldn’t agree with most of the fans more completely. If I recall there was an article about Urban Meyer early in career at Florida. It was about how he addressed the team after a disappointing loss at LSU. He knew he had their undivided attention because they were sitting in the plane waiting to take off! So he captured the moment and asked the other coaches to step outside so he could address the players only. Only the players can attest to what the HC said, but it must’ve been profound. Whatever it was they completely took on accountability and the rest is history. Currently I’m not seeing any such sense of urgency!!!