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Jim McElwain, Gators discuss Florida’s season-opening loss to Michigan

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Florida’s head coach answers questions about this afternoon’s “whooping.”

NCAA Football: Florida at Michigan Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jim McElwain stepped in front of a microphone after Florida’s season opener to address the Gators’ lackluster offense, quarterback changes, and what went wrong in Florida’s 33-17 loss to Michigan.

You can view the press conference in its entirety at the link below.

Here are some quotes from the Gators’ head coach:

  • “They physically took it to us. They beat us every which way you can. We never had an answer.” Also - “Their strength overtook us.”
  • “Quarterbacks didn’t play great. You usually don’t play great when you’re playing off your back foot.”
  • “I still believe in this football team. I believe in these guys. We‘ve got some ballgames ahead of us that we’ve got to get ready for.”
  • When asked about the offensive line - ““They whooped us. Plain and simple.’’ He also noted that there were things there that weren’t executed.
  • On quarterback Feleipe Franks: “He had some jitters, but you know what, he had a good look in his eyes, too.” (You’ll hear that last part again!)
  • “It’s going to hurt and if it doesn’t something is wrong.’’ - A common refrain from McElwain after losses.
  • “I think we have an opportunity to grow and be a really, really good team. That’s what we plan to do.”
  • “I thought we had a good plan obviously. As it turned out, the plan was pretty well foiled by getting whooped.”
  • McElwain declined to name a starter at quarterback for next week, noted that the position would be evaluated.
  • When asked about why Dre Massey and Kadarius Toney didn’t get more touches, McElwain inferred that they were in the game plan but that the Gators didn't get to run the things they had installed for them because the offensive line was getting dominated by Michigan.
  • On putting in Malik Zaire: “I just thought we needed to try to shake up the batting order a little bit. I thought Malik might come in and give us a change of pace at that point, obviously still in the ball game. We weren’t able to generate anything. I thought his feet might help us make a few plays for us. He had some jitters, but you know what, he had a good look in his eye, too.”
  • There was some thought about putting Luke Del Rio in the game, but they decided to let Zaire play the rest of the second half.
  • McElwain said the young defensive backs will be “a force to be reckoned with” and that this game was good experience for them.
  • When asked about play-calling: “We’ve got to look at a lot of things, and yet it’s not time to hit the panic button. We’ve got a good football team.” That’s surely what you all wanted to hear, right?
  • There will be no injury report until Monday. Safety Chauncey Gardner, Jr. reportedly was carted away, had a boot on, and/or was using crutches after leaving with an injury.

Some Florida players also spoke to the media this evening in Texas. Wide receiver Josh Hammond and defensive end Jordan Sherit’s press conferences are available at the links below.

Here’s what those Gators had to say after Florida’s lamentable loss to the Wolverines.

  • Josh Hammond: “You could tell they wanted it more.”
  • Jordan Sherit: “It hurts. It's supposed to hurt.” Repeating one of the talking points from McElwain.
  • Sherit again: "I think all of our goals are still attainable” and “We have a long season ahead of us, so we have no choice but to get better.”

You can even check out some highlights from the Gators’ tussle with the Wolverines, should you choose to relive this afternoon’s events.

For more coverage of Florida vs. Michigan, check out our game recap and three takeaways from the game.