Jordan McPherson/SEC Country
Florida coach Jim McElwain wants his team to get after it earlier in the game to ensure victory at the end.

What Florida coach Jim McElwain said after Gators’ loss to LSU

Ryan Young

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida delivered another spirited second-half rally, but it couldn’t come back this time while losing 17-16 to LSU on Saturday.

Here were the highlights from coach Jim McElwain’s postgame press conference:

  • “First and foremost, my hat’s off to the way they rallied and played a real physical ballgame. They came in, got after us on the line of scrimmage. When we go back, I think we’re going to find out really the difference in the game was third downs. You guys saw it and there’s no denying that at all.”
  • “We thought we had a pretty good beat on the shifts and motions. Obviously, they got us on the sweeps pretty good.”
  • “Our guys played hard. Gave us an opportunity to win and we ended up not winning. … That’s life in the SEC. For this Gator team, it hurts. Guys are hurting in that locker room and they should hurt. That’s the nature of the beast. You’ve got to do a really good job. We’re going to find out about leadership as to where we go.”
  • “The disappointing thing is obviously not holding serve at home. Our fans were great; they were in the game the whole time.”
  • Injuries: Safety Chauncey Gardner’s right ankle: “We’re going to have to see how that works out.” Special team player Garrett Stephens “will be out with that knee. It caused us some issues in the special teams.” Freshman playmaker Kadarius Toney had a shoulder and shin injury. “He wasn’t quite himself there at the end.” Safety Nick Washington has a shoulder injury. Left guard Brett Heggie came in at halftime and missed the second half due to concussion protocol. Jeremiah Moon has an ankle injury as well.
  • On the missed extra point: “It looked like the snap wasn’t great. I don’t know. I’ve got to see it on film and I didn’t see the replay of it. … You don’t think that’s going to happen, and yet that’s why you practice. That’s why you play and that’s why they don’t give you the automatic one. They force you to kick it.”
  • On final series: “Sense of urgency is pretty obvious we didn’t have it there.”
  • On missed extra point again: “The defense responded. We just came up empty with two series on offense, and the way they were snapping the ball late in the shot clock, we knew our possessions were not going to be that many. We had to make something happen on those and we didn’t.”
  • On LSU’s jet sweeps: “We didn’t fill the alley. We didn’t hold point. And based on the alignment, it looked like they had a little piece of a check to it — if this, take it; if not, go the other way. That’s their staple and we didn’t stop it.”
  • On rushing attack picking up in third quarter: “We blocked them. That’s really what it was. Like I said, my hat’s off to them. They took some things away and we didn’t answer.”
  • “This is a tough one to swallow and it hurts. It really does. We were prepared. We knew they were going to come in with everything and they did. That’s what good teams do with their backs against the wall, especially with good players. … I thought both teams played hard. They controlled the time of possession and the clock, won on third downs and didn’t turn the ball over.”
  • On the 47-yard completion to DJ Chark over Duke Dawson on simultaneous possession play: “Tie goes to the runner, I guess.”
  • “This locker room, these guys have been through some stuff. Even at the end, they expected to win. We got to take care of plays earlier to make sure that outcome happens.”