Despite fan pressure, don’t expect any imminent change at OC for Florida
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For some fans, the jury was out on Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier long ago. Back-to-back years with a revolving door at quarterback (albeit for a variety of reasons) and offenses ranking 111th nationally (334 yards per game) in 2015 and 116th (344 YPG) last year was enough to form a strong opinion about where things were heading.
For others, this 2017 season was the make-or-break year for Nussmeier. And so far, not so good.
The Gators rank 105th nationally with 351.2 YPG and seem to have no answer at quarterback yet as redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks has yet to elevate his performance six games into the season. Florida has scored just 16 and 17 points its last two games, squandering good defensive performances in a pair of narrow losses.
As such, the fan base has collectively turned against Nussmeier. The vitriol on social media is unrelenting and it’s hard to find defenders of the OC, even among those fans who note that Franks’ rookie limitations are holding back the offense.
With that comes our latest Gators Mailbag Question of the Day.
James M. asks … “Do you see Nuss making (it) through the season as OC?”
Yes. Jim McElwain is deeply loyal to Nussmeier. They formed a bond when they were both assistant coaches at Michigan State from 2003 to 2005. It was no coincidence that Nussmeier then succeeded McElwain as offensive coordinator at Fresno State and later Alabama before McElwain brought him to Gainesville.
Asked earlier this season what gives him confidence that Nussmeier can get the offense going, McElwain said, “I’ve seen what he can do. I’ve seen what he’s done.”
And asked about Florida’s third-down struggles in the 19-17 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, McElwain defended the play calling while putting the onus on Franks.
“We just need to go ahead and complete them. The plan’s good. The execution piece needs to get better,” he said.
Despite what an ever-growing number of fans may think, McElwain clearly does not think Nussmeier is the reason this Gators offense remains stuck in neutral.
It’s possible after this season pressure could be put on McElwain to make staff changes on the offensive side, starting with the coordinator, but there’s no indication any move would be made before then.
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