GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Last Friday’s scrimmage yielded some positive results for the Florida offense.
Wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood and tight end DeAndre Goolsby continued to build on their strong springs with big catches in the passing game. Explosive plays also came on the ground from running backs Jordan Scarlett and Mark Thompson, who had a touchdown carry of 60-plus yards.
But while the skill players showed up in the scrimmage, UF coach Jim McElwain wasn’t pleased with the way his quarterbacks played.
“Quarterbacks, eh, just OK,” he said. “I mean not great, not bad, just need to keep working on the consistency piece there.”
For the most part, the position group has been ahead of schedule and performed well this spring. But the scrimmage was a setback for the four signal-callers.
“I think they were ahead of maybe where I thought during the start,” McElwain said. “I think we took some steps back (Friday). I’m not so sure they weren’t pressing a little bit, trying to maybe create some things that weren’t there. Not horribly by any stretch of the imagination. And yet, my expectation at that position is held to a pretty high standard.”
Despite the negatives Friday, McElwain said Austin Appleby, Luke Del Rio, Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask each had stretches where they performed well. McElwain isn’t close to deciding on a starting quarterback.
“We’ll get there,” he said. “I think Austin probably stepped up and did some things in situational stuff that was good to see. I thought the team moved really well with Luke behind it, and both Kyle and Feleipe had their moments. You can tell there’s some arm talent there.”
McElwain said the quarterbacks know how to direct the offense and have a good handle on the playbook. He just wants them to play within the system and not force passes, which can lead to interceptions like those thrown in the scrimmage.
“I think command-wise, just of the operation piece, it’s been smooth,” McElwain said. “There’s not a lot of panic out there. They’re doing a good job of communicating. I think sometimes, they try to maybe do a little more — I think trying to maybe impress.
“Understanding that the key to it is let’s take care of the little things and let it come to you a little bit. Sometimes they try to make too much out of nothing, where the best play you can make is let’s just come back and get back in the huddle.”