The talk surrounding Florida football’s Week 12 game against LSU is almost over.
First there was the talk about the Gators trying to duck LSU with the postponement of the original Oct. 8 game due to Hurricane Matthew. Then there was more talk this week, as LSU defensive lineman Arden Key dismissed the talent of Florida’s injured and rebuilt offensive line.
During Jim McElwain’s radio show on Thursday night, a fan asked the Florida coach how he wants his players to view those “distractions.”
“It’s interesting,” McElwain said. “Everybody’s different, how they take that kind of stuff. I know one thing. When certain things are said, certain things are questioned, you know.”
The coach paused, ever so slightly.
“We’ll show up.”
While his voice and cadence certainly reflected McElwain’s meaning, the show’s host erased any doubt in intention.
“For those of you who can’t see coach on the radio, a little wink there for you,” he said.
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Florida enters this pivotal game down at least seven starters. It’s not an ideal situation for any team, and especially not for a Gators team that looks to punch its ticket to the SEC Championship game with a win over the Tigers on Saturday.
“We’ve got a bunch of good players down,” McElwain said. “But here’s the good thing and the bright spot. We’ve got a bunch of really good, young players who came in and played their tails off. It was great to see.
“I’d love to say we had everybody on the bus, but you know what? The guys that are jumping on the bus are going to play their tails off.”
- With Thanksgiving approaching, a fan asked McElwain what his Thanksgiving dinner plans would be. McElwain said “it’s all about family” and the coaching staff makes sure every player on the team has a place to go for Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday, whether that’s with teammates in the area or at the coaches’ houses. One thing that won’t be on the menu, however, is his grandmother’s “famous” cream beans casserole: “It was the worst tasting thing in America. But because it was my grandmothers, my dad said, ‘You better take some and you’ll eat it and like it, right?'”