GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain is holding his weekly Monday news conference.
Here were the highlights from his comments:
- On the weekend off: “Obviously this was a very unique situation that occurred. It was more than a strange Saturday as you kind of did some work at home on the computer in the morning, and then as you sat there and kind of watched some ballgames, you really couldn’t help but focus on our players and their families and what they were going through. You get the updates and see the 19 deaths that occurred and the millions without power, talking with our players yesterday, most of them, their families have at least been able to get back. Great work by the utility people getting some power back on. To all those first responders, even from this area obviously that went down to help, I’m grateful that thing decided to not take a tick and come the way it could of. And yet the amount of devastation still is really incredible. Our guys were prepared to play in the game, excited to play in the game and wanted to play the game, and yet as we sat there late Saturday afternoon there were a lot of those things that went through our minds. It was great to get back with our players yesterday, give them a hug, see a look of relief on their faces. … The key now is moving forward. As far as that particular game, obviously it’s in the hands of the SEC and we want to play it. I mean, there’s no doubt about it, but right now what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to turn our focus to Homecoming and playing Missouri.”
- On Missouri: “They’re the kind of team that gives us a ton of trouble because of the amount of explosive plays they create.”
- On injuries: On QB Luke Del Rio: “Luke, we were prepared to play him this week. We’ll play him again obviously moving forward as we go.” … LB Daniel McMillian is questionable, Jarrad (Davis) is still sore. “I just don’t see him not playing. It just means so much to him.” … LB Jeremiah Moon will be allowed to practice. Got a pin out. “That’s yet to be determined. He hasn’t practiced in about four weeks.” … DE Jordan Sherit and DT Joey Ivie are still out. … LT David Sharpe is anticipated to play.
- Reaction to criticism of LSU postponement: “19 deaths, 2.5 million devastated without power, families in dire needs. Obviously they don’t know me, they don’t know the Florida Gators, they don’t know our players. Dodging a game? Wow. Obviously those people, man, I obviously growing up in Montana have never gone through a hurricane, but I think a lot of people around here have, have seen the devastation. How anyone can even think that way is beyond me.”
- On losing out on recruiting visits last weekend: “Yeah, we missed a lot, and yet, why don’t we go walk through the aftermath of some of this and say how important was that. We can make up an official visit.”
- On Del Rio: “We’re excited about that. I know Luke’s excited and been itching to go. Obviously we shut everything down on Thursday, so today will be kind of the first time back.”
- On players’ reaction to injuries: “It was mixed. Obviously the competitive nature was the first instinct, and that’s the first instinct in all of us. And yet the look on quite a few people’s faces that knew and had been through things before and knew what their families were about ready to go through, it was hard, it was hard on everybody.”
- More on criticism: “It just shocks me that someone could actually think that way, especially knowing us. And yet, you know you guys are all nowadays, I guess, accountable for getting X amount of shots out on your Twitter thing … so there isn’t much thought that goes behind it, to me, that somebody would say (something like that).”
- On Del Rio’s progress with his knee: “It swelled up on Wednesday, but we were assured that was kind of normal. He worked fine on Wednesday, we were good to see where it was on Thursday and he was good to take the majority of first-team reps. We got through basically special teams walk(through), offensive and defensive walk(through) prior to getting the word, so we didn’t take many reps. We immediately closed up shop and started thinking about how we could help the people of the state of Florida.”
- On how McElwain will be involved if at all in the rescheduling of the LSU game: “That’s one of those deals that is in the hands of the SEC and the different schools. I don’t think that they would probably bring the football coach into something like that. They’ll make the right choice.”
- On getting an early look at Missouri: “I had the computer full at home. There wasn’t much else but worrying to do on Saturday.”