GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain had a chance to review the Gators’ 13-6 win at Vanderbilt and met with reporters for his weekly Monday news conference.
He had a lot of injury news to deliver, which is not a good sign with LSU coming to town this week.
WATCH: Jim McElwain press conference
Posted by Florida Gators Insiders on Monday, October 3, 2016
Here were the highlights from McElwain’s comments:
- “First off guys, it’s good to be done with the state of Tennessee. Anytime you’re able to get a win on the road, it was great. I thought they played extremely hard, extremely well. I thought we had some guys who looked like the were playing with some undue pressure for some reason. We need to make sure we’re playing loose.”
- “Plain and simple, players of the game were our fans. Our guys, I think when we came back into the locker room after warmups, they were like, ‘Coach, did you see the whole half of the stadium there was orange and blue.’ … Man, that was something special. We’re going to need that same thing this week.”
- On LSU: “The one constant is obviously defensively they haven’t changed. They’ve got great players, they recruit great players year in and year out. They’ve got explosive playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. We couldn’t block 92 last year let alone 49. … Secondary wise, the way they cover, the way they aggressively play, they’ve got some real cover guys. So we’ve got our work cut out for us, no doubt.”
- “When you look at what they did, new-look offense, obviously the guy calling the plays (is) highly respected in our professions, knows how to use personnel and create different formations and that showed up. … Likes to play-action. When you look statistically when it was a game, they were literally 50-50 run-pass. … They put up a ton of points and a ton of yards in an SEC game so we’ve got a great challenge on defense, and obviously they’ll get the running back back. That other guy ain’t bad either.”
- Injuries: DE Jordan Sherit will have a scope on his knee. “He’ll be out a little bit.” … DT Caleb Brantley “is sick, hurt his finger, I don’t know if he’ll play.” … DE Bryan Cox was “limited.” “It just means so much to this guy, it would be hard for me to say that he’ll be out. … He’ll continue to give us everything he has.” … LB Alex Anzalone will play with a splint on his hand. … LT David Sharpe, “We’ll see. He’s got a shoulder. We’ll see what we can get out of him.”
- On the QBs: “Luke Del Rio, he’ll go some today, he’ll go more tomorrow and Wednesday, we’ll see exactly where and how much that swells, where the pain is and where the stability is. So those two guys, he’ll get some reps with the ones, obviously Austin will and that will be something we’ll decide later in the week. This is something I know Luke had been targeting a little bit, so his mindset is he’s going to play. That’s good, that’s what you want, but know this, I won’t put him out there (if he’s not ready). I’m just not going to do it, so we’ll know more at the end of the week.”
- If LT David Sharpe can’t go, LG Martez Ivey would move to tackle and RG Tyler Jordan, who is back in full this week, could play LG.
- On CeCe Jefferson’s low hit that knocked Vandy QB out of the game: “He was pushed into him. I know Derek was concerned and we talked about it after the game. I know it was something Carl would never do intentionally.”
- Assessing the offense: “I’m not disappointed. I think we’ve done some good things. I think consistency and sense of urgency, I keep going back to that. Sometimes guys put undue pressures on themselves, and I think part those pressures come externally, which is noise — dad, mom, auntie, uncle, street agent, ‘You’ve got to go do this because you’re going to be the lifeblood of our family.’ These guys are 18-22-year-old guys and sometimes they let that affect their joy and energy to where you start to ball up a little bit. I seeing that. I will say this, our effort is 100 percent better. Now consistency and performance is nowhere where it needs to be. And yet we’ve gotten pretty decent out the quarterback. … We do need to create more explosive runs, though.”
- On the offensive line: “Whoever does go is going to go and they’re going to do everything they can to help the Gators, take the pressure off and just go play. Have a good time. It’s unbelievable. What these guys live with now, if you only knew some of the things, we just get so consumed with the football piece and there’s a lot of things going on with these guys and it’s my responsibility to ease that and get them to play at a high level.”
- On RB Jordan Scarlett: “He played hard, he ran hard, one thing he’s done is played with pretty good pad level, and he’s kept his feet moving. He’s hard to tackle.”
- On the offense again: “Am I excited about where it is? No. Time-frame wise. We’ve got to get better play at some positions and better energy.”
- On the OL: “This whole young offensive line thing, I’m over that. These guys have played enough. I’m not one of these coaches who is going to sit here up and play the youth card. They’ve played enough.”
- Does Austin Appleby definitely start at QB if Del Rio can’t go: “Austin’s the guy. He’s got to take those reps again this week and he’s done a good job. You always want to have a couple throws back. … But that’s part of it and that’s part of playing the position and he’ll continue to go.”