FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Jim McElwain wanted his Florida football team to continue defining itself in a big road game at Arkansas on Saturday.
This wasn’t what he had in mind.
The Gators’ offense couldn’t muster a drive longer than five plays until midway through the fourth quarter when it was too late to make a difference as Arkansas rolled to a 31-10 win at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Here were the highlights from McElwain’s news conference:
WATCH: Jim McElwain after Arkansas loss
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Posted by Florida Gators Insiders on Saturday, November 5, 2016
- “First and foremost for you guys who made the trip down here, I apologize that you had to sit through that. My hat’s off to (Arkansas coach) Bret (Bielema) and those guys. They took that week off and came out and proved something and they proved it.”
- “Obviously getting off to a start where the first time you touch the ball you throw a pick-6, that doesn’t help it. But we certainly had enough chances, holding them defensively that if we get anything on offense, an opportunity to go down and score (we could have gotten back into the game). One of 11 on third downs, which we’d been pretty decent at and obviously the lack of explosives. We weren’t able to run the football, which is rough, and they did a job of keeping the football with their time of possession.”
- “Guys, I’m very disappointed. The locker room’s disappointed, but you know, as you go through and things happen to you along the way, you get a real opportunity to test yourself and see how we’re going to rebound next week at home. I just feel horrible for the Gator Nation. Just the way everything kind of played out.”
- Injuries: C Cam Dillard “probably going to be out,” LB Alex Anzalone “will probably be out,” KOR Chris Thompson “will probably be out,” LB Jarrad Davis “will probably be out.” LB Kylan Johnson “will probably be back” and WR Tyrie Cleveland “probably will be out.”
- “I still like our football team. I still like our guys. They understand what they let slip away, but the key is what you learn from it.”
- Did you consider pulling QB Luke Del Rio: “Yeah, we did. And I just didn’t do it, but yeah it crossed our minds. … Just the way it was and we were going into two-minute and he had been handling it with the 1s.”
- “There’s a lot of positions we have to evaluate moving forward. Obviously when you lose, that’s part of the position of playing QB. Everybody’s ready to put you on your shoulders when you win, and when you don’t play great as a team, that’s usually the first spot it’s pointed to.”
- Did you see this possibility out there with the way the team practiced? “No, I didn’t. I thought they were prepared. I told you, we had a slow start on Tuesday. I said that in the media, in the press conference. I don’t think guys were still celebrating the last game, knowing what was at stake. Didn’t come through.”
- “This is one of those games from the summer when you looked at the schedule and where it lied, you kind of were like, hmm, I wonder what is going to happen a little bit, and that is kind of what happened.”
- On the gap between the SEC West and East. “Pretty big. And you know as the Florida Gators it’s our responsibility to get it closer.”
- On expectations of running game after seeing what Auburn did to Arkansas: “I thought we could double team some guys and re-establish a line of scrimmage, I did. We didn’t. I mean, it wasn’t just the Auburn game. We felt … look, they just took it to us up front.”
- Is it too late to get Kyle Trask or Feleipe Franks involved if you make a QB change: “No, it isn’t.”