Florida head coach Jim McElwain is entering a very important week with Tennessee ahead.
McElwain’s Gators are 0-1 after getting throttled by Michigan in Week 1 and showing little signs of offensive development, and it’s fair to wonder if the offense will show a pulse this season. Sure, Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett missed the game, but still, how much of an impact would the duo have even had?
With the Week 2 game cancelled due to Hurricane Irma, the Gators won’t have had a tuneup game to gain confidence before a big SEC game. That’s not good news, and it likely favors Tennessee.
But there’s just a clear lack of development at the QB position for the offensive-minded McElwain. Everyone knows the QB history since Tim Tebow left, along with what happened with Will Grier, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper, like all of us, wonders why McElwain can’t find or develop a QB. It was listed under his biggest surprises of the season.
Coach Jim McElwain is an offensive coach. He had good offenses at Alabama and Colorado State. Why can’t he find a quarterback at Florida? Here are the Gators’ FBS rankings in yards per game since he took over in 2015: 112th and 116th. There are only 128 teams. Florida had only 192 yards in the loss to Michigan last week, and quarterbacks Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire didn’t play well. Zaire, in fact, had a dreadful 4.6 Total QBR.
Now, the Wolverines have a good, young defense, and the Gators had a few players suspended — including receiver Antonio Callaway — but that’s no excuse for looking inept. Makes me wonder how that offense would have looked if Will Grier hadn’t left for West Virginia. Florida has talent.
There’s certainly still hope for Feleipe Franks, and he’ll get the start again against Tennessee. And Franks is McElwain’s guy; so, we’ll get a much better understanding as the season progresses with Franks under center.
For a Florida team that has talent, Kiper’s right, there’s no excuse for looking inept, even being down a couple playmakers.