Jim McElwain addresses Florida's crushing loss to Alabama in the SEC Title Game
Saturday was not a pleasant afternoon for Jim McElwain and the Florida Gators.
Taking on No. 1 Alabama, the Gators faltered heavily — losing the contest by a score of 54-16. Special teams play was atrocious, the quarterback play wasn’t much better, and lack of healthy bodies across the board finally did catch up with McElwain’s team.
After the game, a sullen McElwain addressed the media:
“Obviously, you’re not going to beat anybody giving them the ball four times, especially a team like Nick has put together, which in my opinion, is the best team top to bottom that he’s had since he’s been there. That’s a credit to him, his coaching staff, their commitment, their commitment to him, and what he’s able to do.”
On the overall talent on the Alabama roster:
“Like I said, I do, I think this is the best 85 that they’ve probably traveled with to the SEC Championship game. I mean, that’s a real ball squad.”
On possibly playing one of the freshmen quarterbacks in the bowl game:
“I don’t — I mean, I haven’t really — you know, that’s one of those deals I think we have to sit down with them and their parents and handlers and all that. I’m not sure it’s fair, but at the same time, I know they want to play. So we’ll see.”
On the need to continue to develop at the quarterback position:
“Yeah, that’s something we’ve got to do. We’ve got to make sure that happens sooner or later, and that’s my responsibility, and it will get done.”
On the team’s hot start to the game – Florida scored a touchdown on the game’s opening drive:
“Defensively, what did they have, six plays, zero yards, or something there, on a couple of series. Their guys — but trying to — you can’t — you know, when that happens, when you shoot yourself with the turnovers, and they’re getting cheap points, which got them into the game. But with that being said, our guys came here to win, and I think it showed.”
On how his team measured up against top-ranked Alabama:
“I’ll tell you what I saw. Obviously, the depth was a huge issue, and where it really shows up, guys, you know. You’ve been around a long time. It’s in special teams. Obviously, we got our tails kicked in that area. When you’re thin like that, that’s the nature of it.”
On the gameplan and the expectations of not only making, but winning, the SEC title game at Florida:
“We had a pretty good plan, I felt. We put some dents in them. Would have liked to have pounded that one in there. Realize maybe, take the field goal, get it to a two-score game. But at that point, I felt momentum-wise, we could bang one of them in there — I don’t know what they were at, 33 or something like that. I felt we could maybe get them puckered up a little bit.
“I will tell you this. I didn’t come here to be close. We came here to be champions of the SEC. That’s what you do when you’re at the University of Florida, and that’s the expectation, and I understand that. I’m proud of those seniors that chose to come back. I thought what Jarrad Davis did today was fantastic. That speaks a lot about a guy who was willing to lay it all out there for his team and for his family.”