What Florida coach, players said after beating UK

Florida Head Coach Jim McElwain
Opening statement …
“Well, that was fun. Just can’t tell you how much I really like our football team, our guys. They keep hanging in there and figuring out a way to play the game. They keep hanging in there and figuring out a way to play the game and don’t listen to stuff. Just go out and play and, you know, that was fun. It was a heck of an atmosphere. They did a good job of hyping the game up and all that. You could fill it on the sideline that there was – they just didn’t have a quit in them. And, you know, it’s the second week in a row. I guess people in the concession stands are liking us because they are selling stuff all the way until the end, I guess. We had some pretty good plays by some guys and some pretty bad plays by some guys. So we get back tonight about four in the morning and tomorrow will be a day off and then we got to get back and get ready to play Vanderbilt who we have not played well against at all the last two years – at all. In fact, they have taken it to us the last two years. So, coming home to the swamp. Excited about that but we got a lot of work to do.”

On going to Luke (Del Rio) and sticking with him …
“We just felt we needed to jumpstart a little bit. And Feleipe (Franks) didn’t do anything wrong. He was disappointed about it, but he is also one of the happiest guys in there that we won. That tells you something about the guy and tells you something about this team and that’s good to see.”

On Luke playing next week …
“We will sit down and evaluate it and look at the video. I mean, Luke threw it to the wrong color jersey once and missed it to Tyrie (Cleveland). It would have been a homerun, but, you know, I thought he moved around. I thought that fourth-down play, obviously it was a veteran move. They had good coverage on him. You know, he found the mark. I mean, that was a good play. It’s one of those that you never throw across your body late inside, right? But it worked.”

On Luke getting to see more of the playbook …
“Oh, I don’t know. I think, again, continuing to get some of these guys touches has got to be big. I think B.P. (Brandon Powell) came up big when we needed him. Obviously Kadarius (Toney), you know, bit-by-bit, getting a little bit more and more where he stays comfortable. Tyrie came up big. I really thought Freddie Swain did some stuff that didn’t show up in the box score that, guys, I’ll be surprised that he’s not our player of the game. I think we hopefully gained a litter confidence upfront. I was proud of the last drive that we didn’t go to thinking we had to throw it every down, you know.”

On why does it take being down to get the best out of the team …
“I don’t really – that’s a great question. Like I said, this crew of guys now, they’ve been through some ups and downs now and yet that’s a tight locker room in there. We are starting to gain some leadership and that’s great to see. Some of these young guys that, you know, I think we had about 14 or 15 guys that actually made the trip down here two years ago out of 70. So that probably shows you where we are at from a youth standpoint, and yet sometimes with youth they don’t know any better. They just go and play.”

On fourth down early in the fourth quarter …
“You look at it from the analytics standpoint, you know. It’s the right thing on the road with that call knowing that if we hold them to a field goal we are still a two-scoring game. That’s what we did. We had faith in the defense that we were going to hold them to a field goal. So, I knew right there, still carrying all three timeouts that that’s something that we would do and we knew that going into the drive as well.”

On when energy appeared in the game …
“Well, I think the good thing is that I never saw them get in to that funk. I really kind of think maybe that the defense getting off the field and holding them to a field goal right there probably said – you know, because we knew, again it was going to be a two-score game no matter how you slice it. And we had confidence in our guys that we’d get two scores out of it. Them probably stopping it has much to do with that confidence piece as anything.”

Florida Student-Athletes

#14, Luke Del Rio, QB
On entering the game in the middle of it …
“Yeah, you know, when you get put in in the middle of a game, you know, it’s fun to go in and play, but it’s not easy because everyone else is kind of in the rhythm of the game. So I tried to settle down as best as I could, move the ball, which was encouraging.”

On staying poised while being down …
“It’s a long game. I knew we could move the ball on them. It wasn’t like we were going three-and-out, three-and-out.”

On playing on the road at Kroger Field …
“It’s a great road win. Great crowd, sellout crowd. That’s the loudest I’ve heard Kentucky’s stadium. It sounded a lot louder than 62,000. They did a really good job filling the seats. Players played really hard. Glad we came out with a win.”

#16, Freddie Swain, WR
On whether it was hard to come in and make his first touchdown catch of the season while behind …
“No, because we practice, we just – Coach Mac does a good job with having a game-type atmosphere, so making a play in practice is no different than making a play in the game. It’s just more fans, but we have crowd noise in practice. It’s the same thing.”

On the team’s mentality to come back from being down late …
“We never looked down on ourselves. Coach Mac always pushing the team, telling us we’ll be alright. Just keep your head in the game and focus.”

On his thoughts on playing multiple quarterbacks …
“They both played great. You’re going to make mistakes. They both did a good job and we’re just happy that we won.”

#92, Jabari Zuniga, DL
On Florida’s defense bringing pressure …
“To be honest with you, we were just hustling.”

On back-to-back games in situations where the team was under pressure …
“It feels good knowing that the team can stay composed in situations, but I mean the win wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.”

1 comment

  1. The WILL to keep the streak alive was greater than the WILL to break it. Snatching defeat from jaws of victory is a UK tradition that not too many other schools have been able to achieve. This loss was collectively on the coaching staff. Why wasn’t DC able to make any adjustments during the game to put pressure on the QB or stop penetration thru the line like we have done in the other 3 games? Why did the OC switch to conservative play calling in 2nd half in direct contrast to creative, effective, play calling in the first half? Why does the HC still look lost and bewildered out there on too many situations?

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