McElwain says Florida program headed in right direction

Florida coach Jim McElwain says he has the Gators football program pointed in the right direction despite Saturday’s 31-13 loss to Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. (Matt Stamey/Correspondent) College football teams preparing for a championship game usually don’t find themselves being confronted by doubts about the direction of their program. But that’s where the Florida Gators are at the moment.

Who: No. 1 Alabama (12-0) vs. No. 15 Florida (8-3)

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta


Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850

Coming off a 31-13 loss to Florida State, there seems to be more concern and conversation about the negative stuff — the stalled offense (still), the questionable play calling (still), the lack of overall progress (still), the uncertain future (still) — than excitement over playing No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday.

UF coach Jim McElwain had to keep reminding everyone at his news conference Monday that the Gators did win the Eastern Division and are playing for the SEC title in Atlanta.

McElwain, of course, was asked about his struggling offense and if he’s looking forward to getting into the offseason and having an opportunity to start fixing it. Because it is broken. The Gators ranked 114th out of 128 teams in the nation in total offense (352.7 yards a game). UF finished 112th in his first season.

"Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously one of those things that you have to constantly evaluate and get better at,” McElwain said. “I was also brought in here to get to Atlanta. How many years have I been here? OK."

McElwain found himself steering the conversation back to that fact several times Monday.

He certainly did when he was asked if he would consider this a successful season even if the Gators lose to Alabama and in their bowl game, which would leave UF with an 8-5 record after going 10-4 in his first season.
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