UF Offense Out to Pick Up the Pace vs. A&M

The next step for Feleipe Franks and the offense is more fluidity getting the calls from the sidelines and putting them into action. UF coach Jim McElwain wants to see a brisker pace from his offense, starting Saturday at home against Texas A&M. GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The task immediately ahead for Jim McElwain and his Florida football team is to move on from Saturday’s home loss to LSU and turn their focus to the incoming Texas A&M Aggies. The Gators will need to do so quickly and show a sense of urgency along the way.

More so (much so) than they did in the waining moments against the Tigers.

Remember?

UF trailed 17-16 when it took possession in a deep hole, from its own 4, with 4:01 to play. A nice catch and run by true freshman tailback Malik Davis , good for 13 yards, got the Gators out from their backed-up spot. The clock showed 3:12 remaining.

But Florida managed just one play over the next 50 seconds and before it could get the next snap off, the Gators were hit with a false-start penalty. The last three plays, with quarterback Feleipe Franks and his unit needing 11 yards for a first down, went for eight, then an incompletion on third-and-3, followed by incompletion on fourth-and-3.

LSU took over and ran out the clock.

Beyond the obvious disappointment of the first home Southeastern Conference defeat under Coach Jim McElwain , the UF coaches and players were left to process an offensive performance that netted a mere 302 yards, including just 108 through the air on only 10 completions, the program’s fewest passing yards in a game since managing just 93 in a loss at Alabama in 2014. As a result, the Gators (3-2, 3-1) are back in the triple-digit club, as far as NCAA statistical rankings, checking in at 102nd this week, as well as 11th in the SEC at 347.2 yards per game. They’ll likely need to be better against A&M (4-2, 2-1) just to keep pace. While the Aggies might be a middling defensive bunch (382.0 ypg), the offense rates fifth in the SEC at 424.8 per game, including 23rd nationally in rushing at 224.8 per game.

“The expectation, I would say at this point, is to play at a faster pace,” McElwain said during his weekly Monday turn with the media. “Not every play is going to be perfect, but we need to be perfect on those ‘got to have it’ downs. That leads back to the third-down piece, especially against good teams. So those are things that we need, and I expect, to get better, and yet we need to continue to grow with those guys and we need to have a plan to put them in position.”

That means running more plays, a luxury the Gators did not afford themselves, thanks to that “third-down piece.” UF was just 2-for-9 on what the staff calls the “money down,” while allowing the Tigers to go six of 14.

LSU was the third opponent to […]