In his first game as the head coach of the University of Florida Jim McElwain inked his name into the Florida Gators record books. The 61 points Florida scored is the most any Gator team has scored in the first game under a new head coach in more than 100 years of football.
“Was that how many? Was it that much?” McElwain said following the game. “We wanted our team to come out and not really prove anything but prove something to themselves. It’s ok to go out there and play your tail off. It’s ok to go out there and make some plays. I thought for the most part they did.”
Florida overpowered and under-matched foe in New Mexico State but the blueprint for what McElwain plans to do was shown. The Gators got the ball into their playmakers hands quickly; they ran the ball effectively between the tackles and as well as on sweeps. Florida wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t the most exciting offense that the world has seen but it was efficient.
“I was really glad that the offense was able to execute a two-minute drive. That was pretty good; it was pretty crisp. Guys handled it the way we expected and that was good,” McElwain said of the offense.”
The Gators had 14 different players catch a pass on Saturday night (two more than Florida had in the 2014 season opener) and nine different players carried the football. All three tight ends had catches, combining for seven total and two touchdowns — both by redshirt freshman C’yontai Lewis.
“We believe in using tight ends,” McElwain said. “We believe in using multiple formations and we played a pretty good number there too.”
Sixty-one points were scored in McElwain’s debut as the head football coach of the Florida Gators football but you would be hard-pressed to pick out one specific play on offense that “wowed” you. There were also mistakes.
“The fumble,” said McElwain. “The whole stadium saw where they were coming from, we just gotta push out there and we probably get a big play there. Again, those are the things, that’s why you play and you learn from it.”
The Gators won a football game 61-13 and the fans that packed the stands weren’t bloodthirsty like they were a year ago, chanting that they wanted 70 points against Eastern Michigan. They were loud and they were into the game but McElwain’s efficient offense satisfied all those in attendance.
The Gators may not score with style, their offense may not be as attention grabbing as Oregon or as exciting as Texas A&M but the Florida Gators under Jim McElwain will be efficient and they will score points.
That should be good enough.