Florida practiced in full pads for the first time Wednesday, but a disappointing day left one of the team’s veterans shaking his head.
“We need to come out and have more energy in practice,” starting center Cam Dillard said. “There’s no excuse for it. We just need to come out with a better mind-set. We’re the defending SEC East Champs. Like coach [Jim McElwain] said, ‘We need to come out each day with that attitude. Like we have something to prove.’ We got to Atlanta. Why not let’s win it now?”
After taking ownership of Wednesday’s poor practice, the Gators bounced back Friday.
UF’s attitude was improved, and the overall day was simply much better. For the first time all spring, the Gators worked out in the indoor practice facility, too.
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“I thought the first three days were really good. We came out, we worked and we got better. Wednesday we really took a step back,” offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier said. “We didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing. [On Friday], we played with a lot better effort and energy. Couple ball-security issues, got to take care of the football. But really pleased with the attitude of this group, their want-to, their desire and their work ethic.”
Florida will practice again Saturday, focusing solely on situational drills (red zone, third down). The Gators will resume their normal schedule next week and hold their first scrimmage Friday.
In the meantime, McElwain hopes to see continued good play from the quarterbacks, headlined by front-runner Luke Del Rio.
McElwain has been impressed with all the quarterbacks’ command and knowledge of the playbook, especially by the two early enrollees (Kyle Trask and Felipe Franks).
However, UF’s coach remains frustrated with inconsistent offensive line play, as a seasoned unit has struggled throughout the spring playing with good pad level and communicating.
Wideout Alvin Bailey (back), defensive end Jordan Sherit (leg) and linebacker/safety Kylan Johnson (undisclosed) all missed Friday’s practice.