University of Florida

Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain won’t heap praise on QB Will Grier despite heroics

Florida running back Kelvin Taylor celebrates by jumping on quarterback Will Grier (7) after their 38-10 win over Mississippi on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla.
Florida running back Kelvin Taylor celebrates by jumping on quarterback Will Grier (7) after their 38-10 win over Mississippi on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. AP

In the last five quarters, Florida quarterback Will Grier has thrown for 412 yards, six touchdowns and completed 76 percent of his passes.

The No. 11 Gators’ redshirt freshman has engineered a dramatic 13-point comeback against Tennessee and spearheaded the school’s biggest victory in years, but coach Jim McElwain isn’t particularly impressed.

“He was pretty decent,” McElwain deadpanned after UF’s 38-10 trouncing over then-No. 3 Ole Miss.

Two days later, Florida’s coach acknowledged he faintly praises his quarterbacks because he expects perfection. His repeated message: Do your job.

“Call Garrett Grayson, call John Parker Wilson. Call Greg [McElroy]. Call A.J. [McCarron],” McElwain said. “You’re supposed to do that. You have the plan. Now go execute it.”

“What I’m getting at that position, why are you satisfied with not throwing every completion, right? How can you be satisfied when you’ve been given the answer and you don’t go execute it? That’s what frustrates me.”

Grier still isn’t Florida’s pronounced starter on the depth chart, but that’s simply another McElwain motivational ploy — and some tough love.

“He’s taking care of the football. I thought he was great in the red area. We’ll just see how he keeps advancing,” McElwain said. “So way to go Will. Nice job. … Now we’ll see how he does this week.”

The Gators (5-0, 3-0 SEC) travel to Missouri (4-1, 1-1 SEC) on Saturday (7:30 p.m., SEC Network).

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