Offensive line expecting better

The Florida offensive line is taking the blame for Saturday's loss to LSU. Right guard Jon Halapio was the first to say so in Baton Rouge immediately after the loss, and through interviews this week, other offensive linemen are doing the same. They took responsibility for the communication issues on the offensive line and believe the problems are fixable before Saturday's game at Missouri.

It didn't take long into Saturday's game at LSU to realize there were issues on the offensive line. The Tigers brought pressure off both edges and up the middle to put consistent pressure on quarterback Tyler Murphy.

"We had a hard time having some communications at that beginning," left guard Max Garcia said. "That's pretty much what our biggest factor was, not having the right calls at the line of scrimmage and not helping each other out the way that we're accustomed to doing. It kind of got away a little bit from what we naturally do, so that attributed to some of our problems."

The film review this week has shown what the Gators thought it would. The offensive line feels like most of the mistakes are correctable, simply with better communication at the line of scrimmage.

"Just miscommunication," D.J. Humphries said. "We just weren't on the same page. Looking at the film the next day, it was simple stuff we could have picked up and communicated and been on the same page."

Humphries called it a mixture of blame on the offensive line and running backs to pick up the pressure and keep Murphy in a clean pocket. It has to be a "collective effort" if the Gators want it fixed on Saturday at Missouri, but that will be made tough by the loss of running back Matt Jones, who was the most trusted running back in pass protection.

Even when Florida tried to counteract the heavy pass rush with the screen, the Tigers were able to deflect the throws. Humphries took the blame for those plays.

"I played both of those terrible," Humphries said. "I just played both of those protections bad. Specifically, just gave them too much space and allowed them to stop and get in the passing lane when I should have jumped on them as soon as I stopped."

The postgame interaction of the offensive line wasn't fun. They felt like they just cost the team its second loss of the season. They couldn't open up holes to start the run game, and they couldn't keep Murphy in a clean pocket to look down the field for open receivers.

The message has translated to this week of practice.

Florida knows it is working with a limited margin for error the rest of the way. While the team is likely out of the national championship hunt, they still control their destiny in the SEC East. It starts this Saturday at Missouri, but the Gators need to continue that momentum through the rest of the season. If the offensive line doesn't improve and correct the errors, they know their season goals don't have a chance of happening.

"We weren't yelling or angry," Garcia said of their postgame conversations. "We were just like, ‘OK, we've got to do it now.' There's no room for error. There's no space for ‘my bad' and ‘I'll get it next time' at practice or in games. There's no time for re-dos. We don't get re-dos in the game. We're going to go out there this week and do everything with a purpose."

The unit is preparing for more blitzes this week. Garcia even admitted that if he was scheming against the Florida offense line, after what they put on film Saturday, he would blitz the Gators and try to create havoc that way. The linemen don't think it's a physical issue. It's simply getting out of position and not communicating with the other linemen.

"We need to do a better job of going out with a nasty attitude," Garcia said. "We started off OK, but we want to start off strong and open every game with a touchdown or scoring series. The inside three (linemen), we want to put the team on our backs now. We feel like we're being called out by the media and by all these people, but we're calling ourselves out as an offensive line unit. We want to put the team on our back and get the job done and be the ones that win the game."

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