The Florida offense is still learning the scheme Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have implemented. Just over the halfway point in fall camp, the offense is showing signs of life that Maye hasn’t seen in a while on the practice field.
“We go against each other every day and if they can move the ball on us I feel like they can move the ball on anybody,” Marcus Maye said. “Just seeing them move the ball down the field and have explosive plays, stuff like that, it’s definitely fun to see.”
The biggest thing that stands out to Maye is how excited the offensive players are about what they’re doing. There’s energy on the offense that hasn’t been there in recent years. As camp continues, the Florida defense knows its going up against an offense that is gaining comfort.
The results are now starting to show that. McElwain called Sunday’s two-a-days “as good a back-to-back practices as I’ve ever seen,” crediting the offense for a strong day. The offense had its success by confusing the Florida defense and creating mismatches in the passing game.
“The concepts and the routes are very different,” Maye said. “I feel like everybody’s running across the field, doing sit-downs and everybody is running different routes and patterns. You’ve got different guys doing different stuff. You’ve got people lined up in spots you wouldn’t expect them to. The concepts and the schemes on offense are definitely more challenging for us in practice.”
The Florida secondary didn’t face these kinds of issues in practice during recent years. McElwain mentioned on Monday that the offensive coaches challenged receiver Demarcus Robinson to learn the offense so they could move him all over the field to confuse the defense. They’ve also done it with Brandon Powell and created issues for the Florida defense in recent practices.
McElwain has also talked up his tight ends. Jake McGee is the known commodity, but second-year players DeAndre Goolsby and C’yontai Lewis have come on recently to help the depth at the position. They can also be used to create matchup problems for a defense.
“In practice there are some times where we’re like, ‘what route was that?’ For the most part, we try to cover it the best we can,” Maye said. “If it’s something that we haven’t seen we’ll watch film and stuff like that to work on it. The routes and the offensive scheme is totally different. It definitely should be tough for other teams.”
Florida players on both sides of the ball continue to insist that there isn’t much separation between Will Grier and Treon Harris in the battle for the starting quarterback job. Even the defensive players see how vocal the two quarterbacks have been and their improved leadership from the spring.
“When we’re breaking out of team meetings, they’re the ones breaking it down,” Maye said. “They’re leading practice. They both seem in control of their huddles and stuff like that. When they speak everybody is quiet and we’re listening to what both of them has to say. I feel like Coach Mac is putting a lot on both of them. For the most part, they’re doing a good job.”