Video of Florida coach Jim McElwain’s sideline tirade aimed at Kelvin Talyor started to circulate on Sunday. His profanity-laced rant came after Taylor scored a touchdown and drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty when he made a throat slash gesture to the crowd.
During his Monday morning press conference while preparing for the Southeastern Conference opener against Kentucky, McElwain expressed regret over his actions.
“I don’t feel good about it,” McElwain said. “As you know, this is a very public job. This is a public thing that we do. I understand that I have a long ways to go, and I make mistakes. Am I proud of it? Absolutely not. Do I feel bad about it? Yes. At the same time, I’ve got to understand my mistakes as well and learn from it and go forward.”
Frustration built on the Florida sideline for McElwain. The Gators had a touchdown taken off the board by an offensive pass interference in the first quarter, causing McElwain to rant to one of the refs about the call.
His frustration would then turn to his own team in the second half. When Jalen Tabor returned an interception for a touchdown to give the Gators a 24-14 lead in the third quarter, officials threw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Joey Ivie, who appeared to take his helmet off before leaving the field. McElwain sprinted to the group of players leaving the field and made sure they understood his frustration.
When Taylor scored, the frustration boiled over into a long rant aimed at the team’s starting running back in with most of the offense circled around the two.
“I’m pretty passionate about what we do,” McElwain said. “I’m not proud about it and neither is my mother. (She is) 94 years old, and I got an earful from her, too. Rightfully so.”
Multiple players said after the game that they didn’t mind the outburst because they understood how serious McElwain was taking the penalties. He made a point early in the spring that the Gators would have to improve their selfish actions on the field, and if they didn’t, there would be consequences.
Florida left guard Trip Thurman liked McElwain’s reaction because of the gesture Taylor made after scoring.
“I think he did the right thing,” Thurman said. “Like any team, the head coach is the father figure and only wants the best out of his players. I think what we’re trying to do as a team is not do the throat slash and cut down on those penalties. Kelvin knows what he did wrong. We’ll learn from it and move on. Coach loves us all.”
Florida All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III is “probably questionable” for Saturday’s game at Kentucky. Hargreaves suffered a knee injury in practice on Thursday and was held out against East Carolina after trying to test it in warm ups.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone suffered a right shoulder injury against East Carolina and didn’t return. McElwain said there are no answers about his shoulder at this point. Safety Keanu Neal (leg) is “ready to roll” and will play against Kentucky.
McElwain said he hopes freshman offensive tackle Martez Ivey (knee) will return to practice this week to see how he handles reps before deciding on his availability for this weekend.
Running back Case Harrison has a thumb injury, and his status for Saturday is not clear.
TENNESSEE GAME TIME
Tennessee and Florida will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on September 26 and be televised by CBS. The Gators have won the last 10 matchups between the teams.