“Obviously it’s an exciting time for our program and a lot of us as we open up SEC play on the road against a team that is playing lights out,” McElwain said via the SEC Coaches’ Teleconference on Wednesday. “You can tell the growth and belief in what they are doing as a staff. Their guys are really playing well and they have good players. With 16 of them being from the state of Florida it will be extra special for those guys as well. Yet, at the end of the day it comes down to what we are able to do and how we take care of business.
“I am looking forward to seeing how we practice today (Wednesday) to see where we are at.”
A bright spot for the Gators seems to be the general health of the team. Starting safety Keanu Neal returned to practice on Tuesday and so did All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Now it appears projected starting left tackle and true freshman Martez Ivey should be able to play this week as well.
“Martez actually played very well yesterday and this morning the response on that particular injury showed very good,” McElwain said. “There wasn’t a lot of recap on that.”
The prognosis was not so good for starting linebacker Alex Anzalone who reinjured his shoulder in the game against East Carolina.
“I would say very doubtful on Anzalone,” McElwain said. “It is a reoccurrence of an injury he has had for a couple of years. He is doubtful to out.”
Sophomore RUSH end Jordan Sherit sounds like he will be back pretty soon too.
“Jordan Sherit tweaked a leg a little bit,” McElwain said of an injury that occurred in the same game. “We held him out of a lot of live stuff yesterday, but he was in a lot of the walk through and Scout work.”
The numbers for his quarterbacks have been pretty good so far, especially for guys in a new system and that really haven’t played a lot of football. However, Will Grier and Treon Harris both took a little dip between game one and game two.
“They played a lot better situational football in the first week,” McElwain said of the two. Our third down and red area was crisp, on time, and on schedule. Give credit to Ruffin McNeill’s team at East Carolina and I’m not sure anyone wants to play them every year because they are a good ball squad. I thought we weren’t on schedule, were late with stuff, and not precise.
“Positive wise, we’ve done a pretty good job of taking care of the football and not throwing it to the other team. We have to work on some ball security things.”
It appears the quarterback battle will continue and both will play although they haven’t figured out how they are going to insert them into the game just yet.
“In both guys’ cases they have brought a little something different,” McElwain said. “Treon has done a good job of extending some plays, creating some boundary throw attempts that were good. I thought Will got off to a quick start and maybe a little slow in his second stint. We are still looking at probably playing both guys. We haven’t set the plan right now.
“Both guys have taken reps and they have done a great job in the partnership and helping each other not only in practice, but on the sideline in games. That has been a real positive.”
TAYLOR A BIG PART OF TEAM
Much has been made about the sideline tirade during the ECU game with McElwain and junior running back Kelvin Taylor. A throat slashing gesture drew a 15 yard penalty and the ire of McElwain on Saturday and he went off on the young man publicly.
His mother has also been in the news because McElwain mentioned that he got an earful from his mom about the way it went down. He was asked if he ever thought his mom would be in the spotlight like this.
“No, and it is something I’m not real proud of, McElwain said. “We are trying to get a hold of some of the things that shoot you in the foot as a ball squad.”
But as he has said for most of fall camp and since the incident, Kelvin Taylor is a big part of this team and outside of this mishap. He’s a guy that does everything at the highest level.
“One of the things that I think is lost is that not only what a great player, but a great person Kelvin Taylor is,” McElwain said. “He is a guy that is a true leader on this team. He practices hard every day. He’s always on time. He’s a guy that will learn from it and both of us will learn. We will move forward and I am sure glad he is on our football team.”