Jim McElwain's firing is the news of the day, week, month and year for the Florida football program. But with the team now having lost three consecutive games, where does it go from here? A few clues were offered Saturday.
First, at quarterback, where starter Feleipe Franks managed 30 yards on 19 attempts. He was relieved by backup Malik Zaire, who managed 36 yards on six attempts and added 30 rushing yards well after the game was out of reach.
"It’s not showing up on Saturday," Franks said of the lack of offensive improvement. "There’s a lot of things we can improve on. Like I said man. we’re not going to fold. We’re not going to just bow our heads down."
McElwain didn't address Zaire's apparent spark after the game, though his opinion matters little now. With the SEC title game now officially out of reach, it'll be interesting to see how Florida approaches the quarterback competition between Franks — the incumbent starter who played poorly in meaningful action — and Zaire — the Notre Dame graduate transfer who didn't work out as a starter but who played well on Saturday in meaningless action.
Florida's offense took a hit at running back, where leading rusher Malik Davis was injured and taken to the locker room in the first half. McElwain said he injured his knee, and reports surfaced Sunday that it was season-ending. Davis' mom told the Herald those reports were premature and he hadn't had an MRI yet, but Davis retweeted several teammates wishing him a speedy recovery. So season ending or not, it doesn't sound good. Davis, a true freshman from Tampa, leads the team with 526 yards this season.
His counterpart Lamical Perine managed 93 yards in Davis' absence against the Bulldogs. He's up to 365 on the year, and he's scored six touchdowns.
The other injured Florida players mentioned by McElwain were Jachai Polite (shoulder), Kylan Johnson (hamstring), Tyrie Cleveland (ankle) and Kadarius Toney (shoulder). He didn't specify any of their statuses moving forward.