Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State journal: Jim McElwain takes blame; Deondre Francois out 4-7 months

GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Jim McElwain knows fans are unhappy with his offense, and they're directing a lot of their frustration to offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

"Put the ire towards me," McElwain said Monday. "I mean, I'm the one responsible for it. I plan on getting it fixed."

But not with any wholesale changes, at least not this week.

Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks will again start at quarterback, ahead of grad transfer Malik Zaire. In his debut, Franks was 5-of-9 for 75 yards in Saturday's 33-17 loss to Michigan before being relieved by Zaire.

"I thought he handled it well, and he's going to be a good player," McElwain said.

McElwain will reevaluate the position after this week's game against Northern Colorado.

McElwain does not seem interested in taking play-calling duties away from Nussmeier despite the team's consistent offensive struggles.

UF's 11 rushing yards are the fewest in the country. Entering Monday, only four teams in the country had fewer total yards than UF — and all were Group of Five schools that opened against top-12 programs Auburn, Clemson, Penn State and Oklahoma.

"We need to make sure that the guys that need to touch it, touch it," McElwain said. "Those things need getting called."

The offense will have at least one more body this week with four-star WR James Robinson returning from a marijuana suspension. McElwain didn't have an update on the nine Gators indefinitely suspended for misusing university-related financial cards.

Bulls blocking struggles

Eight quarters into his ultra-hyped senior season, USF QB Quinton Flowers' dual-threat dominance has been brandished only in spurts and stretches.

He's averaging 267.5 total yards, roughly 50 fewer than he was at this point last season (318.5). At times, his dazzling improvisational skills have been stymied by a tendency — or edict — to remain in the pocket. At any rate, his next complete game of 2017 will be his first.

That will occur when his blocking improves, coach Charlie Strong said.

"It's all about just protecting the quarterback," Strong said on Monday's American Athletic Conference coaches teleconference.

Flowers already has been sacked six times. On Saturday, the Bulls managed only 153 rushing yards against a team bent on taking away the deep ball. While that speaks to blocking (or the lack thereof), Flowers also struggled with misfires, miscommunication (including a throw behind WR Temi Alaka in the red zone) and drops.

"When we need to run the football, we've got to open up and that offensive line has got to move people off the line of scrimmage so you can establish the run game, (which) opens up the pass game for Quinton," Strong said. "When that doesn't happen, then you try to drop back and throw it and you have to protect him."

"It's not only Quinton, it's just making sure we get our offense going and everybody on the right track."

FSU's Francois out 4-7 months

Florida State QB Deondre Francois is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery today to repair a torn patella tendon, coach Jimbo Fisher said. The injury — suffered in Saturday's 24-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama — will keep him sidelined for 4-7 months, which could have him back in time for spring practice.

As expected, Fisher said true freshman James Blackman will start Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe, ahead of early enrollee Bailey Hockman and redshirt junior J.J. Cosentino.

Blackman will be FSU's first true freshman to start at the position since Chip Ferguson (1985, against Miami).

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com.

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will miss 4-7 months with a left knee injury. [Times]

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois will miss 4-7 months with a left knee injury. [Times]

State journal: Jim McElwain takes blame; Deondre Francois out 4-7 months 09/04/17 [Last modified: Monday, September 4, 2017 8:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cannon Fodder podcast: One last look at Bucs-Dolphins

    Bucs

    Times Bucs writer Greg Auman looks back on Tampa Bay's wild 30-20 win over the Dolphins, their second straight win and first on the road this season, the good and bad of that, plus a major off-field story now surrounding QB Jameis Winston. Listen below:

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Robert McClain (36) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. (Loren Elliott, Times)
  2. Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

    Bucs

    On Sunday, the Buccaneers and Dolphins played one of those football games that gets only an obligatory mention at the end of highlight shows. In that spirit, this week's Turning Point will focus mostly on the final three minutes of Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed about 60 percent of his passes Sunday and threw for 275 yards in a 30-20 win over the Dolphins. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

  3. 3-2-1, BAM! Watch the Georgia Dome being imploded in downtown Atlanta

    Sports

    ATLANTA — One of the nation's largest domed stadiums has been destroyed in a scheduled implosion in downtown Atlanta.

    The Georgia Dome is destroyed in a scheduled implosion Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Atlanta. The dome was not only the former home of the Atlanta Falcons but also the site of two Super Bowls, 1996 Olympics Games events and NCAA basketball tournaments among other major events. [Associated Press]
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Bucs

    The Bucs win again behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and a defense that creates five turnovers against the Dolphins. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the game, including …

    Jameis Winston cheers as middle linebacker Kwon Alexander  intercepts a pass during the first half of the Bucs' win over the Dolphins. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Auto racing: Martin Truex captures Cup championship

    Auto racing

    HOMESTEAD — Martin Truex capped the most successful season of his journeyman career as NASCAR's champion.

    Martin Truex dominated NASCAR’s top series with eight wins and his first Cup championship.