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The latest on college sports in Florida

Did Jim McElwain take a shot at FSU football? Doubtful

Jim McElwain paces the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the Gators' win over Georgia.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Jim McElwain paces the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the Gators' win over Georgia.

2

November

Florida coach Jim McElwain seemed to hit a nerve among Florida State fans when he explained why he chose to go for it on fourth and 9 at the Georgia 11 in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 27-3 win.

McElwain said "the last thing we needed was a block six there," when the Gators led 20-3 with 13 minutes left. At least some FSU fans interpreted that as a shot at what happened to the Seminoles the week before, when Georgia Tech blocked a field goal and returned it for the game-winning score on the last play of the game.

McElwain certainly wouldn't be the first coach to make a subtle dig at a rival, but I don't think that's what happened. 

Regardless of whether it was the right call, view the decision in context. Austin Hardin missed a 45-yard field goal earlier in the game. Then Georgia blocked Hardin's first extra point. Kentucky also blocked one of Hardin's kicks earlier in the season, and McElwain previously said that Hardin kicks them low and can't always get them over "tall guys."

Here's McElwain's full quote on the decision to go for it: "They were they were jumping over our little snapper on the field goals, the last thing we needed was a block six there. We chose to go for it down there."

Although it'd be fun to have the first-year Gators coach throwing shade at his rival in Tallahassee, that doesn't seem to be the case. It's more likely that McElwain didn't think the advantage of taking a 23-3 lead outweighed the risk of trusting a kicker prone to blocked field goals. 

[Last modified: Monday, November 2, 2015 12:09pm]

    

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