The Kurt Roper Era in Gainesville did not last long.
After being hired last year to the offensive coordinator position by former Florida head coach Will Muschamp, Roper improved the offense in some areas. Yet, he did not survive the coaching changes made after athletic director Jeremy Foley hired head coach Jim McElwain last December.
McElwain decided to replace Roper with the guy that replaced him at Alabama when he left to be the head coach of Colorado State, Doug Nussmeier.
Nussmeier spent the 2014 season as offensive coordinator of the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan did not fair well last year, but Nussmeier was impressive during his two years at Alabama. Under his watch the Crimson Tide tallied 3,000 yards both in the passing and running game in 2012 for the first time in school history. The most important statistic to Nussmeier however is the turnover margin.
“Obviously, you look over the history of football, the number one telling statistic is the turnover margin. So, as a point of emphasis, it’s always about the ball with us and finding ways to create explosive plays.”
Florida’s progression towards a consistent offense is hindered by the fact that there is a lack of depth on the offensive line. Losing players like Max Garcia, Chaz Green, and DJ Humphries did not help the Gators in any way. McElwain was able to bring in one of the best recruits in the nation in offensive lineman Martez Ivey but he won’t be on campus until August. Nussmeier is being careful with the offensive linemen he has now.
“The number we have forces you to practice a little bit different. You got to monitor the amount of reps those guys are taking. We have modified and done things a little bit different than we traditionally would do with them.”
Friday was the first practice the Gators were in pads. Florida remained in the same tempo as they were without pads. McElwain still wants to up the tempo even more.
“We should be faster. Our guys have to understand that’s how we do it. Create the chaos, play when your mind seems tired, when your body seems tired, and you got to understand you can overcome if your mind will let you.”
The Florida Gators continue their spring schedule on Monday. As for now, the Orange and Blue Debut is still scheduled for April 11. Cancellation may occur due to the lack of depth at offensive line.
For full audio clips of quotes above and more, click below: