Jim McElwain and his staff have work to do with the offense.
And after the Spring game, McElwain knows that.
But the annual Orange & Blue Debut shouldn’t have been considered a game.
In what was more of a glorified scrimmage than an actual Spring game because of the lack of depth, the Orange team beat the Blue team 31-6.
It was the first time that McElwain took Florida Field as the head coach for the Gators.
“I thought we were able to accomplish some things out there both offensively and defensively,” McElwain said. “Obviously things that really show up especially when you players against yourselves are the attention to detail and the unforced errors.”
While the scrimmage itself wasn’t the greatest thing to see, there were a couple of things that stood out.
For one, Will Grier should be the starter on Sept. 5 against New Mexico State. More than likely by design, Grier took the first snap of the scrimmage with the first team offense.
McElwain, however, isn't naming a starting quarterback as of now.
“He (Grier) obviously took the first snap,” McElwain said. “I think they probably took the same amount of reps with the one unit. Treon missed four practices, so he’s a little behind.
“That’ll be a really good competition moving forward.”
Grier finished the scrimmage 7-for-9 with 130 yards passing and no touchdowns. Grier had his best throw of the day in the fourth quarter when Grier threw a 42 yard pass to Alvin Bailey on a flea flicker.
The play set up a Case Harrison 11 yard touchdown run to put the Orange team up 31-6.
As the Spring comes to a close, the offense will have to keep getting better as it moves forward.
“There’s just a lot of room for improvement,” Grier said. “A lot of things that we did good, OK. Overall we improved a lot if you go through from the first practice to the last and into the Spring game.”
On the other side, Treon Harris did show flashes during the scrimmage.
Harris had a 24 yard completion to Valdez Showers in the second quarter that set up an Austin Hardin 26 yard field goal. Harris also had his own 42 yard completion when he hit Demarcus Robinson in the third quarter.
Harris finished the game 6-for-9 for 94 yards and the lone passing touchdown of the scrimmage.
McElwain though said that Harris has to have a better sense of urgency when he’s in redzone situations.
“I have to work on some things,” Harris said. “Coach Mac like if it ain’t there, throw it away, upstairs throw out of bounds.”
With all that being said, Grier was the more consistent of the two quarterbacks, especially in the first half.
Harris feels like he has to win the job outright now especially since he missed four practices dealing with a family situation.
“I have a lot of catching up to do with the days that I missed and the install that we put in,” Harris said.
Robinson was as explosive as he can be and will be counted on once the season starts.
He returned the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown, but it didn’t count as there was no live tackling on special teams during the scrimmage.
Robinson finished the scrimmage with 59 yards receiving and four catches. He will be a key once the season begins.
The Blue team’s offensive line was consistently manhandled at the line of scrimmage, but that was expected when Florida only has six healthy scholarship linemen on the team.
The Orange team’s first team defensive line was able to get into the backfield a lot and Jon Bullard was one player who was in all the quarterback’s grills during the scrimmage.
And with Rod Johnson’s future status uncertain because of a stinger he suffered in last Friday’s scrimmage, the offensive line is the biggest question mark on the team.
The offensive line had a number of walk-ons on it and McElwain was quick to praise their hard work.
“I’m gonna say my hats off to that offensive line,” McElwain said. “The ones that even walked on, they help us in practice. I mean, those guys worked their tails off, took a lot of reps this Spring and my hat goes off to them.”
There’s a lot more question marks on the offensive side of the ball for the Gators right now. A couple of them will be answered over the summer, but it will take until the season begins to see where the team will be.
McElwain wasn’t satisfied with how Spring went and a lot the team needs to do to get to where he wants them to be.
“There’s so much more to do,” McElwain said. “There’s so many lost opportunities and getting your guys to understand the attention to detail, the focus of the communication and the mindset to go win this play.
“That’s what we’ve got to get.”
Follow Luis Torres on Twitter @LFTorresIII