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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Florida football players react to firing of Jim McElwain

<p>UF football players found out that their coach, Jim McElwain, had been fired on Sunday when they logged onto Twitter and scrolled through their notifications. </p>

UF football players found out that their coach, Jim McElwain, had been fired on Sunday when they logged onto Twitter and scrolled through their notifications. 

Nothing has gone according to plan for Florida’s football players in 2017.

They weren’t expecting nine of their teammates — including All-SEC receiver Antonio Callaway — to be suspended indefinitely from all team activities before the season began.

They weren’t expecting to then kick off the year losing four of their first seven games, the program’s worst start to a campaign since 1986.

And they certainly weren’t expecting to find out that their coach, Jim McElwain, had been fired on Sunday when they logged onto Twitter and scrolled through their notifications.

”Wait...what just happened” freshman linebacker Nick Smith tweeted at 11:22 a.m.

”Bruh What the f---!” redshirt sophomore linebacker Kylan Johnson wrote 15 minutes later.

It was a shocking morning for the Gators’ players, one that came less than 24 hours after their worst performance of the season: a 42-7 loss at the hands of Georgia.

UF surrendered a season-worst 292 rushing yards to the Bulldogs and only put together two offensive drives that gained more than 30 yards.

Now, Florida is officially out of the SEC title race with one month remaining on its schedule, and the man who led it to 22 victories over the past two and a half years is gone.

“This isn’t something I (wanted to) see,” cornerback Duke Dawson said of the loss on Saturday. “But hey, life has its turns. We just have to deal with it and move on.”

UF’s players said after Saturday’s defeat that they were “embarrassed” with the performance they put forth against the Bulldogs, but also pointed out there is still a lot left to play for.

The Gators conclude the regular season with back-to-back road games against Missouri and South Carolina followed by a pair of home matchups against UAB and Florida State.

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With Florida sitting at 3-4 and a bowl game appearance still a possibility, its players are focused on finishing the year strong.

“Got to keep going. Got to keep pushing,” safety Chauncey Gardner Jr. said. “Just keep playing football. The outsiders, we’re not worried about them. We’re going to keep doing what we’ve got to do.”

You can follow Dylan Dixon on Twitter @dylanrdixon, and contact him at ddixon@alligator.org.

UF football players found out that their coach, Jim McElwain, had been fired on Sunday when they logged onto Twitter and scrolled through their notifications. 

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