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Eddie Gran on Florida loss: “We had a chance to put them away and we didn’t do it”

Normally animated and fully charged, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran was visibly deflated after Saturday’s crushing 28-27 loss to the Florida Gators.

Gran’s conservative play calling on offense was called under scrutiny following the Cats’ defeat. As our own Nick Roush wrote after the game, the offense collapsed when it took the ball from Stephen Johnson. Between the final six minutes of the third quarter and the final drive of the fourth quarter, Johnson dropped back to pass the ball just three times. All three passes were far from successful — two were incomplete and the third resulted in a sack.

Still, Gran stood by his decision to resort to the run game.

“When we rush the ball, and if you’re the team that rushes the ball more, you usually win in this league,” Gran said after the game. “We’re going to run the football when we feel like we need to run the football.”

The problem, according to Gran, were the third-down conversions. Or rather, lack thereof. Against the Gators, the Cats went 1-10 on third downs. Florida finished 5-14 on third downs and 3-4 on fourth downs.

“On first and second downs, I thought we were pretty good. We got to third down and we weren’t so good,” Gran said. “And then we went a couple three-and-outs and, you know, you’ve got to convert. If we had converted, I don’t know, three more, who knows? Maybe it could have changed the game.”

But perhaps the most gut-wrenching quote from Gran came when he spoke on the final drive of the game, when Benny Snell ran the ball to the 25-yard line and set up Austin McGinnis for a game-winning field goal. Obviously, that’s not what happened.

“I just thought, when he broke the run, I thought we’d won the game,” Gran said. “Stephen Johnson did an unbelievable job. Thought our kids protected unbelievably on that series. 40 seconds left and they went right down just like we do on our two-minutes in practices. They executed to perfection. It’s unfortunate.”

Unfortunate is one way to put it.

Still, the offensive coordinator takes full responsibility for the mistakes made in the fourth quarter.

“We had a bad snap, we had a penalty, and those things are excusable. That’s on me,” Gran said. “We’re not on a team like this. We had a chance to put them away and we didn’t do it.”


Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

25 Comments for Eddie Gran on Florida loss: “We had a chance to put them away and we didn’t do it”

  1. maximumscott
    10:12 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Sounds like he will stick with milking the clock. The problem is that those same runs he was dialing up werent giving us many yards. He should go back and watch the game. At the point SJ quit passing as much is when our offense became stagnant and couldnt move. Look, im not saying dont run the ball. Im saying mix it with some Screen and bubble passes if you are afraid of an INT. You cant tell me that after watching the game that there was nothing wrong with the play calling late in the 3rd.

    I HATE STUBBORN COACHES! Damn! This team is talented and your ignorant conservative playcalling in the 2 nd half helped create a stagnant offense. It wont change i can tell by his answer.

    • notFromhere
      10:20 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      Biggest peeve ever with this staff. How many games became close games I stead of blowouts and attention getting victories because of this BS? He needs to not be a toilet wad on this. Wth is he afraid of?

    • TBW3011
      9:45 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      The first 2 games this year come to mind, but hey, no need to change anything. We were 2-0. Nothing to change at all. At least that’s what the internet said. Shocked this soft, let’s just try to survive attitude bit us in the ass.

    • foamfinger
      8:29 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Last year, we had the personnel to milk the clock and Stephen wasn’t as polished. This year, we have just figured out the compliment to Snell in King (who actually runs between the tackles as opposed to Boom), but the O-line is still a huge work in process. I can understand that he wants to develop the run game, but we can’t do that against a team as good as Florida, no matter what the stats say their run defense is like. Gran is crazy good when he’s creative and he has one of the best QBs in the SEC when we’re being cute with TEs and the Wildcat. We have to credit him a ton for last year’s win over UofL, Mississippi State, keeping us in the game against UGA (which we would have won if not for Badet’s drop/interception).

    • onlyone
      9:42 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Totally agree Max Gran started playing not to lose instead of playing to win. Where has this guy been did he really think Florida quits in the 4th qtr? Mummy would have won this game by 3 scores

  2. notFromhere
    10:18 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Dance with the one that brung ya. Sumbish, people, be who you are on offense and defense and live or die with it. Don’t fix it when it ain’t broke… How many wise cliches are these guys going to ignore all season?

    My gripe is that.

    Wth are you thinking as a coach to change mid-game? If you wouldn’t line up and run smash mouth football against them from the gun, how brilliant is it to do it when what you had been doing was working? Seriously?!

    It’s like putting the toilet seat down all day and then putting the seat up KNOWING that your wife is heading in there to pee in complete darkness. STOP IT!

    • maximumscott
      10:30 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      The hardest thing to swallow is that the Offensive gameplan was killing UFs defense. They were constantly on their heels. Why change it?!?!? It was FN working and working well!!!!! Dammit I hate coaches that are too stubborn to take constructive criticism. If he doesnt change that mentality then MARK MY WORDS we will lose another game we are supposed to win bc of that same conservative BS. If u want to be conservative wait until there is 4 mins left in the game. Not the mid of the 3rd quarter. Damn.

  3. Cmart0907
    10:23 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    I dont understand why didnt you? If you could put the game out of reach you should. Its simple. Same way with the southern miss game last year. Had a big lead. Played conservative and loss. He did the samething at Cincinnati with that play calling. Play to win. Biggest game of Uk staff ever. They should’ve put the game away. Sick of the excuses.

    • maximumscott
      10:31 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      No. They would have kept putting up TDs. UF couldnt stop the offense all game. They only stopped it when we went run heavy or had bad snaps that set us back.

  4. maximumscott
    10:27 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    They do a good job balancing run and pass during the 1st half and thats why we were successful. The mid of 3rd qtr we had 125 yds of total offense to UFs 1. Yet, we went away from the gameplan that was working for us so well. I could understand utilize the run heavy offense of SJ wasnt accurate, but dude was droppin dimes on an elite 2ndary. Damn. Such a tough loss. I know the players are taking it the hardest but i still feel this season will be special and still believe we are a better Team than UT, Ole Miss, Vandy, UL. Prolly gonna lose Miss St and UGa but they are solid and there road games. I still see a 9-3 season but an 8-4 is likely. Anyway you slice it stoops is progressing.

  5. jaws2
    10:28 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    Gran should turn in his resignation for taking the game from these kids. They gave all they could. Play calling not to lose rather than to win has cost this team more than one game. Unless Stoops changes this, and I doubt he will, it’s going to cost the team again. It’s a damn shame.

  6. KYcats11
    10:30 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    “I just thought, when he broke the run, I thought we’d won the game.” Just when I thaught I was almost halfway through the heartbreak of the loss, I read those words. Just to remind me of how close we were to a victory. This one hurts folks.

    • KYcats11
      10:48 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

      I’m all over the place with my thaughts about this team:-):-)

  7. KYcats11
    10:47 pm September 24, 2017 Permalink

    LET’S GET A SELLOUT AGAINST TENNESSEE! That atmosphere was crazy last night and If we cannot get behind this team when we are 6-1 going into a rivalry game, then we as fans suck. Guess what guys? Auburn is 3-1, LSU is 3-1. Do you see empty seats in those stadiums when they play SEC opponents? Plus neither of those programs are necessarily happy with their coaches(but they still go). I’m not saying their needs to be a sellout for eastern michigan, or even mizzou. But, we as fans need to control what we can control, and that is creating a crazy environment every Caturday.

    • old_blue
      6:15 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      We still need to stay behind this team!

  8. maximumscott
    12:53 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    If we are 6-1 for UT then i think we get 50k but not a sell out. It will take a couple of big wins before the fans buy back in completely. Cant blame some of them.

  9. Blue_Cat75
    7:20 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Why are we complaining about the OC when the defense left a WR uncovered TWICE?!? 27-14 folks. That’s what the score should have been. Penalties and missed FGs are going to happen, but leaving someone uncovered is inexcusable.

    • Rod Crandler
      8:51 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Bingo! Coaches don’t get a timeout and the players on the field are standing 15 feet away from the guy and don’t realize he’s standing there all alone.

    • TBW3011
      9:47 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Because they are also valid complaints. It doesn’t have to be just one thing.

  10. LegggoooCats
    7:38 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    To Eddie Gran,

    You can’t play like a scared little bitch! We keep doing what we’re doing and we win the game. This is not the first time you have cost us a game that was ours, and it won’t be the last. Get your head out of your skinny ass, and coach a consistent 4 quarters, instead of 2 1/2.

    One pissed off and heartbroken fan

  11. Sentient Third Eye
    8:37 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    We’ve complained about overly-conservative late-game playcalling before, and now it has burned the team majorly. Florida took the lead with 43 seconds left. That means even one additional first down would have used up the time they needed to beat us.

  12. Graczyk
    8:58 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Who knew that our fan base has 60k former football coaches to scrutinize every little thing other coaches do….

    • Clyde X
      9:21 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

      Running the ball is great – IF your offensive line matches up well with the defensive line. Florida has one of the best defensive lines in the SEC. I don’t think you can make the argument that UK’s offensive line matches up well with that defensive line. Couple that with the fact that everyone in Commonwealth Stadium knew Gran was going to run the ball after the interception and it is a recipe for the disaster we saw when we had a chance to put Florida away. Three plays, three runs off tackle, zero yards. Then, the defense got the ball right back. Three plays, three runs off tackle, zero yards. Not only did those two series when we had the ball inside the fifty not produce any points, the stops fired Florida up.

  13. onlyone
    9:45 am September 25, 2017 Permalink

    Gran did great in the first half then turned into gutless Gran the second half