Freshman Kelvin Taylor Shines For Florida in Loss to LSU

By Nicholas Crimarco
Kelvin Taylor
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators have switched to a pro-style offense under head coach Will Muschamp. Muschamp is a run-first coach that loves to get his backs to run up the middle and control the clock. Last year under Muschamp, Mike Gillislee rushed for 1,152 yards on 244 carries and had 10 TDs. His backup was freshman Matt Jones, who rushed the ball 52 times for 275 yards and two TDs.

With Gillislee going to the NFL after the 2012 season, it was presumed Jones and former top recruit Mack Brown would be the two replacements in the offense. Jones has been injured for most of the season and has received less carries than Brown.

So far, Brown has carried the ball 91 times for 340 yards, a less than stellar average of 3.7 yards per carry, and three TDs. Jones has carried the ball 79 times for 339 yards, an average of 4.3 yards per carry, and two TDs.

On Saturday against LSU, Jones injured his knee early on and the Gators had a difficult decision to make. Their plan this season was to redshirt freshman RB Kelvin Taylor, who was the no. 1 RB recruit in the nation. Taylor, whose father Fred Taylor was a star RB at UF and played 13 seasons in the NFL, had received six garbage time carries and the Gators were going to apply for a redshirt anyways.

However, in this big game against LSU, the Gators pressed him into action and he responded. He carried the ball 10 times for 52 yards and was able to get the majority of his yards between the tackles. The rest of the team combined to carry the ball 30 times for 59 yards against the stout LSU defense.

If Jones is out for any extended period of time, Taylor will probably become the lead back immediately and Brown will be used to spell him and on goal line carries.

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