Florida Gators RB Kelvin Taylor Seeks Breakout Performance vs. Georgia in First Start

By Patrick Schmidt

Looking to find a spark for an anemic offense Florida will start former five-star running back, Kelvin Taylor against Georgia with the hopes it will give some much-needed life the 103rd ranked scoring offense in the rivalry game.

The injury to Matt Jones and subsequent sputtering of Mack Brown has finally opened the door for Taylor to make his first career start in a move that was a long time coming.

Taylor’s career got off to a slow start with ball security issues and lack of focus in preseason camp which sent him tumbling down the depth chart. But simply put he is the team’s most talented back, and it’s not close.

After his initial growing pains Taylor showed the ability to pick up chunks of yardage as he has ran for 126 yards on 22 carries in losses at LSU and Missouri, but he wasn’t getting enough touches.

It took nine drives before Taylor saw the field at Missouri which highlights the stubbornness or general ineptitude of Will Muschamp. Nine drives for your best running back to see the field is inexcusable, and then when he saw the field he helped lead Florida on a 70-yard touchdown drive.

Of course, Taylor didn’t stay in the game as he was kept off the field for the following two drives, but that will all change now with Taylor expected to be the focal point of the offense in the ‘World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.’

The 5-foot-10, 215-pound back has the speed to get to the edge and the size to run in between the tackles, but it’s his ability to get to the edge that should bode well for the Gators. Florida likes to run stretch and outside zone plays, and Taylor has the speed that Brown certainly does not to effectively get to the perimeter and turn up the field.

Muschamp has no choice but to run his prized offensive recruit 20-25 times in this rivalry game which is undoubtedly a must-win. Florida has not beaten Georgia since a 34-31 overtime win in 2010, and a bowl game is not a guarantee when you look at their remaining schedule.

I will guarantee Taylor runs for more than 100 yards in his first career start and reaches the end zone at least once.

A breakout game on a national stage in a big rivalry game could be the momentum Taylor needs to spark his Florida career and the Gators’ offense which is in desperate need for offensive skill players.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

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