Kneauxing the Enemy 2021 Florida
Record: 4-2, 2-2 in SEC
by Bryan Follins
Florida comes to Tiger Stadium this Saturday, attempting to keep their flickering hopes alive for an SEC East title. They are now fighting for a winning season, like the Purple and Gold.
The Gators are third in the country in rushing offense. So far, the Florida ground attack has doubled that of its opponents. Florida has rushed for 1,699 yards this season. Their opponents have run for 801 yards.
One of the reasons for the strong running attack of Florida is the evolution of redshirt junior quarterback Emory Jones. In Florida’s first two games, Jones shared the quarterbacking chores with a highly touted redshirt freshman, Anthony Richardson. Then, Richardson was hurt in the second game of the season. Jones had to play quarterback the entire third game against Alabama. In the beginning of the contest he struggled, then the light came on. Even though Florida lost, Jones passed for 195 yards and ran for 76 yards against the Crimson Tide, engineering a run-pass-option (rpo) offense that piled up 439 total yards in the contest. He engineered a 99-yard touchdown drive in the contest. In the Tennessee game Jones passed for 209 yards, and led the Gators in rushing with 144 yards. In the loss to Kentucky, Jones passed for 203 yards and led the team in rushing with 63 yards. Last week, in the win against Vanderbilt, he passed for 273 yards and ran for forty.
Jones has thrown seven interceptions, which leads the league. He also leads the team in rushing with 473 yards. Richardson is second on the team in rushing with 311 yards, despite his injuries, averaging 14.8 yards per carry.
There are a bevy of running backs in the Florida ground game, including redshirt senior Malik Davis, senior Dameon Pierce, and redshirt sophomore Nay’Quan Wright.
In addition, Richardson is healthy again at the quarterback position.
The Gator offensive line is solid, led by Stewart Reese, a graduate at right guard, Jean DeLance, a redshirt senior at right tackle, and left tackle Richard Gouraige, who has been injured but is slated to return this week.
The leading receiver for the Gators after six games is redshirt junior Josh Copeland, who has 31 catches for 370 yards.
On defense, redshirt, senior defensive lineman Zachary Carter has 5.5 sacks leading the team.
Junior linebacker Mohamoud Diabate leads the team in tackles with 46, 33 unassited. Sophomore safety Rashad Torrence is second in tackles with 33, 16 solos. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Moon, a redshirt senior who seems like he has been playing at Florida forever, has 2.5 tackles for losses. (tfls).
Redshirt junior Brenton Cox, Jr., plays the buck position on the right edge, and he can be moved around on defense, which makes him dangerous, because he is a playmaker.
The Gators have 20 team sacks for the season.
The Tigers are now in a struggle for a winning season. This week, they will have to do something they have not had much success with this season, stop a team with a strong rushing attack.