Running question


Published: Tuesday, October 3, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 3, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
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Florida running back Kestahn Moore figures to get more carries after a knee injury sidelined starter DeShawn Wynn.

ALEXANDER COHN/The Gainesville Sun
In his senior season, tailback DeShawn Wynn has proved for the first time in his career that he can work hard and perform at a consistently high level.
Now comes a new challenge. Can he play with pain? Wynn sprained his knee on the third play in the second half against Alabama and is questionable for Saturday's SEC showdown with LSU.
"There's a chance he'll play," UF coach Urban Meyer said Monday. "It was very sore last night. One good thing is treatment will help it. That's going to be a pain injury. We'll know more as we get closer (to Saturday). We need DeShawn Wynn."
Wynn had back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances going into the Alabama game and was having another good day against the Tide before he was injured, Meyer said.
With Wynn's status uncertain for Saturday's game, sophomore Kestahn Moore will run with the No. 1 offense this week. He started six games as a true freshman last season, rushing for 277 yards and a touchdown. He has rushed for 160 yards on 30 carries this season.
"This is my week," Moore said. "I'm going out there to play and show Coach Meyer that I'll be there for him and I'll be there for the team. I come out to play hard. I do everything hard. I run the ball hard and if I'm blocking I do it hard. This is an opportunity."
Moore has earned the confidence of his teammates and Meyer.
"I think he'll do well," senior center Steve Rissler said. "He's a hard-running back. We're going to block no matter who's back there. I hope DeShawn can come back. Having both of those guys can help us out a lot."
Moore's work ethic earned him six starts and considerable playing time last season. His best performance came in his last start, when he rushed for 88 yards in the Gators' victory over Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
"He's a bring your lunch pail guy," Meyer said. "He's a blue-collar guy who is very accountable. He runs extremely hard and his best football is still ahead of him."
Battling for the No. 2 tailback role this week are true freshman Brandon James and sophomore Markus Manson.
Manson played a role in the running game in 2005, but has had only two carries for three yards this season.
"He has the speed and blocking capability. He can do everything we (Moore and Wynn) are doing," Moore said. "He just needs a chance."
Meyer said the coaching staff will also take a look at other possible options at tailback the next few days in practice.
"Manson and James are the next ones (after Moore) and maybe (true freshman) Mon Williams," Meyer said. "We have some other athletic people on offense who might get a rep."
Robbie Andreu can be reached at 352-374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com

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