Break-out game for UF's Brown


Florida Gators running back Mack Brown (33) runs up field against the Toledo Rockets during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday August 30, 2013 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Toledo 24-6. (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 8:02 p.m.

At Florida football media day in early August, Mack Brown said he didn’t mind being the forgotten guy at the running back position entering the season as long as fans remember him by the end of the year.

They might already after his performance Saturday.

Brown rushed for career-highs in yards (112), touchdowns (two) and carries (25) in Florida’s 24-6 win over Toledo.

He ran hard on the opening drive of the game with 39 yards rushing on six touches and a score, the first of his career.

“I got butterflies when I scored,” Brown said. “When I saw the hole open up, I just hit it, did a little a high step (into the end zone).”

Brown finished the first half with 97 yards on the ground and another touchdown, the second coming from 14 yards out.

Despite scoring twice, neither were Brown’s favorite play of the game.

“It was my block on Gideon (Ajagbe’s) touchdown,” he said. “I took my drop stance and I saw the dude trying to get my man (Jeff) Driskel, and I cut him as hard as I could because we needed to score.

“Just being on the field on first team is a blessing. Me scoring is nothing really big.”

Running out of the tunnel as a starter and contributing offensively was an emotional experience for Brown.

“I had tears in my eyes,” he said. “I felt like I was useless the last couple years. Getting an opportunity, I did my best and ran with it.

“I just feel like I got a role now. The last couple years I’ve been stressed out after games, feeling like I failed the team.”

Brown didn’t feel that way Saturday, as teammates and family members congratulated him in the locker room following the game.

“Everybody gave me hugs,” he said. “People hit me in my head saying, ‘Good game Breezy.’ But I was tired, so I told everybody, ‘Let me take a seat.’

“I don’t regret coming to Florida at all. The type of players — I’ve made friendships I’ll never make again. I love these guys.”

UF coach Will Muschamp was happy to see Brown produce, something he expected out of the redshirt junior.

“Mack is a guy who is talented,” he said. “He’s played behind some great guys here and nothing shocks me of what he did today. I was expecting him to run hard and he did.”

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