Notebook: UF's time share at RB


Florida running back Kevlin Taylor, at left, and Matt Jones, at right, talk during the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in April. Jones is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday.

Doug Finger/Staff Photographer
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.

Tailback Matt Jones will play a role in Florida’s offense Saturday against Miami. How much of one will depend on how well he’s holding up in the heat.

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Florida running back Kevlin Taylor, at left, and Matt Jones, at right, talk during the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in April. Jones is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday.

Doug Finger/Staff Photographer

“I’d say 20-25 (carries) because that’s on the basis of what he’s capable of,” UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease said Tuesday. “You’ve kind of seen the steady average from our backs. I’m not saying that’s what he’s going to get, but I expect him to be out there and be in the offense.

“We’ve got to be smart in how we use him. The fatigue factor is probably going to become involved in the humid situation down there at the time of the game. He’ll know the game plan. He’ll know that because he’s a smart guy. We’ll see what he can handle, but I expect he can handle it all.”

Jones is making his 2013 debut Saturday after missing all of camp and the opener while recovering from a viral infection.

He’s listed as the starter for Saturday’s game.

“From the defensive side, you’ve got to be aware that this kid can carry the football,” Pease said. “He’s a power runner, a downhill run guy. He’s got the capability of breaking it and going all the way. You saw that in the Florida State game (last season).

“He knows protections, he’s got good hands, we can play him in a lot of different positions, we can split him out, he can catch the ball.”

The new go-to guy?

Trey Burton can, and has, played numerous positions for the Gators over the past three years. Now, in his senior season, he is settling in at one — wide receiver. And although it’s early, he’s already developing that look of a potential go-to guy in the passing game.

He caught a career-high five passes for 69 yards in the opener against Toledo.

“I think he’s done a good job of that in the offseason in trying to condition himself (to be a full-time receiver),” Pease said. “Just how he’s gone about his approach to becoming a better receiver and understanding. Some of that was conditioning, what the weight room guys have done to him.

“He’s lost some weight, he’s playing faster, and I think that’s huge. Trey’s a smart kid. He studies the game and he teaches the game to other kids. You’re not always out there just doing something. There’s reasons why you run a route this way and he understands that.”

Praise for the freshman WRs

Pease said he was pleased with the play of true freshman wide receivers Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood in the opener. Robinson made some key blocks, and Fulwood converted a crucial third down with a five-yard reception.

“They did a good job,” Pease said. “They’re out there playing. Demarcus didn’t catch a ball. I went up to him in the locker room and said, ‘You know what? Just be patient. I’m going to do a better job of getting some things designed (for you to get the ball).’

“He goes, ‘Coach, I had fun and we won.’ That’s the kind of kid he is. Ahmad, he catches the under route. Last year, I don’t know if we get it. He sticks his foot in the ground and gets forward.

“You guys see it as a five-yard catch, I see it as a first down on a third-down conversion that last year we probably don’t get. So I think that’s big in what he does and his football awareness. And the kid’s blocking.”

Moore takes responsibility

Nebraska transfer Tyler Moore, who made his UF debut at right tackle in the opener, said he was to blame for the first of two sacks. Jeff Driskel fumbled on the play, costing the Gators a scoring opportunity in the first half.

“That was mine,” Moore said. “I misheard the call. When I saw it the next day when we were watching film how it was the opposite play, it made me mad the rest of the day. It could have been an easy pickup, and we could have gone down after the big turnover and got another score and kept the momentum going. I think we kind of gave it back to them a little bit, so it kind of made me mad.”

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