UF run game goes nowhere


Florida Gators running back Mack Brown (33) is tackled by Miami Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman (52) during the first half on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 in Miami, Fla. Miami defeated Florida 21-16. (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 8:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 8:35 p.m.

MIAMI GARDENS — Aside from two interceptions thrown in the red zone that, more than anything, cost Florida the game in Saturday's 21-16 loss to Miami, the offense had a productive day through the air.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel threw for a career-high 291 yards, and receivers Trey Burton, Quinton Dunbar and Solomon Patton all made big plays.

It was UF's inability to run to the ball consistently that crippled the offense for most of the game, in addition to the pair of picks and five total turnovers.

The Gators outrushed the 'Canes 122 to 50, but they weren't able to dominate the line of scrimmage and impose their will on the ground, which is their top priority.

“That's our No. 1 goal, establishing the run,” center Jonotthan Harrison said. “We could have had a lot more success. We can't be complacent with just (outgaining Miami).

“Momentum is a huge thing in college football. The fact that we didn't develop that momentum coming out in the first half, it made our job a little more difficult. It hindered our success.”

Both Matt Jones (18 carries for 53 yards) and Mack Brown (10 carries for 29 yards) averaged less than 3 yards per rush. Valdez Showers averaged 6.8, but he only touched the ball four times.

Four offensive line starters were sidelined at some point with injuries over the course of the game — Harrison, D.J. Humphries, Tyler Moore and Max Garcia. On countless plays, Florida continued rushing up the middle to no avail.

“They had some guys stacked in there,” UF coach Will Muschamp said of Miami's rush defense. “We felt like we could get on the perimeter as much as anything. They're big inside, and we had to reshuffle our offensive line.”

Harrison didn't offer UM the same credit Muschamp did.

“I can't give it to Miami, it's on us,” he said. “It comes down to everybody executing their assignments every single day. If one person, no matter what position, doesn't execute their assignment, the play is more than likely to collapse.

“That's what was going on with us. But we're going to do everything in our power to make sure we fix our issues.”

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