UF notebook: Carries for Taylor?


Florida Gators running back Kelvin Taylor (21) carries the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday Sept. 21, 2013 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Tennessee 31-17.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 5:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 5:32 p.m.

For the second game in a row, true freshman tailback Kelvin Taylor got no carries against Arkansas after Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease said earlier in the week that he likely would.

“They went back and forth, Matt (Jones) and Mack (Brown),” Pease said. “We had some situations where we were going to try and get (Taylor) in there in the last half of the fourth quarter, but they held onto the ball and drove it and stuff. So we just continue to keep working in practice and things show up.”

The only playing time Taylor saw last Saturday came in the final seconds when quarterback Tyler Murphy took a knee twice.

Pease said Taylor is doing well in practice and his ball security is no longer an issue.

“He practices hard, he's a good kid,” Pease said. “He's got a good attitude. He is a good player and I just want to see him continue to do things and have some patience.”

Pease said there is no plan, at this time, to redshirt Taylor.

“We'll discuss that. I don't know,” Pease said. “You'll have to ask the head coach.”

Bright future for Leak?

Pease said he's enjoying working with former Gator quarterback Chris Leak, who is a graduate assistant on offense.

“It's great. A guy that's won a national championship at a school and was recruited like he was and meets the expectations and the standard and is still a humble person and really good person and good family man,” Pease said. “He's going to be a good coach. He's found what he wants to do and he's got good ideas and he works hard.

“The tough thing about when you leave, if you're a professional player and you all of a sudden have to come to college and you're shoved into a room and you've got to break film down and you're there for long hours.

“His family is down in Orlando and they come up on the weekends and he's not seeing them a whole lot. That's tough. Sometimes you ask yourself, 'Is this really worth it?' It's worth it to him because he's doing it and he's doing a really good job with it.”

Quick decisions by Murphy

Pease said there's a reason quarterback Tyler Murphy has been so good at making quick decisions in managing the offense.

“Processing,” Pease said. “He knows how to process.”

Pease said a good example was Murphy's decision to go to his secondary receiver (Quinton Dunbar) instead of going deep to Solomon Patton on a flea-flicker in the Arkansas game. Murphy connected with Dunbar for a 19-yard gain.

“He made the right decision,” Pease said. “He saw it, and he knew right now. It's got to be a very clear picture (to go deep to Patton). The picture wasn't very clear, so he knew right where to go with the ball.”

Gators return to Baton Rouge

Junior outside linebacker Ronald Powell said the Gators are a much different team than the one that lost by 30 points to the Tigers in Baton Rouge two years ago.

“We've got a lot more people who have bought in, bought in to what Coach 'Champ wants to do,” he said. “We've got a great coaching staff, and everybody is out there and having fun and flying around and being physical.

“That's the identity (Muschamp) wants. He likes tough dudes. He likes people that are going to be physical and hit people in the mouth. We've got a defense that wants to go out and do that along with an offensive line that wants to do the same thing.”

Ground struggles ahead?

What had been a strong ground game fell off for the Gators in the win over Arkansas. UF rushed for only 115 yards, averaging only 2.8 yards a carry. Offensive guard Max Garcia said the Hogs had a good game plan to stop UF's running game.

“I just have to give big credit to the defense of Arkansas,” Garcia said. “They had a great scheme against us. You know, I think other teams will try to look at that and see what they did. They didn't catch us off guard, but we have to do a better job of adjusting in the game. We'll take care of that and we'll be better prepared.”

LSU's defensive front will be another tough challenge.

“Just another good SEC defense in what we'll face in LSU,” Garcia said. “They kind of have similar guys, same body types (as Arkansas). I think LSU is a little more athletic. We've just got to be prepared for what they bring us.”

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