Gators notebook: Lenton enters transfer portal; offense fails to close
Florida reserve safety Quincy Lenton has entered the transfer portal, according to multiple reports. Lenton is on schedule to graduate this spring and would be a graduate transfer who is eligible next fall.
Lenton played in 13 games last season, mostly on special teams. He has not seen the field in three games this season.
Sharing the rock
The Gators’ running back by committee seems to be working just fine. Malik Davis, Dameon Pierce and Nay’Quan Wright have all been productive running and catching the football. And it allows the offense to have fresh legs in the running game throughout games.
“It’s good just to keep guys fresh and have the ability to call different things based on their strengths and kind of roll those guys and making sure that we have a fresh body pounding the defense,” UF offensive coordinator Brian Johnson said. “Coach (Greg) Knox does a great job with those guys in terms of developing them and getting them to play at a high level, understanding the offense, understanding the scheme and how to apply it to that particular defense of the week. It’s really a solid group."
It’s also a versatile group that can put stress on a defense.
“They all have different strengths,” Johnson said. “We can run an inside zone, and one guy might hammer you, one guy might bounce it, and we might pull an RPO the next time. Just those guys having their own unique skill set and just being able to play free within the flow of the offense kind of gives us a natural balance in our running game and how we operate.”
Offense fails to close, too
The defense is getting most of the criticism for Saturday’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M, but the offense should share in the blame. The offense had the chance to put the game away in the second half, but didn’t. And the fumble by Davis led to the winning field goal as time expired.
"Yeah, we had a chance to go win the game and we didn't do it,” Johnson said. “So we've got to definitely be better and find ways to go out there and execute at a high level consistently every single drive, every single play and take care of business.
“I was talking to the quarterbacks earlier just about any time that we really haven't scored as an offense it's been kind of self-inflicted. We have a really high standard, a really high expectation of what we expect from our offense on a weekly basis, from drive to drive, from play to play. Really disappointed that we weren't able to get that done on Saturday."
Quarterback Kyle Trask said the Gators know what it takes to successfully close out games. It's just a matter of doing it when the opportunity is there.
“Yeah, I think it just comes down to the little things like knowing the situations," he said. "At those points in the game, the most important thing to do is just keep getting first downs, keep the clock moving, keep the ball out of the opposition’s hands. We’ve just got to be cleaner in terms of knowing where the sticks are and just playing clean football, not turning over the ball, not giving the defense opportunities to put their hands on the ball and things like that.”
Strong-armed wide receiver
No. 2 quarterback Emory Jones has a very strong arm. But he probably doesn’t have the strongest one on the team. That honor likely goes to a former high school quarterback — wide receiver Kadarius Toney.
“He’s probably got the strongest arm on the team,” Johnson said. “He’s a dynamite athlete, and it’s been really well to see him healthy and playing well and out there having fun.”
So, how far can he throw it?
“I’d bet he could probably throw it 80 yards in the air, if I had to guess,” Johnson said.
Rutledge is 'Ms. Two Bits' on Saturday
Laura Rutledge, a distinguished alum of the University of Florida College of Journalism, will take time away from her duties for ESPN and the SEC Network on Saturday to be the honorary (and virtual) "Ms. Two Bits" before the Gators play LSU.