University of Florida

Florida Gators’ ground game is stuck in mud

A year ago, Treon Harris’ first collegiate start against Georgia was overshadowed by Florida’s unstoppable running game.

The Gators totaled 389 yards on the ground, upsetting the No. 19 Bulldogs, 38-20.

Harris, a sophomore quarterback from Miami Booker T. Washington, threw just six passes in the win over the Gators’ archival, but Florida can’t expect to lean on a similar attack on Oct. 31.

The Gators’ ground game has been stuck in the mud most of 2015 — especially in conference games. Despite sprinting to a 4-1 SEC record, Florida ranks last in the league in yards per carry (2.9) and averages just 126.7 yards a game.

“It’s huge,” coach Jim McElwain said of re-establishign the run game.

“All great team are built on being able to run the football and being able to stop the run defensively. We need to continue to get better at that. We had some opportunities in the last ballgame, and yet, that’s a pretty darn good defense.

In last weekend’s 35-28 loss at LSU, Florida averaged just 1.8 yards per attempt. Harris, a shifty playmaker, led the team with 55 yards but finished with just a net of 20 after accounting for five sacks.

Much of the Gators’ struggles are a result of inconsistent offensive line play.

On the season, junior tailback Kelvin Taylor leads Florida with 463 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging a paltry 3.59 yards per carry.

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