Found October 01, 2013 on
When Florida Gators running back Mike Gillislee (Florida’s first 1,000 yard rusher since 2004) graduated in the spring, it seemed there would be nothing to worry about, because it was clear who his heir apparent was at the position. Despite the arrival of highly touted freshman Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane, it was always Matt Jones’ job to lose. Jones served as Gillislee’s backup during his freshman season in 2012 and put up 275 yards and three touchdowns, including eight carries for 81 yards and one touchdown against hated rival Florida State. At 6-foot-2, 226 pounds he has the mix of size speed and power that set up perfectly to be Florida’s next 1,000-yard rusher and just overall workhorse.
(Photo credit: Mark Zerof/USA Today Sports)
However, in early August Jones was diagnosed with a viral infection that kept him out for much of fall camp. In his absence redshirt junior Mack Brown stepped up and earned the right to start while Jones got healthy. His recovery was slower than expected and after finally getting bak on the field for the Gators’ second game of the season against the Miami Hurricanes it was clear he was still a bit rusty, fumbling on the Gators’ opening drive. The next game against the Tennessee Volunteers did not go so well either, as he fumbled for the second time in as many games. Meanwhile, Brown had twice as many rushing attempts as Jones in that game and afterward head coach Will Muschamp said the Gators would ride the “hot hand” at running back the rest of the way. Needless to say, the outlook did not look good for Jones heading into the game against the Kentucky Wildcats.
But, against the Wildcats he came out looking like the Matt Jones we expected to see all along. He rushed for a career-high 178 yards on 28 carries. He ran strong up the middle, showed he had enough speed to bounce it to the outside and that he could be a workhorse that could tote the rock 20-plus times a game if need be.
Jones breakout performance could not have come at a better time either, with Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy making the first start of his career. Jones’ strong play took much of the pressure off of Murphy. Because the running game was so effective the quarterback was never put into a tough situation where he had to make a play.
Jones was expected to be the Gators’ featured running back this season, and after his performance Saturday, he finally showed that he was the right man for the job all along.
BEST OF MAXIM
Running back Matt Jones broke out of a two game slump and dominated the Kentucky Wildcats. (Photo credit: Mark Zerof/USA Today Sports)
The Florida Gators (3-1) defeated the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3) for the 27th straight time Saturday night to the tune of a 24-7 victory in Lexington.
Behind a breakout performance from sophomore running back Matt Jones and another solid performance...
The Florida running game struggled to start the season. Matt Jones was battling back from a viral infection and the offensive line was banged up, struggling to put the healthy unit on the field. As the Gators prepare for Arkansas this Saturday, they have their healthy offensive line with Jones off his best game of the season. The healthy offensive line has jumpstarted Florida’s rushing attack.
No. 18 Florida is methodical, deliberate, calculated and predictable. Some might even say the Gators are boring to watch.
They're running the football nearly 70 percent of the time this season, an effort to wear down opponents, keep the clock ticking and conserve their defense.
It's old-school football - simple, keep-away philosophy - and the Gators (3-1, 2-0 Southeastern...
Start ‘Em:Mike Davis – South Carolina vs. KentuckyDavis is a beast and is coming off a 167-yard and three-touchdown effort against UCF last week. He will be facing a Kentucky defense that got gashed for 176 yards by Matt Jones last week. Expect Davis to tear through the Cats this week.STAFF PICK – KEVIN MOUNT Kenneth Dixon – La Tech vs. UTEPDixon has been a fantasy...
Florida Gators defensive tackle Damien Jacobs gave Arkansas some bulletin board material, calling the Hogs’ O-Line “dirty."
After dealing with an illness at the beginning of the season, Matt Jones appears poised to play a significant role in Florida's methodical offense.
The 18th-ranked Gators' defense, meanwhile, will try to slow down Arkansas' potent rushing attack while trying to extend its lengthy win streak in the series Saturday night.
Jones missed a portion of fall practice and the...
Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease understood the situation. He was dealing with a quarterback preparing for his first career start and wanted a way to clear Tyler Murphy’s mind. He didn’t want the junior quarterback dwelling on his preparation before the night game at Kentucky, so he came up with a creative plan to keep Murphy’s mind from being only on football.
Joker Phillips’ latest photoshop endeavor celebrates Florida Gators wide receiver Quinton Dunbar and his average-at-best receiving stats.