The Florida Gator football team has opened up the season with four straight wins including a come from behind victory against SEC rival Tennessee last week. The Gators last win was enough to place them in the AP Top 25 for the first time this season. Much of the Gator success this season can be credited to junior running back Kelvin Taylor.
Taylor started the season off strong against New Mexico State, but it was the second game of the year against East Carolina where he made headlines. After scoring a touchdown, Taylor did a throat slashing gesture and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Florida coach Jim McElwain blew up on Taylor on the sidelines and the infamous incident gained national attention.
Taylor talks specifically about that play and what he took from it.
“At the end of the day I should have never done it because it’s all about the team. We can’t celebrate in college so I should have never done anything period. I learned my lesson for sure to just always throw the ball back to the referee and give them nothing to throw a flag about, so yea I’ve matured a whole lot.”
Since that moment Taylor has been solid running the football. He has been the featured back in each of the last two games where he is averaging 4.5 yards per rush. He has 37 total touches for 161 yards and three touchdowns the past two weeks. In last weekend’s game over Tennessee he eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the first time since Florida’s game against Georgia last season.
“I feel like it (being the featured back) just gives me more opportunities to make plays and I know every time I’m in the game I can take it to the house, so I just want to keep getting those opportunities” Taylor says.
Meanwhile, sixth year senior tight end Jake McGee has also come up big for the Gators lately including a couple key third and fourth down catches against Tennessee. He finished the game against the Volunteers with 5 catches for 57 yards. On the season McGee has 10 catches for 107 yards. McGee recorded no stats last season because he suffered a season ending injury in the first half of the season opener.
Jim McElwain’s offense features the tight ends often, which is something different than in past years under Muschamp.
McGee talks about the use of tight ends in this new offense.
“I mean it’s something he (McElwain) sort of told us in the beginning that we have a talented tight end room. It’s something you want to use as much as you can and we got a group of guys who can do a lot of different things, so he wants to use us the best he can. There’s a lot of really creative minds on offense, so I’m sure it will only continue to expand as we show that we can make plays.”
Up next for the Gators is a home SEC game against the third ranked Ole Miss Rebels. Kick off from the Swamp is set for 7 p.m.
To hear sound from Taylor and McGee click below: