Florida offensive lineman Nick Buchanan (66), offensive lineman Stone Forsythe (72) and offensive lineman Brett Heggie (61) set up for a play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Miami Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Hevesy Sees OL Turning the Corner

Florida Gators offensive line coach John Hevesy has had his hands full the past two seasons.

He is in charge of a group that has a huge impact on whether the Gators football surpasses expectations or fall below them. In 2018, Florida lost two games in a row but was then lifted up by improved play from the offensive line. The Gators went on to win four games in a row to finish the season with wins against Florida State and Michigan. The Gators will be looking for the same results in 2019 if they want a chance at playing in the SEC championship in December.

Showing Improvement

Hevesy says the O-line is giving him good reason to believe that the group is taking it to the next level.

The offensive line coach may be having a case of Déjà vu. It was against the Gamecocks that the Gators made the jump in the trenches. Florida was down 31-14 in the swamp last season when the running game suddenly got going. The Gators ran the same play six times in a row, South Carolina couldn’t do anything about it. That is what Florida is looking to do once again on Saturday.

When asked what the line has improved on, Hevesy says that run block is starting to give the running backs an opportunity to see the field.

Hevesy credits a lot of the improvement to the experience the group is getting as a whole. He says there is no substitute for experience.

The Numbers Tell the Same Story

The numbers never lie and that holds true with the Gators’ offensive line.

Especially against LSU in death valley, Florida’s offensive line was good enough to go blow-for-blow with one of the most prolific scoring units in the country. The offensive line only gave up 2 sacks all night. They protected well enough for QB Kyle Trask to throw for 310 yards and three touchdowns. The run-blocking was not bad either. Florida was able to collect 146 yards on the ground. A lot of the credit goes to Emory Jones, who helped relieve some of the pressure for the O-line with his legs. The QB averaged four yards a carry.

With four SEC East opponents left on the schedule, the Gators’ offensive line will have to continue to improve for Florida to take the next step as a program.

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