Florida running back Nay'Quan Wright, left, celebrates his touchdown against Samford with offensive lineman Richie Leonard during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Nay’Quan Wright on the Gators Moving Forward

With two games left to play in the regular season, the Florida Gators are well below where they expected to be prior to the season’s start. From looking to compete for an SEC Championship, they now sit at 5-5 , fighting for a bowl bid, and questions swirl about Dan Mullen’s job security. However as Nay’Quan Wright explains, the team’s focus this week is the upcoming game against Mizzou.

Final Two Games

Florida heads to Missouri this week for their final SEC game of 2021. Next week, they host the annual matchup with Florida State. Two months ago, these games looked to be easy victories for Florida. Now with both games on the horizon, they almost look like toss-ups.

As running back Nay’Quan Wright states, right now the team’s only focus is on the game with Mizzou. All that is at stake for them is what they can control this week.

Florida has possessed a very strong running game throughout the 2021 season. On average, the Gators rush for 227.7 yards per game. A figure that ranks third in the SEC. Leading the team is rush yards is quarterback Emory Jones, who has 629 yards on the season along with four rushing touchdowns. Dameon Pierce, Malik Davis, and Nay’Quan Wright have been the three most-featured running backs. Combined, the three backs have contributed 1,612 yards of offense and 21 total touchdowns on the season.

Florida running back Nay’Quan Wright (6) scores a touchdown on a 45-yard pass play as he gets past Samford linebacker Thomas Neville, right, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Mizzou has struggled against the run this year. The Tigers are dead last in the SEC in rushing defense and by a wide margin. Giving up almost 250 yards per game on the ground, Mizzou ranked second to last in the entire country in rushing defense. Florida’s strong run-game looks to exploit this weakness.

Questions Around the Team

The Florida program is still surrounded by a lot of questions as it has fallen mightily from where it was a year ago. Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham and Offensive Line Coach Todd Hevesy are gone. Questions remain at the quarterback position and the defense. Dan Mullen is now on the hot seat.

Even though things have not gone the way the Gators have hoped this year, Wright says the Gators still have to compete.

Mullen announced on Monday they will be sticking with Emory Jones as their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. This comes right after the Samford game where Emory Jones set a school record of 550 total yards in a single game. Many fans want to see more of Anthony Richardson, as he has made many explosive plays on the year. Wright feels confident in both quarterbacks.

“Both of those guys work really hard,” said Wright. “I trust both of them. No matter who we’re rolling with.”

About Jack Shivertaker

Jack Shivertaker is a senior at the University of Florida pursuing a degree in Journalism with a focus on sports media.

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