Florida has a different pass-heavy offense than they were last year. Kyle Trask , Kyle Pitts . are no longer the dominant team. In Saturday’s 25-14 win over Florida Atlantic, the new-look offense came out and ran up and down Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
The Gators amassed 400 yards rushing, breaking the team’s previous record of 369 yards on the ground in a season opener. Florida hasn’t produced that many rushing yards in a game since September of 2011. In fact, the Gators have only eclipsed that rushing total three times in the last 25 years.
Quarterback Anthony Richardson led the team with 160 yards on just seven carries, one of which was a 73-yard touchdown run. Starting running back Malik Davis joined Richardson in the 100-yard club with 104 over 14 carries.
It is clear that the offense will be more dependent on the run after watching the team in action Saturday. Davis isn’t afraid of the additional responsibility.
” I’m certainly excited,” Davis stated. Davis said, “Because it’s a running back but also because it opens doors and opportunities to other guys. It opens up opportunities for passing down the field if teams realize that we can run the ball well.
Gators Coach Dan Müller hesitated to call his team run-first, but acknowledged that their strengths were on ground against FAU.
” We’ve done this before,” Mullen stated. “We will do what our men do well, that is what it is. It’s something I really want to do. We ran it a bit more than we threw today, 46 runs and 35 passes, but some of those were scrambles too. You can stay balanced but explosive plays are what put you on the ground so we had to take a look at that.
” Are we taking the passes down the field in order to be explosive in pass play? We will do what we have to do. If we are required to lead the nation in rush, we will. We will do what our men do well .”
After Richardson’s rise, Florida has the most rushing yards in the Dan Mullen era. It’s safe to assume that running the ball is the best thing the team does right now.