Florida fans have been calling for more Mike Gillislee in the running game for three weeks now. Ever since Jeff Demps went down against Alabama early, Chris Rainey has been taking the bulk of the carries, leaving Gillislee with mop-up duty or limited Wildcat formation action.
Florida has shown they cannot run between the tackles with either Chris Rainey or Jeff Demps. Charlie Weis usually finds a way to get these guys the ball in space or on a jet sweep play that gets them outside, but against the faster SEC defenses, even this has been difficult.
Mike Gillislee can be that guy for Florida. On the year, he has 37 carries for 263 yards and two touchdowns, averaging right at 7 yards per carry. Is that not good enough for Florida and Weis to get some more carries?
I know Chris Rainey can break one at any time, but it has been proven against top-notch defenses – Alabama, LSU and even Auburn this season – that Rainey cannot run between the tackles, and Florida has had a heck of a time trying to spread the field against those teams to get Rainey outside as well. With defenses keying on Rainey, Weis needs to look elsewhere at least to keep the defense honest.
Florida could benefit from another style runner than Rainey and Demps. Trey Burton has been used in limited action at running back, but he’s not a true running back.
Florida needs more Mike Gillislee because he’s shown he can run with speed, aggression and power throughout this year in a limited role.
GILLISLEE FOR 12 AGAINST LSU:
HERE’S GILLISLEE TAKING ONE 60 YARDS AGAINST KENTUCKY: