Florida Gators Football

Florida Backfield Is Weighing in Large: Big Backs Part of the Plan Again

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Mike Gillislee #23 of the Florida Gators drives over the goal line for a touchdown against  the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Neyland Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Kevin KingSenior Analyst IIAugust 29, 2012

Meet Gator senior running back Mike Gillislee, (5'11", 201). He isn't quite as fast as Jeff Demps or Chris Rainey, but few in the world are.

However, if you are going to run a pro set offense, you may need this type of running back. That isn't to say that Demps and Rainey were not great backs because they were. But they needed space in order to get that speed up—something the spread offense did for them.

If you are going to line up in single and double tight end sets, you need backs that can run downhill. These gazelles in cleats that Coach Meyer preferred were not built for 25-30 carries per game. Especially when an off tackle play is considered running it wide.

Mike Gillislee and the other new Florida running backs are built for just that.

Rounding out the group are sophomore Mack Brown (5'11", 210), freshman Matt Jones (6'2", 213) and fullbacks junior Trey Burton (6'3", 227) and sophomore, Hunter Joyner (5'10", 244).  

Notice this theme? Florida's second-year coach obviously is not a spread guy. As a matter of fact, he makes no bones that he isn't a spread guy. He is a pro set, run downhill, play great defense guy.

There isn't anything wrong with the spread offense. It is just that nowadays great defenses have seen it enough that they can stop it—unless your quarterback is named Newton or Tebow. Guys like that are just too difficult to find. 

Florida is still going to throw the football. There isn't any law that says you can't be a great passing team and still run out of the pro set. So, you pass happy fans, don't get discouraged.

The pro set is the wave of the future—at least in the SEC again—and Coach Muschamp is preparing this team to compete for championships.

How will the team look when Muschamp is finished? If done correctly, let's just say they will look like an exact double from a distance to several SEC teams. If somebody came into the locker in the middle of the night and switched out their uniforms, none of the fans would know the difference. 

Just curious...would you guys have any problems with wearing red sometimes? Or holding boxes of Tide detergent with a roll of toilet paper attached to it?

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