The Florida Gators were repeatedly burned on the ground last week not by LSU running backs, but receivers. The Gators gave up 216 rushing yards last week to LSU. Tiger receivers accounted for just 10 of the 48 rushes on the day but amassed 107 yards on jet sweeps that Florida seemingly couldn’t figure out until halftime.
It came down to a lack of discipline.
“We had a couple times this past week on the jet sweep, we didn’t go up the field like we were supposed to. We’re squeezing instead of going up the field,” Rumph said Wednesday. “Then later on, it’s funny, the two guys that had got around, it was the same exact play. Same exact call in the second half, and they do their job and knock it down. We’ve got to work on that.”
Texas A&M brings a multifaceted running attack to Gainesville, including a mobile quarterback. Kellen Mond, a true freshman from San Antonio who enrolled at Texas A&M early last January, has started five games this season. Mond is completing 62.7% (52-83) of his pass attempts against SEC opponents and has also rushed for 266 yards, two scores and a team-high 19 first downs. The Aggies also have two running backs over 300 yards on the season and will gash Florida if they aren’t disciplined up front.
“They do a good job at using the guy. He’s not a guy that’s going to take off and scramble. He’ll look to throw the ball,” Rumph said. “The biggest thing is we’ve got to have great pass rushing lanes and then we also have to have discipline on the back end as well because you start seeing this guy scrambling and getting out and sometimes you want to get out and get off your man. But he’s capable of just dumping it across your head and just hitting the receivers.”
The Gators, for the most part are young up front. Jordan Sherit is a redshirt senior and CeCe Jefferson is a junior but Rumph and the Gators rely on a lot of freshmen and sophomores on the defensive line. It’s created a great competition level in practice but that youth is more prone to making mistakes, which we’ve seen. Rumph just has to keep teaching, preaching and drilling it into his players that they’re part of a unit, part of a team and everyone has a role to play.
“We put up something on the board every day, we’ve got this big circle and got all the guys’ numbers inside the circle and we tell them, ‘Play inside the circle. Don’t go outside the circle. It’s danger,’” he said. “And a lot of times guys go outside the circle and try to make a play, and it’s not like they’re trying to do something crazy or they don’t know what’s going on. They’re trying to make a play, trying to help their team. So I get that part, but yet we’ve still got to do our job.”
Florid will need the whole line to play inside that circle this week before they lose to A&M and are on the outside of the SEC East circle looking in at Georgia.