Nothing should terrify opposing defenses more than when the Florida Gators put the ball in Kadarius Toney’s hands.
The sophomore quarterback converted wide receiver can do just about anything on the field for the Florida Gators, and he showed that in the 35-31 win over South Carolina on Saturday.
When Toney gets touches, no one, including Dan Mullen, Will Muschamp or any player on the other side of the ball, knows where he’s going. And if they do, he just breaks some ankles and takes it the other way.
“That’s a different type of guy,” said junior running back Lamical Perine. “They’ll have a run that’s supposed to go left and he’ll cut it back all the way to the right and score, so you never know what to expect with Kadarius. He’s a talented, good kid, man. He’s done a lot for this program and he’s going to keep doing that.”
Toney finished the game with 84 combined receiving and rushing yards in just six plays, including a short reception from Feleipe Franks that he turned into an 18-yard touchdown. It was his first score of the season.
In the fourth quarter, Franks dished it to him and he ran to the left before sweeping back to the right and taking it down the sideline for 33 yards into the red zone. He nearly made it in for his second touchdown, but was pushed out of bounds at the 5-yard line.
That put the Gators in position to take the lead a few plays later.
“Every time I touch the ball I try to get in the end zone,” Toney said. “That’s my mindset. I don’t really think about people in front of me. I think about getting in the end zone, so if they in my way, I’m gonna get through them to get to the end zone.”
He may have to run 60 yards just to get 20 out of it, but having an offensive weapon that can turn absolutely nothing into big gains is a luxury for the Gators. He’s basically a human joystick.
The problem is, neither staff he’s played under at Florida has used him to his full potential. That may finally be changing.
“When he touches the ball, really exciting things happen,” said head coach Dan Mullen. “I think one of the things I haven’t done a good job offensively, in just forcing us to just put the ball in his hands. I’ll be honest with you, about half the time he touches the ball the play doesn’t look anything like we designed it to look at in practice, but exciting things certainly happen. We’ll try to continue to do that and make sure he gets touches.”