After a season of limited playing time, Adarius Lemons had a breakout game on Saturday.
The true freshman rushed for a team-high and career high 89 yards on 11 carries during Florida’s 36-7 win on Saturday, dodging and juking UAB players almost every time he received a handoff.
As Kylen Binn’s pass soared 35 yards through the air, Chauncey Gardner Jr. stopped dead in his tracks.
“When you come to Florida and you play running back that's what you've got to come with,” sophomore running back Lamical Perine said. “He's an elite running back."
Lemons had not rushed more than three times in a game before Saturday, but averaged 8.1 yards against UAB, and even had a few long runs called back because of holding penalties. One was a 62-yard run in the fourth quarter that would’ve resulted in a Florida touchdown.
“Just watch the kid in practice,” offensive lineman Tyler Jordan said. “That’s how he plays.”
Offensive line resurgent despite injuries:
Due to a handful of injuries, Florida was forced to reshuffle its offensive line on Saturday.
And for the most part, the Gators were solid.
Florida lost both starting guard Brett Heggie and starting center T.J. McCoy to injuries this season (Heggie was injured against Missouri on Nov. 4 and McCoy was hurt against South Carolina last week).
As a result, junior Tyler Jordan started at center, junior Martez Ivey was moved from left tackle to left guard, redshirt freshman Stone Forsythe made his first career start at right tackle and sophomore Jawaan Taylor moved from right tackle to left tackle.
Despite the changes, Florida’s line held up.
“It builds experience. We’ve got a lot of guys,” Jordan said. “That’s huge for us as a team.”
Florida finished with 257 rushing yards, and quarterback Feleipe Franks usually had plenty of time to throw — UAB finished with two sacks and no quarterback hurries.
“Offensive line did a tremendous job of running the football and getting big plays for us to put us in situations to score the touchdowns,” UF interim coach Randy Shannon said.
Are you tired of retorting, “Oh yeah? Well our academics are better,” when a Florida State fan asserts their football team’s superiority? I would be.
Townsend becomes UF’s all-time punt leader:
In his final season at Florida. Punter Johnny Townsend reached another milestone.
The redshirt senior became UF’s all-time leader in career punts on Saturday.
Townsend punted four times on Saturday, the longest being a 51-yarder.
The milestone comes just two days after Townsend was left off the Ray Guy Award semifinalist list, an award given annually to the nation’s best college punter. Townsend ranks second in the nation with a punting average of 48.5 yards and, before Saturday, had downed 21 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
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