The pressure's on these Gators against UK

September, 21, 2012
9/21/12
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- These five Florida players and/or coaches have something to prove or redeem themselves when the No. 14 Gators play host to Kentucky on Saturday (12:21 p.m., SEC Network and ESPN3):

RB Mack Brown: We’re giving Matt Jones a pass because he’s a freshman, but Brown really should be more productive than he has been. Mike Gillislee is getting the bulk of the carries, so Brown hasn’t had many opportunities but he hasn’t really done much with the ones he’s had. He was on the field for the game-sealing final possession against Texas A&M, but he gained just 11 yards on four carries. He is averaging only 2.9 yards per carry this season. Gillislee needs a break now and then, and Brown has to be better in relief.

WR/KR Andre Debose: It seems like he’s on this list every week, but he has yet to make a significant impact in two SEC games. In fact, he nearly put the Gators in a big hole on the road against Tennessee when he fumbled the handoff on a reverse near the goal line on the first play. He has no catches and is still struggling fielding punts.

C Jonotthan Harrison: The Gators are averaging 232.7 yards per game rushing, which is fantastic. But they’re still struggling in short yardage. That means the OL has to get a better push and create more space, especially in the middle. That falls up on Harrison and guards Jon Halapio and James Wilson, but since Harrison is in charge of the line he’s got the most pressure.

WR Solomon Patton: He has shown he’s capable of making plays as a ball carrier on the jet sweep, but he has just one catch in three games. Granted, it was a 17-yarder that converted a first down, but he needs to find ways to become more involved in the passing game.

Offensive coordinator Brent Pease: The Gators are converting only 27 percent of their third downs (11-of-41). Some of those have been the short-yardage failures, and Pease took blame for not making the right calls and putting the players in bad spots. Pease said UF needs to be a little more creative on those short-yardage plays (spread the field, maybe?) and that falls on his shoulders.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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