GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Which Florida players are making the biggest contributions on the field? GatorNation will tell you every week. It’s not just a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.
Here’s this week’s top 10 (last week’s rankings in parentheses):
1. RB Mike Gillislee (4): He ran for 68 yards on 16 carries and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 45-yard screen pass. He needs to be involved in the passing game more. He’s the Gators’ best playmaker and should be getting at least 20 touches a game.
2. RB Omarius Hines (NR): He’s ranked pretty high for having just one touch on offense, but he took a jet sweep 36 yards for a touchdown. He’s another player who needs more touches on offense. He seems to always make something happen when he gets his hands on the ball.
3. LB Jelani Jenkins (NR): Jenkins is starting to look like he did at the end of last season. He finally has recovered from the broken thumb and hamstring injuries and is making an impact. He had seven tackles and a sack against Missouri.
4. DE Jonathan Bullard (NR): The freshman helped the Gators overcome the loss of LB Lerentee McCray, the team’s best pass rusher. Bullard had 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries. He has a bright future ahead of him and the coaching staff is excited about his development.
5. S Josh Evans (2): Evans led the team in tackles for the third time this season. He had 12 and delivered the game-sealing interception when he picked off James Franklin’s overthrown pass on fourth down in the end zone in the game’s final seconds.
6. S Matt Elam (3): He had one of the Gators’ four interceptions. He picked off a Franklin overthrow at the UF 4-yard line to stop a third-quarter drive. He also had six tackles (two for loss) and a pass breakup.
7. RB/FB Trey Burton (NR): Burton had a critical third-down reception and did a good job in the Wildcat formation. He had one carry for eight yards and two receptions for 29 yards.
8. QB Jeff Driskel (NR): It wasn’t a spectacular day for Driskel, but it was pretty much mistake-free. He ran six times for 31 yards and completed 12 of 23 passes for 106 yards and one touchdown. He didn’t get rattled by the pressure and didn’t make bad decisions with the ball, either.
9. DE Dante Fowler Jr. (NR): Fowler started in place of McCray and had a solid game with one sack and five tackles. He’s another freshman defensive lineman with a bright future.
10. CB Jaylen Watkins (NR): Watkins intercepted Franklin early in the second quarter and set the Gators up with great field position at the Missouri 19. Unfortunately the Gators couldn’t capitalize on the turnover as Caleb Sturgis had his field goal attempt blocked.