- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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 differences following each game.
Here’s this week’s top 10 (last week’s rankings in parentheses):
1. RB Mike Gillislee (1): The senior followed up his impressive Week 1 performance with 83 yards and two touchdowns against Texas A&M. His 12-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, on which he tip-toed down the sideline, provided the game-winning points.
2. QB Jeff Driskel (4): It’s more than just the numbers that Driskel put up in his first career start (13-for-16, 162 yards). It was the poise with which he played in a hostile environment. He made big throws and had a couple big runs in the fourth quarter to help the Gators gain, and then hold on to, the lead.
3. TE Jordan Reed (NR): He tied his career high with five catches against Texas A&M, two of which resulted in first downs. One of those was a 30-yarder. He’s quickly becoming the Gators’ most reliable target and he has shown the ability to do something after the catch.
4. LB Michael Taylor (NR): Taylor was thrust into a bigger role after starting weakside LB Jelani Jenkins had to leave the game with a thumb injury. Taylor responded with six tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. His versatility is perhaps his biggest strength.
5. FB Hunter Joyer (NR): Joyer gets this high on the list because of what he did on Gillislee’s 12-yard TD run. He blocked three players, which allowed Gillislee to get the edge and score the game-winning points.
6. P Kyle Christy (NR): The Gators played field position in the second half against the Aggies and Christy was a big part of that. He pinned Texas A&M at its own 18 and 9 on back-to-back punts in the third quarter. He had two fourth-quarter punts in which the Aggies started drives inside their own 30.
7. S Josh Evans (NR): He led UF with eight tackles despite leaving the game after suffering a shoulder injury.
8. K Caleb Sturgis (NR): Sturgis made both field goals he attempted Saturday, including a 51-yarder. That was his seventh career field goal of 50 yards or longer.
9. DE Dominique Easley (NR): Easley, like the rest of UF’s defensive front, struggled in the first half. But they rallied in the second and clamped down on A&M QB Johnny Manziel. Easley finished with six tackles.
10. CB Marcus Roberson (3): He finished with five tackles, including four solos, and continues to show improved coverage skills. A&M threw a lot of short, quick passes so there weren’t many chances to create turnovers.
3dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf
9dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough