Wednesday, October 17, 2012
UF can't overlook Shaw's legs
By Michael DiRocco
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn doesn’t want his defense doing what Vanderbilt’s defense did last week: concentrate so much on stopping UF RB Mike Gillislee that QB Jeff Driskel was able to run wild.
South Carolina QB Connor Shaw has the ability to break down defenses with his arm and his legs.
If the Gators get so caught up in stopping South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore on Saturday at Florida Field, it’ll mean a big game on the ground for Gamecocks QB Connor Shaw.
"Not only do they have a mobile QB, they also have a quarterback-running game package, where there are some direct quarterback runs and those kinds of things," Quinn said Wednesday. "You have to do a really good job of setting the edges because sometimes when you face a guy who has the speed to get outside he’ll break contain, and then try to create a play that way. That dual-threat certainly is something we have to work hard on in practice."
Shaw was one of several mobile quarterbacks who hurt the Gators last season, rushing for 88 yards and two TDs in the Gamecocks’ 17-12 victory. He has rushed for 280 yards and one touchdown this season, including 78 yards on 14 carries in the Gamecocks’ rout of Georgia.
"He’s an athlete," DT Omar Hunter said. "He’s hard-nosed, tough. He can take some shots. He can kill you with his legs."
However, the Gators have already proven they’re better at dealing with mobile quarterbacks this season. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and scrambled out of trouble numerous times in the first half of the matchup on Sept. 8. UF limited him to 19 yards on eight carries in the second half.
Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers scrambled for 20 yards and a touchdown and kept several other plays alive that ended with completions in the Gators’ victory in Gainesville last season. UF held him to minus-27 yards on 11 carries last Saturday.