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Monday, October 8, 2012
Florida 10: Week 5

By Michael DiRocco

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 parenthesis):

1. RB Mike Gillislee (5): Gillislee gashed the SEC’s second-ranked rush defense for 146 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 34 carries, including 112 yards on 22 carries in the second half. It was by far the best performance of his career.

2. S Matt Elam (NR): Elam’s strip of WR Odell Beckham turned the game around. Even though he took a bad angle, he was able to catch Beckham and had the presence of mind to rip the ball out. Plus, he led the Gators with seven tackles and had several big hits, including one on teammate Loucheiz Purifoy after Purifoy tackled Beckham on a punt return.

T3. LT Xavier Nixon (NR): Nixon was part of an offensive line that proved that it is tougher than it was last season. The Gators handled LSU’s defensive front, which includes at least two potential first-round NFL draft picks.

T3. LG James Wilson (NR): Had a pair of key blocks on Gillislee’s two TD runs.

T3. C Jonotthan Harrison (NR): LSU got some pressure up the middle on some blitzes, but Harrison cleared out some space in the running game.

T3. RG Jon Halapio (NR): Halapio said he could see the Tigers wilting in the fourth quarter.

T3. RT Chaz Green (NR): A solid performance despite being bothered by an ankle injury.

T3. CB Jaylen Watkins (NR): Watkins recorded his second interception of the season, making a nice catch on an overthrown ball by QB Zach Mettenberger. He also broke up another pass and had four tackles.

9. P Kyle Christy (NR): Christy averaged 49.1 yards on seven punts on Saturday. He put three inside the 10-yard line and has become a major weapon in field position.

10. LB Jon Bostic (NR): Bostic had six tackles, a sack, and a pass breakup. He nearly had an interception and is starting to make the big plays UF coach Will Muschamp had challenged the linebackers to make.