- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It has been more than 20 years since Florida has had a group of wide receivers and tight ends as unproductive as the group this season.
Tight end Jordan Reed is tied with running back Chris Rainey for the team lead with 28 catches. If Rainey catches more passes than Reed against Ohio State in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, it will mark the first time since 1989 that a running back has led the team in receptions (Emmitt Smith, 21). A receiver or tight end has led the Gators in catches every year since with at least 38 catches.
Quarterback John Brantley being in and out of the lineup because of an ankle injury and a concussion is part of the reason for the group's trouble. So is an ineffective offensive line.
But the receivers haven't exactly done their part, either. They struggle to get separation, drop passes, and rarely win one-on-one battles for the ball.