Posted: 10:33 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013
By Jason Lieser
The Gators keep saying they want to get true freshman Kelvin Taylor more involved in the running game, but it is not happening.
Taylor did not play in Saturday’s 30-10 win over Arkansas, making it the second straight game he sat. Florida also did not play him in the Week 2 loss at Miami.
Earlier in the week, Gators OC Brent Pease said of Taylor, “He’s still in the mix. We want to get him in there.” He also said Taylor is completely healthy, so injuries are not a factor.
The Arkansas game seemed like an opportunity to use Taylor, especially considering the Gators were up 14 late in the third quarter and none of their other running backs had been spectacular.
Here are the final stats for UF’s running backs:
Florida had its worst rushing output of the season, gaining 115 yards on 41 attempts. It had 14 rushing yards in the first quarter and 48 by halftime.
At the half, starter Matt Jones led the team with 19 yards on eight carries. It might have been worth it to give Taylor a shot and see if he could kick start the ground game.
Taylor, from Glades Day School, has six carries for 46 yards in his two games. Five of those rushes came in the opener against Toledo.
There is a chance UF is trying to keep open an option to red-shirt him, though the coaching staff has not indicated publicly that it intends to do so.
Once a player appears in a game, he is no longer eligible for a standard red-shirt. However, Taylor could still qualify for a medical red-shirt if he has an injury.
The rules for a medical red-shirt are that a player cannot play in more than four games, cannot play past the sixth game and must have a provable injury. Taylor meets the first two requirements and would still meet them even if he plays Saturday at LSU (3:30 p.m., CBS) because it will be Florida’s sixth game of the year.
If he plays a single snap beyond next week, the medical red-shirt is off the table.
Then there is the third point: a provable injury. There has been no reported health issue since Taylor got on campus, but it is possible he could encounter an issue at any time in practice. If the injury is legitimate and the SEC approves, he could get a medical red-shirt and go into next season with four years of eligibility remaining.