GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain understands the importance of establishing the run game on offense.
The Gators have been able to do that this season with a running back by committee. They’re averaging 4.8 per carry, the highest among SEC East teams.
“When you got a pretty good feel up front and you’re playing with that energy and that excitement … I think that elevates a team in general,” McElwain said Wednesday on the SEC coaches teleconference. “That’s something we continue to strive to do and understand that even sometimes it might not look pretty, but an ugly 4 is pretty good.
“You average 4 (yards) every time you run it, you’re getting a bunch of first downs. I think that’s kind of the understanding and the mindset you’ve got to have. And then it’s good when you make a safety miss and hit a chunk. That’s a lot of fun.”
That’s one area UF needs to improve on. The Gators have second-lowest total in the SEC of runs longer than 10 yards, and they’ll try to hit more Saturday against Georgia.
The winner of the last 10 games in this rivalry also won the rushing battle. Florida gained 676 combined yards on the Bulldogs in 2015 and 2014.
“That’s something we’ve actually talked about,” McElwain said. “Those teams that can run it usually got a pretty good chance of winning.”