GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier joined head coach Jim McElwain during his weekly appearance on “Gator Talk” inside Piesanos Pints & Pies Thursday night.
Nussmeier took a few questions from fans in the crowd and was asked about the Gators’ plans at running back moving forward.
Nussmeier and McElwain had both talked in the preseasons about wanting to utilize a committee approach in the running game. And even though sophomore Jordan Scarlett stood out from the pack in the season opener last Saturday with 70 yards on 13 carries against Massachusetts, Nussmeier said the Gators will stick with the committee approach.
“That’s the great thing about creating competition at a position. We have five really, really good backs. We feel like they all can do different things,” he said. “When you talk about the different pieces of the puzzle, a lot of that is finding out what player does what the best. Some guys are better inside zone runners than outside zone runners and vice versa. So what we try to do is play those guys in situations and put them in the best chance for success.
“So they’ll continue to play because they all deserve carries and they’ve had good weeks of practice. And when you get competition, it forces guys to have good weeks of practice.”
McElwain made similar comments earlier in the week.
That said, the committee wasn’t all that balanced in Week 1.
Aside from Scarett, junior Mark Thompson rushed six times for 22 yards, sophomore Jordan Cronkrite carried it three times for five yards and true freshman Lamical Perine got one carry for -1 yard.
The running back situation should come into clearer focus in the coming weeks.