Strong start puts Gators RB Gillislee in Heisman conversation , only don’t ask Muschamp
By Greg Luca
Mike Gillislee’s monster start to 2012 is earning him early consideration in the Heisman race, but coach Will Muschamp isn’t ready to stoke the hype.
“We’re in the fifth game of the year,” Muschamp said with a laugh. “Next question.”
Gillislee’s numbers are not so easily brushed aside.
Through five games, Gillislee leads the Southeastern Conference with 109.6 rushing yards per game. He owns a significant lead against the field, as Mississippi State’s LaDarius Perkins is the next highest with 99.8 yards per game.
Perhaps Gillislee’s most impressive performance came Saturday against LSU, when he ran for 146 yards on 34 carries — the most carries by a Gator since Fred Taylor also had 34 against Auburn in 1997. Gillislee also scored two touchdowns, bringing his season total to seven.
“He played an outstanding game and ran hard,” Muschamp said of Gillislee, who was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. “(He’s) having an outstanding senior season, and that’s a great example for our football team.”
Muschamp stopped short of proclaiming Gillislee a Heisman candidate, and the softspoken senior is unlikely to make much noise on his own behalf.
“He’s definitely a quiet guy,” quarterback Jeff Driskel said of Gillislee. “He keeps to himself. When he has something to say, it’s important, so you’re going to listen when he starts to talk.”
Elam honored: Dwyer grad Matt Elam was named the SEC’s co-Defensive Player of the Week after leading the team with seven tackles and forcing a critical fumble in Saturday’s win against LSU.
• CBS has elected to use its six-day option before setting the broadcast schedule for Oct. 20, when Florida hosts South Carolina. The network will decide which game to air in the 3:30 p.m. time slot following this weekend’s action.
• Muschamp said linebacker Ronald Powell’s recovery from a torn ACL has not been set back as a result of his “revision” procedure, which occurred on Thursday. Muschamp said on Sept. 10 that Powell would likely redshirt this season.
• Starting linebacker Jelani Jenkins is probable for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt after suffering a hamstring injury against LSU, Muschamp said.
• Offensive tackle Matt Patchan will miss Saturday’s game due to a pectoral strain that has kept him out of every game this season. Defensive back Cody Riggs will also be held out on Saturday as he continues to recover from a fractured foot that has kept him out of UF’s past three games.
A week after a pair of unimpressive losses, Georgia Tech regained a bit of its footing. The Yellow Jackets delivered an emphatic 87-57 thrashing of East Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion to head into their final exam week on an up note.