UF at FSU: The Running Backs

Florida State(8-3) hosts Florida(7-4) on Saturday afternoon in Doak Campbell Stadium. NoleDigest takes a look at the RB position on both teams up to this point, what we can expect, and a brief look to the future.

Running Back


Florida State

Chris Thompson: 84-644(7.7), 5 TD

Jermaine Thomas: 85-484(5.7), 6 TD

Ty Jones: 72-481(6.7), 2 TD

Lonnie Pryor: 16-90(5.6), 3 TD


Florida

Jeff Demps: 80-487(6.1), 3 TD

Mike Gilleslie: 54-315(5.4), 6 TD

Emmanuel Moody: 66-265(4.0)

Chris Rainey: 34-227(6.7), 2 TD


FSU has ran the ball for 2,017 yards to UF's 1,775. The FSU defense has given up only 1,272 yards to UF's 1,447. Both stats point to the 'Noles having more success on the ground in this game.

FSU will likely be without Thomas for the second game in a row. UF has their own injury concerns with Demps who has only had two carries in the last three games.

Thompson stepped up with another big play last week and he has had the best season of all the RBs in this game. We would look for him to get the most carries in a game this season on Saturday. He has proven to only need a seam to take it to the house.

Jones has had his moments this season and is a better inside runner than Thompson. While many on the Seminole side would like to see more of Pryor, that would seem to be unlikely in this big game. Of course another injury would force FSU's hand.

While Rainey shows up 4th on UFs list, there is a decent chance he gets plenty of carries in this one. Because of the suspension, he is a bit fresher than most and has a light load since his return for the Georgia game(coincidence). Moody has never found his stride at UF and does not figure to be much of a factor. Gilleslie is consistent and is coming off his two best games(missed South Carolina).

UF will use the QB, particularly in the red-zone, Reed and Burton do a much better job than Brantley in that regard.

Florida State rushes the ball for about a yard more per carry and their defense gives up about a half yard less. That is a sizable edge for the 'Noles and this is clearly one area that will need to be exploited on Saturday.

The edge is clearly in FSU's favor heading into this game.

Edge: Florida State

The Future: Both teams would seemingly return a trio of backs who contributed. Thompson, Thomas, and Jones would be the three leading candidates for FSU. Pryor should push for some playing time. James Wilder and Devonta Freeman will be talented freshmen.

Demps, Rainey, and Gilleslie should return for UF. Mack Brown is expected to eventually push for more playing time, that will likely be next year. Mike Blakely is a talented recruit who will be ready to contribute from day one.


Nole Digest Top Stories