Kan Li / Scout

Florida Gators get some clarity on the offensive line

Jim McElwain was unsure about the status of two offensive linemen when the week of practice started.

After the Gators finished practice on Wednesday, Florida’s first-year coach called left guard Martez Ivey (knee) probable and left tackle David Sharpe (ankle) doubtful. Ivey's knee was scoped during fall camp, and it swelled up on him following the 27-3 win over Georgia. Both players were in full uniform during Wednesday’s practice and participated during some drills, but neither took part in any live action, which McElwain said wasn’t out of the ordinary.

"They went during scout periods,” McElwain said. “They didn't do any of the good-on-good stuff, which is normal. I don't know exactly how many reps (they took). I didn’t count it, but they definitely practiced."

Ivey and Sharpe didn’t go through any of the portion of practice that was open to the media on Wednesday. With them out, the first-team offensive line featured left tackle Mason Halter, left guard Antonio Riles, center Cameron Dillard, right guard Trip Thurman and right tackle Fred Johnson.

If Ivey can play as expected, he would slide into the left guard spot with Halter moving from right tackle to left tackle. That would push Johnson, a true freshman, into the starting lineup for the first time in his career.

Taking Sharpe out of the mix would hurt the depth for Florida. McElwain said it could mean bigger roles for redshirt freshman Travaris Dorsey and true freshman Tyler Jordan.

“I guess if you look at those first couple games going through how the rotation was, that's kind of where we're at," McElwain said.

The Gators will face a Vanderbilt defense that has been one of the best in the league. They’re tied for sixth in the conference with 18 sacks and create issues for the opposing offensive line with their 3-4 scheme.

Florida will be forced to trust more inexperienced linemen than normal on Saturday.

"Well we're going to find out,” McElwain said with a grin. “We'll grade it on Sunday, but I know that (the freshmen) came here to play. They've done good when they've been in there, and this is just another opportunity for someone else to get in there and play."

INJURY REPORT

The Gators are in good shape on the injury front outside of Ivey and Sharpe.

Kicker Jorge Powell had knee surgery on Wednesday. His season is officially over. 


Fightin Gators Top Stories