C-4 Explodes Against South Carolina

Florida tailback Ciatrick Fason, nicknamed "C-4", packd on a career-high 190 yards. The performance sparked a Gators' win.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Florida tailback Ciatrick Fason isn't confident. He's cocky. His teammates say so. His friends say so. Heck, even he'll say so.

And, by the way, don't call him Ciatrick. Call him C-4.

"If you ask him who's the best tailback in the country, he'll tell you it's C-4," wide receiver Carlos Perez said.

No, seriously. Ask him.

"If you put it on me, I think so," said Fason, when asked if he's the finest in the Southeastern Conference. "I feel like I'm one of the best in the nation."

True or not, during Saturday's 24-22 win against South Carolina, he certainly proved he was the best in Williams-Brice Stadium. Blazing for 190 yards, the sophomore sparked the momentum needed for a Florida win.

And it is a performance like this one, Fason says, that proves why he deserves as much credit as any other back in the conference.

"Everybody's always talking about (Auburn tailback) Cadillac (Williams) and all these other running backs," Fason said. "But those guys are getting a majority of the carries on their team. If I was in a situation like they were, I'd probably have around 1,000 yards just like they do."

He's probably right. Consider this: Including Saturday's game, Fason is averaging 7.9 yards per carry. If he had 20 carries per game (a reasonable number on a one-tailback team) he would have more than 1,500 yards at this point in the season.

But that's not to say Florida coach Ron Zook isn't smart by continuing to give DeShawn Wynn and Ran Carthon plenty of carries as well. As even Fason admitted, he was running out of gas late in the game.

"The most carries I'd gotten this year was 11," he said. "I was a little tired, and a little winded."

So Fason's ability to maintain his stamina certainly relies partially on Carthon and Wynn's ability to keep fresh legs in the game. Not to mention the tailback-by-committee system has motivated all three to step up their level of play.

Friday afternoon, Wynn told Fason he felt a 130-yard game coming on. Fason countered by saying he felt like he was going to have 150 yards.

"I don't think you're going to get 150," Wynn told him. "I'll give you 130."

"Trust me," Fason answered. "I'm going to get 150."

He lied. He got 190.

After a slow first quarter, Fason broke for a 17-yard gain on his second carry of the second quarter. He followed it up with another 9-yard run.

On the next series, he tacked on carries for 20 and 30 yards, setting up the Gators' first touchdown of the game. Fason had 82 yards in the second quarter alone.

Keep in mind that this is the same tailback who told teammates and coaches he was thinking about transferring following the Gators' win against Kentucky. Fason claimed he didn't feel like he was getting the opportunity he deserved.

"Ciatrick was like, 'I might need to go to another school,'" offensive guard Shannon Snell said. "I was like, 'Just wait for your chance.'"

His chance has arrived, and he's making the most of it. And he's not afraid to tell you otherwise.

"You can't take C-4 off his high," Snell said. "If you do, he's a different person. Just leave him up there and let him run. He's cocky, but that's the best thing about Ciatrick. When he says he's going to do something, he's going to do it."

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