By: T. Miller
The way the Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper at the University of Florida, is attacking Trey Burton this week, you would think the guy had joined a fraternity. The headline: Burton not the go-to player coaches, fans think he is.
Without even reading the column, I can start countering this guy’s argument. Burton had five touches in Saturday’s win over Tennessee. He had fewer rushes than Jeff Driskel and Matt Jones, not to mention Mike Gillislee. He had fewer receptions than Jordan Reed and Quinton Dunbar. Do the coaches think Burton is this team’s go-to player? Really?
And what of the fans? Where are the chants for Burton? Who is clamoring for Trey Burton to get the ball more at this point in his career? Show me.
Now read the column. (If the doughnut references make no sense, you’re not alone)
Florida has enjoyed this sweetness before.
Two years ago, UF enjoyed sugar rushes courtesy of Burton against two unranked Southeastern Conference opponents — Kentucky and Georgia. Both teams finished the season 6-7. In those two games, Burton tallied 290 all-purpose yards.
Yes, and we’re talking about a true freshman who was asked to carry the team in a post-Tebow world by an offensive line coach who was asked to call plays in a post-Mullen world.
Facing a critical fourth-and-1 during the first half of last season’s loss to Florida State, UF elected to run Burton up the middle.
Overwhelmed by the Seminoles’ push at the line of scrimmage, Burton ran backwards in an attempt to get outside and lost 14 yards.
Really? Now we’re going to blame Burton for a battered offensive line in their last game of the longest season in memory? Florida State was just the better team that day, especially up front. And yeah, at times Burton has tried to do too much and lost yards. It’s a legitimate criticism but it’s not something I have seen from him thus far in 2012, his first season as an upperclassman.
In Florida’s 20-17 victory against Texas A&M on Sept. 8, the Gators decided to hand off to Burton on second-and-goal on the 6-yard line.
Burton again ran backwards to avoid the stuffed defensive front, but only lost two yards due to some impressive maneuvering in a frantic attempt to get back to the line of scrimmage.
A two-yard loss. Two yards doesn’t sound to me like anybody ran backwards. Sounds like our offensive line couldn’t get any push in a short-yardage situation, something they have struggled with all year.
John Brantley led Florida deep into Alabama territory before he was pulled for Burton.
Burton ran twice for no gain, then threw an interception on a jump pass.
Yeah, that was really stupid but somehow I doubt that was Burton’s call. I’m also fairly certain that our current staff has not asked him to do anything like that.
However, UF should give the majority of touches to more effective options like Mike Gillislee, Jordan Reed and maybe even Jeff Driskel down the road.
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