Gators look to increase playmakers’ workload

Robbie Andreu @RobbieAndreu

 There are a lot of negative numbers attached to Florida’s struggling offense. One of the ugliest is that the Gators are 118th in the nation in explosive plays.

“I think there can be a lot of factors there,” UF coach Jim McElwain said. “I feel sorry for those couple teams that are behind us. Only imagine how they feel.

“Obviously it’s not something we’re proud of. It’s something we have to be able to do to get the ball in those guys’ hands and let them make some plays in space. That’s what we’ve got to focus on doing.”

That did not seem to be a focus in the 31-13 loss to Florida State. Antonio Callaway, UF’s biggest home-run threat, had only seven touches (six receptions, one rush), while slot receiver Brandon Powell had only three and wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland just two.

McElwain said there will be a concerted effort to feed the ball to those three players in hopes of creating some explosive plays against Alabama’s suffocating defense.

“One of the things we got to do is make sure somewhere in there (Callaway) is in that eight to 12 (number of touches), with that maybe even more with the addition of the punt returns,” McElwain said. “I think those are all touches we try to get him. Brandon Powell’s got to touch it in space. And Tyrie’s got to. The get-it-to list, we’ve got to increase that.”

Cleveland has shown flashes, including a 98-yard TD reception at LSU two weeks ago, but has not been consistently involved in the offense. Against FSU, he had only two receptions for 19 yards and was only targeted a few other times.

The Gators will try to get him more involved in Saturday’s

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