Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's Second Thoughts Jacobs Top Receiver, but Who's No. 2?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's Second Thoughts Jacobs Top Receiver, but Who's No. 2?

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, Times-Union sports writer

GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida was supposed to know by now which receiver would complement Taylor Jacobs.

But not only are the Gators still trying to figure that out, they're facing even tougher questions about their receivers; questions, apparently, without any definite answers.

"Somebody needs to step up to help Taylor, because if nobody steps up to help him, he's going to have a hard time because a lot of teams are going to double-team him," said Kelvin Kight, who has three catches for 37 yards. "Me, Carlos [Perez], Matt Jackson -- anybody -- somebody just needs to step up."

With Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell playing in the NFL and Jacobs the only returning receiver with any significant experience, the Gators expected a rough transition. But the feeling was that somebody from the group of Perez, Kight, Jackson, former Forrest High School standout O.J. Small and former Bolles School standout Antoine Sharp would have separated themselves sometime during fall camp.

It never happened, and a sign of trouble was Vernell Brown cracking the starting lineup alongside Jacobs and Perez late in camp despite playing offense only since the first day of two-a-days. Even while preparing for their third game, at 6 p.m. tomorrow against Ohio (0-2) at Florida Field, the 12th-ranked Gators (1-1) still don't have any answers.

"Everybody has questions and everybody is looking for the second guy," said Carlos Perez, who has caught five passes for 36 yards. "We're just waiting on it. We're just waiting on the Lord for one of us to break out and show what we can do."

Jacobs has caught 13 passes for 302 yards (23.2 per catch) and two touchdowns; the rest of the receivers have caught 12 for 128 yards (10.7 per catch) and no touchdowns. Tight ends Aaron Walker and Ben Troupe have combined to catch seven passes for 145 yards (20.7 per catch).

One problem against Miami was getting open. The Hurricanes defensive line put a lot of pressure on quarterback Rex Grossman last Saturday, and that forced some erratic throws and disrupted the timing of the passing game. But there were times when Grossman had good protection and still didn't have any options. Miami's secondary did what every future opponent will likely try: roll coverage toward Jacobs and handle the rest of the receivers with single coverage.

Miami also was successful at jamming UF's receivers at the line of scrimmage.

"I think Jabar and Reche had the experience on the field. They knew how to get open," Kight said. "I think it's not getting jammed on the line. We can get off the jam. It's about knowing the technique and not being in a rush on the field because you're thinking the quarterback is not going to have so much time. You've got to do your assignment and execute the route. …

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