Florida Gator coaches, players rally around Jordan Reed
In a game that included six turnovers by the Gators, it might be tough to single out one play everyone remembers. Unless it happens to be the last one, which is the unfortunate situation for junior TE Jordan Reed.
Florida played its worst game of the season – overall – but it is that image of Reed being stripped of the ball by Georgia’s Jarvis Jones as he attempted to leap into the end zone with 2:05 remaining in the game that seems to have drawn the most ire of fans on social media. Had Reed scored, the Gators would still have needed a 2-point conversion to tie the game and hopefully send it into overtime.
It was clear by Monday morning that Florida’s players and coach Will Muschamp weren’t happy that Reed shouldered the burden of the heartbreaking loss.
Florida QB Jeff Driskel reminded everyone he was the guy who had four turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions), and that Reed has been a big part of the offense this season. And for those who questioned Reed’s decision to jump into the air?
“There was a big play early in the Texas A&M where he jumped over a guy and got like 20 extra yards and no one was really making a big deal out of that,’’ Driskel said. “He makes plays, he’s a playmaker. He tried to do a little too much and unfortunately he fumbled the ball. But he’s a great player and we want the ball in his hands.”
Florida coach Will Muschamp was a little more emphatic.
“The guy was trying to make a play,’’ Muschamp said. “I’m never going to disrupt a guy from trying to make a play. Does he need to have better battle security? Sure. However you do that, just have better ball security. No one player or one play lost the game, at the end of the day. The guy was trying to make a play, a guy who plays with great effort and passion. He made a couple of really nice plays on the drive. We would not be in that position if it weren’t for him. The guy is trying to make a play. So, it’s easy to sit and criticize when you’re sitting in the stands. Get in
the arena and play.”