Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

RB Jones has 176 yards, 1 TD as Gators beat Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Three games into his season, Matt Jones finally broke out.

Though he struggled in his first two games after returning from a viral infection, the Florida sophomore rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries against Kentucky in No. 20 Florida's 24-7 win Saturday.

"It just takes some time," coach Will Muschamp said. "We all knew that a little bit, and you don't ever want to admit it, because Matt's a good football player.

"But when you miss four weeks, a month, maybe a little over a month of exercise and activity, it's going to … shut your body down a little bit."

Jones got off to a slow start again against the Wildcats.

The former Armwood High standout scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to give Florida a 7-0 lead, but he had only 12 rushing yards on six attempts in the first quarter.

But when the Gators began their second drive of the second quarter, Jones stretched the Wildcats defense for the longest run of his career.

He received a handoff from quarterback Tyler Murphy and made his way to Kentucky's sideline, racing past defenders and cutting inside toward the middle of the field.

Jones seemed on his way to a touchdown, but wide receiver Quinton Dunbar, trying to run past his teammate and make a block, pushed Jones in the back, causing him to fall. Jones had to settle for a 67-yard carry.

"I was downfield, trying to cut back and go the other way and beat the corner out," Jones said. "But Dunbar had came across, and he was trying to block the corner, too, but I didn't really see him out of the corner of my eye. He kind of hit my leg."

Jones' run propelled him to an average of 6.3 yards per carry Saturday, more than 3 yards better than his average in his first two games.

Florida relied on Jones to close out its victory, turning to him nine times in the fourth quarter to run out the clock. He carried the ball on five straight handoffs before Murphy kneeled to end the game.

"I'm going to get the ball like mostly every play," Jones said of closing out games. "But I ran hard, you know. I needed to get the first down every couple plays. And I just took that in my hands."

RB Jones has 176 yards, 1 TD as Gators beat Kentucky 09/29/13 [Last modified: Sunday, September 29, 2013 12:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  2. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills


    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  3. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville


    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
  4. Goodell: NFL not changing its national anthem policy


    NEW YORK — In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday in New York. [AP Photo/Julie Jacobson]
  5. NFL gives Tampa Bay final approval to host Super Bowl LV


    TAMPA – Start celebrating. Finally, it’s official. The biggest Super Bowl LV party will be held on the streets of Tampa Bay.

    NFL owners granted final approval today for Tampa Bay to host Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium.