Florida lost Jim McElwain on Sunday, and on Monday suffered a bigger blow to its dwindling bowl hopes. Running back Malik Davis has been lost for the season to a knee injury, interim head coach Randy Shannon said.
“It’s a big blow for us because he was an explosive running back,” Shannon said, via SEC Country. “But also, you know, it’s time for Mark Thompson to step up. He’s a senior. He’s a guy that’s 6-2, 240, runs 4.4. It’s his opportunity to come in and play. We’ve got to challenge him on offense to make sure there was a reason why he was recruited to be a part of Florida and that’s for him to be a skilled running back like he is but also be productive and be a physical-type guy that can get open in space and make plays.
“We’ve got three running backs that we feel comfortable with, but Mark Thompson has to really step up this game.”
Davis was tied with Lamical Perine for the team lead with 79 carries but led Perine in rushing by 161 yards. For the year, Davis, a freshman, carried 79 times for 526 yards and two touchdowns. Davis’s 6.66 yards per carry average ranked third in the SEC for all runners with at least 75 carries.
Florida is 3-4 on the season and, unless a canceled game against Northern Colorado gets rescheduled, needs to win three of its final four games against Missouri, South Carolina, UAB and Florida State to reach a bowl game.