Gators' O-line proves it's soft no more

October, 6, 2012
10/06/12
11:13
PM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida running back Mike Gillislee strolled into the postgame interview session wearing a black T-shirt read that read, "Damn I'm Good."

Wonder if they make it in XXXL, because the Gators' offensive linemen should be wearing them, too.

Florida's line, criticized and insulted last season by head coach Will Muschamp, turned in a damn good performance itself on Saturday against LSU. The Gators pounded the Tigers' NFL-bound defensive line for 176 yards rushing, more than double what LSU had been allowing entering the game (86.0 yards per game), in a 14-6 victory in front of 90,824 at Florida Field.

"We were trying to be bullies up front," left guard James Wilson said. "It was awesome."

It was the proof that the Gators' offensive line is stronger and tougher. Muschamp, offensive coordinator Brent Pease and the players -- even defensive linemen -- have been saying that since spring practice began. But Saturday's game, against one of the nation's top rush defenses, was finally their chance to prove it.

And boy, did they.

The 10th-ranked Gators (5-0, 4-0 SEC) did more than bully the fourth-ranked Tigers (5-1, 1-1). They embarrassed them. UF ran for 160 yards in the second half, including 97 yards in the third quarter. They closed the game with 24 consecutive running plays (not counting the final kneel-down), including a pair of 12-yard touchdown runs Gillislee.

And Gillislee finished with 146 yards on a career-high 34 carries, including 22 carries for 112 yards in the second half.

Read the complete story here.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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