WIth Florida's passing offense struggling to produce at least 100 yards in the team's last three games it's become difficult to find a bright spot, however offensive coordinator Brent Pease said he's seen an uptick in wide receiver Quinton Dunbar's play.
Pease said he had a recent conversation with Dunbar to ask him how things are going and provide some motivation for consistent play.
"I said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to continue to work hard and the ball comes your way if you’re doing the right things,'" Pease said.
Dunbar, a redshirt sophomore from Miami's Booker T. Washington High, responded with two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown in the second quarter of Florida's 44-11 win over South Carolina on Saturday. On the scoring play, a third-and-6 situation from the South Carolina 13, quarterback Jeff Driskel hit Dunbar on a curl route on the left hashmark and Dunbar made two defenders miss and scampered into the end zone untouched.
"In some situations, we’ve run the same play before, but coverages don’t allow the ball to go where he was at," Pease said. "That coverage in particular allowed the ball to go where he was at and he made a great play with it. So when your opportunity comes, you need to be in the right place and running the right route and making the plays and he did."
While Dunbar still has a ways to go to develop into a go-to receiver for the Gators, he has made strides in his second season as a regular contributor on offense. He leads all Florida receivers with 15 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow South Florida product Frankie Hammond of Hollywood Hallandale leads the unit in total yards (220) and touchdowns (3).
But in this offense, which is predicated heavily on running the football, more goes into being a productive receiver than filling the stat sheet, Pease said.
"[Dunbar] had a great game," he said. "I mean a lot of those guys, Frankie –- I look at the couple of plays he had on third down, a touchdown catch and the run by Omarius, Frankie had a great block that nobody noticed. It’s key that he gets the block and that’s why Omarius scores. A lot of guys think if you really look down the process in the end, they’re all kind of becoming the go-to or effective players and they’re all producing. And that’s my whole thing.”