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Full(y) circle(d)

GAINESVILLE -- In last season’s turnover-laden loss to Georgia, Florida fumbled away its unblemished record and an opportunity to bury its bitter rival.

It was a demoralizing defeat for the Gators, but their season didn’t end on a dreary afternoon in Jacksonville.

Solomon Patton’s season did, however, and he hasn’t forgotten it.  

“I've definitely been waiting on this game,” UF’s senior wide receiver said. “I had circled it since last year. This is like the main game that I've been waiting on all year.”

Patton -- then a jet-specialist but now Florida’s go-to playmaker -- broke his arm on a failed fourth-down conversion midway through the first quarter of last year’s rivalry game in Jacksonville. The wideout took a quick handoff towards UF’s sideline before UGA safety Shawn Williams awkwardly slung the diminutive speedster just short of the first down yard-marker, breaking Patton’s arm in the process.

701581media.247sports.com
(Courtesy media.247sports.com)

The brutal blow ended Patton’s 2012 campaign, as he finished the year with just a single reception and 140 yards rushing on 14 carries.

“He was just starting to come on and that particular play, I mean, it was kind of such a weird hit that he didn’t get hit directly,” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. “He didn’t fall on his arm. And that was kind of a play we put in figuring he could get around the edge. I felt bad about it because he meant a lot to us of what we could do at that time.”

While the wideout didn’t grow a bionic arm in the offseason, Patton’s overall game has transformed in the year since the injury.  No longer Pease’s gimmicky toy, the 5-foot-9, 168-pound slippery speedster has emerged as Florida’s offensive MVP in 2013.

“Obviously he’s come through it full circle,” Pease said. “The season he’s having now, good for him, because we need him.”

Ever since Percy Harvin bolted for the NFL in 2008, the Gators have desperately searched for their next electric and explosive playmaker, and as it turns out, he may have been under their noses all along.  

After entering the year with just 79 career receiving yards, Patton tops Florida in yards (426), yards per reception (15.21) and touchdowns (4), while also averaging 6.22 yards per carry and ranking second in the SEC in kickoff return average (28.92 y/r).

Media.miamiherald.com
(media.miamiherald.com)

Although Florida’s offense has stagnated to near-record lows this season, Patton has consistently stared in key moments and proven he’s no longer a one-trick pony.

In Florida’s romp over Arkansas, he powered the offense with two touchdowns, dashing for a pair of long scores (51-yards, 38-yards) on two short throws. In Florida’s 36-17 loss to Missouri, the elusive playmaker jumpstarted a potential comeback, returning the opening second half kickoff 100-yards untouched to make it a one-score game at the time.

Patton swears the ability has always been there, but he admitted he’s studied harder and drastically improved his route running under the tutelage of position coach Joker Phillips during in his senior season.

The results have shown up on the field.

“Sometimes when you know your opportunity is there to be a player your urgency picks up,” coach Will Muschamp said. “We told him he needed to be a guy that could help us, and that’s something he has done. You got to credit the young man and his work ethic. He’s having a special year.”

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Comments

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The Aaron Hernandez trail leads all the way back to the source of all stench: Trailerville.

Guess the ol' Pouncey tards won't be smiling with their "Free Aaron Hernandez" hats. Stupid is as stupid does. It's all fun and games till the threat of 10 years of prison stares you in the face.

Once Gatr Trash always Gatr Trash.

Jesse, why you allow all this trolling is beyond me. There would probably be more Gators reading and commenting on your blogs, if it weren't constantly bombarded by IRRELEVANT messages of hate towards the University of Florida.

Why do you allow it to continue? Is the post above me in any way related to your article?

Better to get rid of Gator Clause, then for it to continue like this.

Tired of the same stupid retard commenting 24 / 7.

^^^^^^^^^^^^

Waaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. Me thinks lil' Gatr maggot needs to keep his fellow Gatr Trash off the Cane blogs before he cries about anything. Or do you prefer censorship?

SUICYCO: Ignore all the BS trolling and simply enjoy the content and (sometimes) intelligent conversions.

Wow 22 pt dogs Jim! Got to be the first time in history that 2 top 7 teams meet and 1 is that big of an underdog. Can you say OVERRATED?!! By the way Jim, I watched you bash your own team on the follow the cane game live blog, very comical by the way, and didn't see a single Gator fan posting. So this excuse that you're being extremely immature because Gator fans are always on cane blogs, is pretty ridiculous! There's not a single gator fan the goes to the extent that you losers do, who never ever ever leave Gator Clause.

Not bad turds...1-3 for the month of October....BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

RANKED #50 before the seasons over.

SUICYCO, you got it right it is the same stupid retard 24/7, but once his over rated team loses the next two games he will tone it down.
Meanwhile we have to go out and beat the dawgs just to save some face. Having Kelvin Taylor start will go a long way into improving our anemic offense.
Go Gators!

Jim your hurting the little gatah fans feelings, get over it! Jls and Gatordumb are still posting on the canes blogs under different names, really easy to identify when the post the same crap the do on gatah clause. Love how you gatah fans think there is only one cane posting on here. Lifes a biatcchh

Meanwhile we have to go out and beat the dawgs just to save some face. Having Kelvin Taylor start will go a long way into improving our anemic offense.
Go Gators!
Posted by: jls14234 | October 29, 2013 at 04:58 PM

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BWAHAHAHAHAHA....I Can't tonight! What a UFraud MORON!

"Having Kelvin Taylor start will go a long way into improving our anemic offense."

Spoken like the true blog moron you are, jlo. Hmmmm, let's see. Georgia DC knows Gatr garbage can't pass, loads line to contain KT. How exactly does that improve the offense, especially when you have no linemen to speak of. Which is odd considering jlo was blabbering all summer about how the o-line would be a strength. What a dope.

As for next year, you get Driskel back and lose most of your best defensive players.

Back to your mediocre mean, Gatr maggots. It is your destiny.

Every team we played has been loading up the box and daring us to pass. KT was done well against both LSU and Mizzou, he can do the same against UGA.

"Jls and Gatordumb are still posting on the canes blogs under different names, really easy to identify when the post the same crap the do on gatah clause."

The pot keeps calling the kettle black. same old tired lie of an excuse to justify your sick behavior.
Keep projecting, Moron.


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