Torn meniscus ends season for UF’s Matt Jones

Published on Monday, 10/14/13, at 2:35 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Another key player for the University of Florida is out for the rest of the 2013 campaign. Matt Jones left Saturday’s 17-6 loss at LSU with a torn meniscus and underwent surgery in Gainesville earlier today.

Jones missed all of of the preseason with a viral infection that forced him to miss the season opener vs. Toledo. The true sophomore has played every game since then, rushing for a career-high 176 yards in a 24-7 win at Kentucky.

Jones rushed 79 times for 339 yards and two touchdowns this year.

“I hate it for Matt,” UF head coach Will Muschamp told the media this morning. “He is a great young man. To have this setback is disheartening for all of us.”

With Jones gone, the bulk of the carries will go to Mack Brown and Kelvin ‘Baby Fred’ Taylor. Brown has run for a team-high 340 yards. Taylor got his most significant playing time Saturday in Baton Rouge, rushing 10 times for 52 yards.

Taylor, the son of Gator legend ‘Four TD Fred,’ is averaging 6.1 yards per carry and shows an explosive burst like the one his father possessed when he also wore No. 21 for the orange and blue.

UF has now lost seven players to season-ending injuries, including its starting RB (Jones), its starting QB (Jeff Driskel), its best defensive player & no-doubt All-American DT (Dominique Easley), its best kick returner in school history (Andre DeBose), its starting OT (Chaz Green) and two other reserve freshmen.

Muschamp also said that DE Ronald Powell, one of the SEC’s best pass rushers, sprained his ankle against LSU. Ro-Po won’t practice today or tomorrow, but will try to go full speed on Wednesday. We’ll have update on this situation later in the week.

Despite all the disappointing injury news, the Gators are still 3-1 in the SEC and very much in the picture to win the East and get to Atlanta for the first time since 2009.

Missouri leads the loop with a 2-0 record, but it just lost star QB James Franklin for the next six weeks (separated shoulder). Florida, South Carolina and Georgia share 3-1 marks in SEC play.

The Gamecocks were the big winners of Week 7. First of all, they smashed Arkansas by a 52-7 count in Fayetteville. And with UGA losing to Mizzou, Steve Spurrier’s bunch isn’t essentially two games behind the Bulldogs anymore based on UGA’s win over S-Car.

And while Aaron Murray, A.J. McCarron, Zach Mettenberger and Franklin have been getting most of the publicity among SEC quarterbacks, Connor Shaw is quietly enjoying another banner season. Forget what the stats say, Shaw is doing as much for his team as any signal caller in America.

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