After the ouster of Jim McElwain, Randy Shannon addressed reporters for the first time as Florida interim head coach on Monday. He delivered some tough injury news.
Shannon confirmed that running back Malik Davis, the team’s leading rusher, is out for the season. Davis injured his knee in Saturday’s loss to Georgia in Jacksonville.
Davis, a true freshman, has been a rare bright spot for the Florida offense. Through seven games, he leads the team with 526 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 79 carries — a 6.7-yard average. He also has seven catches for 58 yards. Davis was injured in the first quarter of the 42-7 loss, Florida’s third in a row.
Before Saturday’s game, Davis, a four-star recruit in the 2017 class, rushed for at least 90 yards in five straight games, including 124 yards and two scores in the Sept. 30 win over Vanderbilt.
With Davis out, Lamical Perine (79 carries, 365 yards, 6 TDs) will be the team’s top back, Shannon said. Perine had a season-high 93 yards on Saturday. Senior Mark Thompson (30 carries, 119 yards, 1 TD) is also likely in line for an increased role.
“It’s time for Mark Thompson to step up. He’s a senior,” Shannon said. “It’s his opportunity to come in and play.”
The Gators, 3-4 (3-3 SEC) on the year, return to the field on Saturday on the road against Missouri (3-5, 0-4 SEC).
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Surgery successful for Bears TE after gruesome injury
• Recapping one of the wildest World Series games ever
• Pete Thamel: Florida will hire one of these three coaches
• President Trump among targets in Kaepernick’s NFL lawsuit