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Theater of Operations, Florida Gators Season Review: The Running Backs, Part Three

Previous Season Review editions of Theater of Operations: Quarterbacks (Part one, part two, part three), running backs (part one, part two).

The enigma that is Mike Gillislee. For the past three years, many (if not all) Gators fans have wondered why he isn't getting more carries. Entering 2011, Gillislee had amassed eighty-nine carries for a 6.6-yards per rush and four touchdowns a year. In 2011, Gillislee had fifty-six carries, averaged 5.9-yards per rush and had two touchdowns. What that means of course is that he basically continued his baffling trend of not getting enough carries even though he's earned them.

Granted, most of the rushes he's received in his career have been in garbage time, but that shouldn't be the case. Gillislee for the past three years has been the Gators' biggest back (5'11 198lbs) and has consistently shown the ability to run through the tackles and break through tacklers. The horror! Yeah, why he hasn't gotten the carries he deserves is beyond me.

Play No. 1: Gillislee's 13-yard touchdown run against Alabama-Birmingham:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Gillislee (yellow circle) is just going to take the pitch and go wide.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

At this point, Gillislee (yellow circle) has just gotten the pitch, and he is going to just head towards the blockers that are in front of him.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Gillislee (yellow circle) gets two great blocks (yellow squares) and accelerates towards the endzone.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

He even breaks a tackle!


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Gillislee even runs over (yellow square) a defender (green circle) as he crosses the goal line.

Play No. 2: Gillislee's 60-yard touchdown run against Kentucky:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Once again, Gillislee (yellow circle) gets a carry in garbage time. But he makes the most of it.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Gillislee (yellow circle) looks for somewhere to go. Kind of like Jim Valvano once did, but not really.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

But Gillislee (yellow circle) has an idea.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Nothing like cutting back and taking the ball across the field.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Gillislee (yellow circle) is well on his way to a long run. Courtesy of some great blocks. Like this one at the 48-yardline.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Jeff Driskel is even getting involved down the field with a block!


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Driskel makes it two blocks! What does that have to do with Gillislee you ask? Well, Gillislee wouldn't have scored the touchdown had Driskel not been down the field blocking. It's that simple.

Play No. 3: Gillislee's 12-yard run against LSU:


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

This play is featured here because it was specifically requested. That's right folks, Theater of Operations caters to your ever want and need. Well, within reason of course. I'm fairly sure I'm not going to drive to your house to fix your tire, change your oil or replace your windshield wipers. You know, stuff like that.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Gillislee (yellow circle) searching for a running lane.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Just a little tough running from Gillislee (yellow circle).


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Yeah, it's just Gillislee (yellow circle) yet again breaking through some tackles.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Just another broken tackle or two by Gillislee (yellow circle). Apparently, that has translated to the last two coaching staffs as: "Move along, nothing to see here."


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

It takes two defenders to finally tackle Gillislee (yellow square).

I'm really not sure what else to say, other than I really wish that Gillislee finally gets his due in 2012 because he's been our best back in between the tackles the last three years, and it isn't like he hasn't shown an inability to block, or outrun defenders either. But, given the past three years (especially the last two), I'd be shocked if he got more than seventy-five carries.