Patton wants revenge on Georgia

Patton wants revenge on Georgia

Saturday means more to Solomon Patton than most of the other players on the team. The Gators have plenty of motivation. They've lost two straight games to Georgia, and both teams remain in the SEC East race heading into Saturday. For Patton, the motivation is different. The Georgia game was when he broke his arm and saw his season end last fall.

"I've definitely been waiting on this game," Solomon Patton said. "I had circled it since last year. This is like the main game that I've been waiting on all year."

The injury happened on a familiar play. Patton made his mark on the offense last season on jet sweeps. The Gators would bring him in motion from his receiver position and take a handoff from the quarterback immediately after the ball was snapped, giving the ball to Patton at full speed and heading for the edge.

He made his bolt to the sideline just like any other time. However, this team Georgia's Shawn Williams made a big hit on him, tossing the smaller receiver to the ground. That's when the arm broke. And that's the reason he's looking forward to getting revenge on Georgia for ending his season last fall.

"I felt bad about it because he meant a lot to us and what we could do at that time," Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "He's come through it full circle, and the season he's having now -- good for him because we need it."

Saturday also allows Patton to continue showcasing the player he has become this fall. His injury last season came on the only play he was capable of running. He wasn't a downfield receiver and only contributed on jet sweeps. Patton ended the 2012 season with 14 rushes for 140 yards and just one catch.

This year is different. The senior has 28 catches for 426 yards and four touchdowns. He's catching passes down the field and still making defenders miss in the secondary, breaking plays open for long touchdowns against Arkansas and Miami.

"It's really just catching the ball and having a lot of YAC yards, which is catching the ball and making somebody miss and going the distance for a good amount of yards or a touchdown," Patton said about his role as the big-play guy. "We were definitely kind of needing a big-time player, somebody to make big plays for us, just making a lot of big plays down the field."

He's now preparing to face extra coverage on Saturday against Georgia. Patton has seen it from LSU and Missouri, as those defenses turned their coverage to make sure he was taken care of before the snap of the ball.

That has forced Patton to work harder on his routes to get open, hoping that if he's covered, some of his teammates can take advantage and get open down the field.

"I think definitely that I'll draw a lot of attention and they will sort of game plan towards me," Patton said. "That'll open up a lot of doors for everybody else to make big-time plays. I believe that I can make some big-time plays also during that game."

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