GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's wide receivers have been a disappointing group the past two seasons. In an effort to fix that, coach Will Muschamp is turning to a cornerback.
Loucheiz Purifoy lined up at receiver for several plays in the Gators' 27-14 victory over Bowling Green last Saturday, and Muschamp said the sophomore's role on offense will expand as the season progresses.
"Loucheiz is a guy that’s got good vertical speed and he’s got really good ball skills," Muschamp said Monday. "We’re trying to get more explosive at the position."
Frankie Hammond did break a tackle and go 50 yards for a touchdown against the Falcons, but big plays from the group have been scarce the past several seasons outside of the occasional deep ball to Andre Debose.
Playing Purifoy, who started at corner against the Falcons, on offense is a clear message that players at the position has to get better, especially since the Gators had seven healthy receivers available on Saturday.
Muschamp said offensive tackle Matt Patchan would miss his second consecutive game with a strained pectoral muscle.
"I know he’s doing everything he can do to get back," Muschamp said. "He’s further ahead than we thought. We thought originally four weeks. Now we’re kind of edging that back a little bit, so I don’t know. I know Matt’s frustrated. I’m frustrated for him, because he’s worked extremely hard."
UF also will be without long snapper Drew Ferris, who suffered a broken collarbone against Bowling Green. The Gators will replace him with Kyle Crofoot, who is one of five brothers who have played football in the SEC as holders, kickers or snappers.