Tyrie Cleveland will miss the Gators’ tilt with LSU this weekend, Jim McElwain confirmed today. Cleveland suffered a high ankle sprain late in the game during the Gators’ 38-24 victory over Vandy.
Through four games, Cleveland has hauled in 15 receptions for 326 yards. Included in those statistics are touchdown catches of 45 and 63 yards- the latter of which came on a last ditch heave to the end zone to beat Tennessee as time expired. And of course, Cleveland is the one who hauled in the 98 yard touchdown from Austin Appleby last year against LSU in Baton Rouge.
Yet mere stats don’t do justice to the impact Cleveland has on this Gator team. He’s the most explosive deep threat, the most trusted playmaker, and the most dangerous overall offensive player on the roster. Without him, Florida will turn to wideouts Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain and tight ends DeAndre Goolsby and Moral Stephens to pick up the slack- all solid receivers, but none of them of the game-changing caliber of Cleveland.
Then again, this is the LSU team that just lost to Troy on its home field at night. So the hope- and belief- is that the Gators can survive playing one game without Cleveland, and that he’ll be back in two weeks for Texas A&M.