Interim Florida coach Randy Shannon confirmed the bad news Monday, that exciting freshman running back Malik Davis is out for the season after sustaining a knee injury Saturday.

Shannon did not specify the nature of the injury. Davis took a jarring hit after a short reception late in the first quarter against Georgia and did not return for the rest of the game.

It’s a tough blow for the Gators as Davis had been the one consistent bright spot on offense this season, leading the team with 526 rushing yards and averaging 6.7 yards per carry.

Sophomore Lamical Perine (365 yards, 6 touchdowns) takes over as the lead back while senior Mark Thompson (119 yards, 1 TD) will see a larger workload moving forward and freshman Adarius Lemons (3 carries for 18 yards) could get a few more touches.

“It’s a big blow for us because he was an explosive running back,” Shannon said. “But also, you know, it’s time for Mark Thompson to step up. He’s a senior. He’s a guy that’s 6-2, 240, runs 4.4. It’s his opportunity to come in and play. We’ve got to challenge him on offense to make sure there was a reason why he was recruited to be a part of Florida and that’s for him to be a skilled running back like he is but also be productive and be a physical-type guy that can get open in space and make plays. …