Florida in the First Two Weeks
I loathe the subject. The Florida Gators have played two games, during which they outscored their opponents 80-3.
In the opener (Florida 41 Florida Atlantic 3), the Gators scored on their first four possessions and led 24-0 before Florida Atlantic even got a first down. In the second game (Florida 39 UAB 0), Florida led 25-0 at the half even though they played in second gear most of the way with lots of infractions, much to the ire of new Gator Head Coach Will Muschamp.
What was notable?
The Demps and Rainey Show
The Gators piled up 497 yards on 88 rushes in the first two games (nearly 6 yards per carry). The leaders were predictably Chris Rainey (198 yards) and Jeff Demps (115 yards in less than five quarters – he was sidelined for much of the second game with a shoulder injury sustained early).
In the first game, Demps and Rainey combined to rush for 184 yards and three touchdowns, averaging a combined 8 yards per carry.
Rainey finished with 79 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving. Demps was just as balanced – 12 rushes for 105 yards and two TDs. And 21 yards from receiving three passes were tacked on for good measure. He also picked up a blocked punt and jetted 22 yards to the endzone. Demps became the third player in the nation since 1996 to have a rushing touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a return for a touchdown in the same game.
Demps almost did much more, taking the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, only to have it called back because of a hold.
Everybody in Florida are still talking about how Rainey thrilled the faithful on a TD run by implementing a spin move in the backfield.
In the second game, Rainey’s only TD run ended with him diving backwards into the end zone.
Successor to Tebow’s Statue
QB John Brantley has been effective in a utilitarian way.
He completed 21 of 30 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown in the first game. One of his two INT passes was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
His longest pass was 19 yards.
Brantley was pretty nondescript in the second game, going 12-for-19 and 195 yards.
His first pass was for 40 yards.
The word is that Brantley has telegraphed a few throws so far this season.
Red Zone is for Stalling
The Gators were a perfect 7-for-7 in the red zone against UAB, but that includes settling for field goals on three of the first five visits to inside the 20.
Pass Rush is Not a Fraternity Recruitment Scheme
Florida’s pass rush and run defense have been fairly dominant, more so in the first game than the second. There were a few sacks tallied in the first but none in the second.
Hopefully this is a trend.
Defensive Secondary is Just a Safety Driving Course
UAB’s QB had four completions for more than 16 yards.
That’s encouraging news.
The Young and the Restless
The Gator Nation isn’t all that enthralled with an 80-3 talley to go 2-0. That is mostly likely nervousness about a new coaching staff and two opponents that don’t offer much of a barometer.
That and Tyler Bray with his two sophomore pass catchers in tow coming to pay a visit this Saturday. Hopefully everyone down there are awake at 3:00 am staring up at the ceiling.
But I say not to worry Florida fans – things are really more normal than you think. Linebacker Dee Finley was arrested Monday afternoon on a third-degree felony charge of resisting arrest with violence.
Finley is the sixth different Florida player to be arrested since January and it is the seventh arrest Coach Muschamp has dealt with in his short tenure.
All is well with the program of the nouveau riche.