Everybody has a theory on why Florida’s offense has sort of been hit and miss this season, even though the Gators currently sit atop the SEC in scoring offense.
Redshirt freshman running back Chris Rainey doesn’t necessarily have a theory, but he does have a word of warning for anybody who thinks the Gators have played their best offensive football this season.
“You haven’t seen the whole thing, not even close,” Rainey said. “When you see the whole thing, then you’ll know that Florida’s offense is back. And it’s coming … real soon.”
Rainey is one of those speedy playmakers Florida coach Urban Meyer raved about in the preseason. He and other multipurpose guys like true freshman Jeff Demps could be key for the Gators on Saturday against No. 3-ranked LSU.
Tailback Emmanuel Moody is out with a sprained ankle. Percy Harvin has been nursing a sprained ankle all week (but plans to play), and defenses are ganging up on quarterback Tim Tebow like never before.
This offense needs more big plays, and Rainey and Demps — two of the fastest guys in the SEC — are both big plays waiting to happen. They each rushed for more than 100 yards last week against Arkansas in the 38-7 win, and both had long touchdown runs.
Rainey broke loose on a 75-yard scoring run, while Demps scored on runs of 48 and 36 yards. The Gators finished with 278 rushing yards, the most under Meyer in an SEC game.
But what he liked the most was seeing the quick strikes.
“We’ve not had the home-run guy at tailback,” Meyer said. “We have when we’ve lined up Percy Harvin at tailback. There were three or four games last year where he was tremendous. Any time you have a threat that can get you something other than a medium yardage play out of that position, you put fear in the defense.”
Rainey said the Gators have a few surprises for the Tigers, who come in with one of the most talented front sevens in college football. But they have given up a few big plays the last two games.
“We’ve got certain things in for the running backs,” said the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Rainey, who leads the Gators in rushing with 220 yards and is averaging 7.1 yards per carry. “We’ve all been waiting to see this. We’ve got a lot of plays coming for LSU, a lot of new ones, too.”
Demps is averaging 13.1 yards per carry, and Rainey said not to forget about return specialist Brandon James on offense.
“We’re going to use them all this game,” Rainey said. “That’s why we recruit so many playmakers at Florida. If they try to key on me, we’ve got other players who can do the same things I can do.
“We’ve just got to eliminate the penalties and all that stuff. If we do that, we’ll be awesome and everybody will love watching the Florida offense again.”