NEPD Staff Writer: Stephen Sheehan
Through the first three games, Florida made its mark with a strong running game and attacking defense. On Saturday, the plan was no different.
UF rushed for a ridiculous 405 yards on 46 carries (8.8 average). The defense, led by sophomore safety Matt Elam picked off two passes and registered four sacks.
While UF is mostly led by rising sophomores and juniors, there were several strong performances by its top 2012 draft prospects.
#12 John Brantley, QB
– Brantley had a rocky start, overthrowing Trey Burton twice. He did show good chemistry with receiver Frankie Hammond Jr., buying time in the pocket to make a 10-yard completion on third-and-long.
– After a Kentucky turnover, Brantley made his best throw of the season, a 45-yard strike down the seam to tight end Gerald Christian for a touchdown.
– Brantley later hits Hammond on a curl rout but does little the rest of the game.
– The senior stood strong in the pocket and took a huge hit to the ribcage and had to exit the game, but later returned.
– Overall, Brantley wasn’t asked to do much and completed eight of 14 attempts for 115 yards and a touchdown. Clearly Charlie Weis is letting Brantley manage the game and has yet to consistently attack defenses down the field.
#6 Jaye Howard, DT
– Senior lines up as the one-technique for most of the game.
– Shows solid penetration which leads to fumble.
– Despite good first step, Howard had some trouble staying on his feet at times.
– Shows good awareness and hands to catch ball for TD after linebacker Jon Bostic forces a fumble on a QB hit
– Howard struggles to stay low and can become overextended at time.
– Does show good pursuit on downfield tackle
#28 Jeff Demps, RB
Senior track star has dominant day, rushing for season-high 157 yards on only 10 carries. Demps proves his elite burst as he takes the ball 20 yards to the house on a stretch play in the first quarter.
– Appears to have added more muscle during offseason, which has allowed him to run with more power between the tackles.
– Not as elusive as Chris Rainey, tackled for loss in backfield
– Not as natural receiver as Rainey, but has more pure speed.
– Shows good patience to pick up first down, following his blocks
– Demps capped off his night with an 84-yard TD. He is clearly the fastest player in college football as he runs right up the middle and outraces the entire secondary even though the safety took a decent angle on the ball.
#1 Chris Rainey, RB
Former Lakeland star is the primary weapon in Weis’ pro-style offense. Rainey registered his third-straight 100-yard game on the ground as the leading ball carrier.
– Incredible vision and ability to start and stop on a dime
– Reverses field on a stretch run to the left, cuts back across the field for 27-yard run to the 1-yard line
– Plays quarterback in the Wildcat formation and runs the ball up the gut for few short gains
– Shows elite ability to make defender miss in open space despite not being 100 percent in this game
– Cut blocks in pass protection but isn’t asked to block often with size limitations
– Has shown willingness to put his head down and pick up tough yards on third-down
Tags: Film Room