NEPD Staff Writer: Stephen Sheehan
In a tight game where Florida nearly blew another second half lead, the Gators relied on the legs of Jeff Demps to carry their offense in a 26-21 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores.
There were several seniors who stood out, with Demps leading the way.
Jeff Demps, #28, RB, Florida
Flashed better than expected power and ability to break tackles on inside runs.
Showed patience to let blockers set the edge before turning upfield on sweep play in 4th quarter.
Excellent open field speed, can really accelerate past defenders in the open field.
Made a beautiful juke on 52-yard TD run which highlights his quick feet and ability to maintain top speed. Stuck his foot in the ground and cut back inside, embarrassing the safety.
Saw him throw a few blocks in the run game, although he was knocked back on one of them. Impressive toughness for a guy his size.
John Brantley, #12, QB, Florida
Wasn’t asked to do much as Florida relied on its run game with 46 carries, but managed the game well.
Did a good job finding the open receiver, completing passes to nine different receivers.
Is best when throwing crossing routes or screens to tight ends (Jordan Reed and Trey Burton).
Has shown improved pocket presence this season compared to 2010. Did a nice job of evading the rush by stepping up in the pocket to buy more time.
Jaye Howard, #6, DT, Florida
Was very disruptive in both pass and run.
Made a nice play to extend his arms and shed a block, making a tackle in the backfield on an inside run play.
His quickness was hard for the opposing offensive linemen to handle, utilized both the swim and rip moves effectively to get in the backfield to make two tackles for loss.
Gets penetration on wildcat play and buries running back in the backfield.
Dips his shoulder and blows past offensive guard and nearly sacks QB in third quarter.
Has trouble fighting off double teams, can get stood up and washed out in the run game at times.
Needs to get lower and shoot his hands better.
Rob Lohr, #84, DT, Vanderbilt
Quickly diagnoses play, sheds block and shows impressive quickness to tackle Demps for a loss in 4th quarter.
Commits costly penalty on 4th and short where Burton draws him offside to give Florida a first down with Vandy only down by one score.
Was too easily washed out in the run game. Doesn’t seem to have the girth or lower body strength to anchor versus the run.
Did put some pressure on Brantley at times, shows good quickness off the snap, but if he doesn’t beat you on the first step, he’s neutralized.
Chris Marve, #13, MLB, Vanderbilt
Did not stand out at all in a game where Florida ran the ball 46 times.
Seemed slow to get to the action and had difficult shedding blocks.
Finished the game with only four solo tackles, a disappointing number for a player whose regarded as one of the team’s top run defenders.
Was more physical in the run game and quick to make tackle after completion.
Made a nice pass breakup on a comeback route near the sideline.
Sean Richardson, #21, S, Vanderbilt
Easily the best player on Commodores defense today.
Very aggressive run defender, uses his size and physicality as an in-the-box safety.
Excellent closing speed to register a sack on a blitz off the right side where he was unblocked.
More of a straight-line athlete, not as effective in pass coverage and missed a few tackles against the speedier Demps.
Called for pass interference downfield in one-on-one coverage on Frankie Hammond Jr.
Other prospects who stood out:
Vanderbilt tight end Brandon Barden was a menace against the Gators. He finished the game with four receptions for 51 yards and continually found the soft spot in the middle of the Gators defense. Has excellent size (6-foot-5, 246 pounds) although he isn’t targeted often in the pass game, could be better NFL prospect than his college production indicates.