2011 by JD Hollingsworth
Ive watched three UF games now, two against lesser opponents, and one against a formidable foe in Tennessee. The thing that sticks out most is the remarkable play out of Chris Rainey so far this year. I knew he would be good, but I dont think anybody thought he would be this good. I used to think of him and Jeff Demps as equals in terms of weapons and skillset. But it has become readily apparent that Rainey is the better of the two, thats not a knock on Demps, Rainey is just putting up Heisman esque numbers right now, and making it look easy. For whatever its worth Demps always seems to lose gas at the end of his runs, while Rainey seems to be able to go full speed from beggining to end all while making jaw dropping cut backs and spin moves to go with it. Its good that we have a weapon like Rainey, because at least we have established who we are with him and Demps leading our offensive charge. If for some reason Rainey were to go down this season, or we were to have to rely on our passing game, I would be seriously worried. I havent seen Brantley complete one tough pass so far this season. Charlie Weiss has dialed up some nice oppurtunites for Brantely to prove himself and each time he comes up short. I wont put all the blame on Brantley for this, for some reason our WRs just cant seem to get open, and when Weiss creates a mismatch with his playcalling somehow the recievers seem to be unable to show up when there number is called. For instance Ive seen a few plays intended for Deonte Thompson where he was unable to position himself correctly or he will catch the ball out of bounds when he has the advantage over the defender. Im guessing this is because hes had so many drops in his career hes more concerned with catching the ball regardless of whether hes in bounds or not. But the inablility to pass the ball at will, or have any real threat at the WR position I think will haunt us a little bit in bigger games. For now Rainey and Demps will do, but Im afraid against more stiff compettion were gonna need someone at that position to step up and make some big plays. Right now neither Brantely or the recievers have shown me that they are capable of doing this. Gators defense has been pretty stout so far, not giving up much in the way of rush yards and aside from pass interference calls have defended the pass pretty well. As far as potential goes Florida might have the best defensive line in the country. With all those highly coveted recruits from 2009 finally getting there chance to shine on the big stage together. So far Dominuque Easely has been the front runner, but I expect big things from Ronald Powell and Shariff Floyd as we get deeper into the SEC schedule. So all in all I am really impressed with what Will Muschamp has done with the Gators so far, and as far as offensive play calling goes Charlie Weiss compared to last years Steve Addazio is night and day. With our only weak link right now being our inablilty to throw the deep ball and our lack of presence at the WR position I think the Gators are capable of winning the SEC East. I think Florida has a better defense than the Gamecocks by a big margin, and I think there offense is only slightly better than the Gators because of there ability to throw the ball with Alshon Jefferies and we all know what Marcus Lattimore can do. Other than SC I dont see anybody else in the East better than the Gators. I think with what Florida has shown so far they will have a 9 win season. Which is really the best I would have hoped for them at the end of last season. But if we can get somebody to emerge at the WR position or if Brantley suddenely starts throwing to the potential hes always hyped up to, then watchout Florida may contend for a National title in its first year under Muschamp. Because they say the winner of the SEC championship is pretty much a lock to go to the NC, I mean crazier things have happened. If Florida just plays up the potential weve already seen from them they are a lock to win the SEC East, and if they can pull out a miracle and beat an unbeaten LSU or Alabama in the SEC championship game its not that ridiculous. I still think the Gators have a year or two under Muschamp before they start competing for National Title. But with Rainey playing lights out, and the Defense shutting down there first 3 opponents. Look out.