Theater of Operations, Florida Vs. Kentucky: Reviewing The Gators' Running Game

The Florida Gators once again outran their opponent. The Gators, as a team, rushed for over 400 yards: 405 yards, to be precise. Kentucky, as a team, rushed for 134 yards, 23 fewer yards fewer than what Jeff Demps accounted for by himself.

Once again, the breakdown:

  • Demps: 10 carries, 157 yards, two touchdowns
  • Chris Rainey: 15 carries, 105 yards
  • Mike Gillislee: six carries, 84 yards, one touchdown
  • Trey Burton: six carries, 33 yards, one touchdown

Once again, complete domination by the running game allowed the Gators to control the clock and cruise to victory.

Play No. 1: Jeff Demps' 20-yard touchdown run:

Demps20td_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Simple hand-off to Demps, and he is going to try to find the edge. 

Demps20td2_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Demps does this perfectly. He allows his blockers to do their job.

Demps20td3_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

This part, however, is pure speed. Once he gets past the blockers on the edge, he only has one blocker left and two defenders remain. One of the remaining defenders (circled in green) is taken out of the play because Demps simply outruns him.

  Demps20td4_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Rainey does a great job here, taking out the last defender. The rest of the play is just speed.

Demps20td5_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Touchdown, Jeff Demps!

Play No. 2: Chris Rainey's 27-yard (well, really 80-yard) run:

Rainey11_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Chris Rainey will take the pitch and run to the left side (top of the screen).

Rainey12_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

As you can see, there is no where for Rainey to go. There are three defenders that form a literal wall.

Rainey13_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Rainey picks up two crucial blocks from Jon Halapio (top square) and Quinton Dunbar (bottom square). John Brantley and Deonte Thompson are ready to dish out two more blocks.

Rainey14_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Brantley is about to throw his block and Thompson is about to engage his defender. Rainey, much like Demps in the last play, will use speed to escape the one unblocked defender.

Rainey15_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Thompson, at this point, is basically taking three defenders out of the play at once. Unfortunately for Rainey, there are four defenders.

Rainey16_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

It does kind of look like he may have gotten into the end zone. But he was ruled out (I think correctly) at the one.

Play No. 3: Jeff Demps' 84-yard touchdown run:

Demps841_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

The reason why the defense is circled? They are blitzing. The Gators, who will hand the ball off to Demps on the left side (bottom of screen) of the line, have the perfect play called for this blitz formation.

Rainey842_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

You can already see at this point that because of the blitz, Demps has some serious running room past the line of scrimmage. That is bad news for any defense.

Demps843_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

There isn't a defender remotely near Demps at this point.

Demps844_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Speed vs. angle, when the speed belongs to Jeff Demps, is a battle Jeff Demps will win.

Demps845_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

See? Speed wins.

Demps846_medium

(Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Touchdown, Jeff Demps.

It is often said that the only thing you can't teach is speed. This is true: You either have it, or you don't. The Gators have some of the best speed (especially at running back) in the country. And this year, under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, they understand how to use it.

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