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Gators adds Rainey, Demps to list of playmakers

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It's the Florida philosophy: When one playmaker goes down, another steps right up.

With starting running back Kestahn Moore out for Saturday's game against Arkansas and defenses keying on Percy Harvin, the Gators coaches turned to redshirt freshman Chris Rainey and freshman Jeff Demps to create a spark.

"A lot of teams are saying keep No. 1 (Harvin) inside, clamp him down," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "Everyone on the field knows where No. 1 is."

Harvin still managed to get 74 all-purpose yards, including a 21-yard touchdown reception from Tim Tebow.

But the two young players considered too small to be every-down backs combined to do something that hasn't been done by the Gators for more than a decade.

The 5-foot-9 Rainey and 5-foot-8 Demps each ran for 103 yards Saturday and combined for three rushing touchdowns.

It is the first time Florida has had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since Fred Taylor (106) and Bo Carroll (159) did it against Central Michigan on Sept. 6, 1997.

Rainey needed just 10 carries to become the first Florida player to eclipse the century mark since Harvin ran for 165 yards against Michigan in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. Demps would soon join him, requiring only seven rushes.

"We've got two really good, young players," Meyer said. "Not the biggest cats in the world."

Demps created a spark in the second quarter when penalties backed up the UF offense to first-and-30 at the Arkansas 36-yard line. He took a handoff, cut through a gap at the line of scrimmage and went untouched into the end zone, putting Florida up 14-0.

"The offensive line did a great job of getting off the ball and opening a hole and giving me a seam to run through," he said. "When I saw it, I knew I just had to explode through it and when I was running down the field, Louis Murphy had a great block on the perimeter setting me free."

Rainey had his spotlight moment in the fourth quarter when he burst through a gap, spun off a defender just beyond the line and outran the other defenders to the end zone on a 75-yard run.

Demps finished things up with a 48-yard touchdown run on the Gators' final drive.

"You gotta keep playing until the fat lady sings," Rainey said.

Gators adds Rainey, Demps to list of playmakers 10/04/08 [Last modified: Saturday, October 4, 2008 7:59pm]
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