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Jeff Demps injury hampers Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE — Much of the talk all week was whether Florida QB John Brantley would be able to play Saturday night with sore ribs he suffered in the Alabama game. As it turns out, it was junior RB Jeff Demps whose injury was worse.

Demps dressed out, and went through pregame workouts under the watchful eye of trainer Mickey Marotti, but did not play in the first half Saturday.

Demps (sprained foot) had not practiced at full speed as of Thursday, but coach Urban Meyer said during the week he hoped Demps would be able to recover at the same rate he did before the Alabama game. Demps was limited most of last week and had just 47 yards on 11 carries against the Crimson Tide.

With Demps out, Emmanuel Moody was the Gators' leading rusher in the first half with 24 yards on four carries, but his fumble late in the half set up an LSU 39-yard field goal to give LSU a 20-14 lead as time expired in the half.

OLD SCHOOL ORANGE: Florida went throw-back on Saturday night, pulling out the old-school orange jerseys. And if you were having trouble remembering exactly when it was you last saw that look, it's for a good reason. The Gators last wore the orange on Nov. 18, 1989 in a 38-28 victory over Kentucky.

SHUFFLE CONTINUES: Injuries and inconsistent play have created havoc on Florida's offensive line this season, and has caused shuffling of multiple players throughout all six games. And in a position that is considered one of the toughest to perfect in college, the changes are taking a toll.

"It's lots of different players playing different roles and it's kind of hard to adjust," senior G/T Marcus Gilbert said this week.

After getting benched in the second half against Alabama, OT Xavier Nixon started the game on the Gators sideline Saturday night. But after RG Jon Halapio sustained a compound fracture of his hand in the second quarter, Nixon entered the game. Senior Maurice Hurt, who started at right tackle, slid to right guard. Gilbert said that's been much of the line's problems all season.

"We have mistakes, but that's what practice is for," he said. "Then we'll try to correct it come game time and then an injury will pop up. And then it's what do we do now? We have to move another player to another position. It's tough playing multiple positions."

WUERFFEL'S RETURN: Former Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel briefly took center stage on Florida Field again Saturday night. Wuerffel was in attendance to thank fans for their support of his Desire Street Ministries and Desire Street Academy, a school for inner-city children, which Wuerffel founded in New Orleans.

MISSING TEBOW: Florida fans aren't the only ones who are still having some Tim Tebow hangover. Apparently some former opponents miss the former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, too. Several LSU players said this week they looked forward to facing Tebow over the past few years, and found no solace in the fact they no longer have to play against him.

"No, it's not a relief not to be facing Tebow," LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard said. "I liked playing against him. He's a great player. I like playing the best and I like going up against the best. I enjoyed the years I played against him. He's a great guy. I talked to him after all the games we went against each other."

"I wish I had another shot at Tim Tebow," CB Patrick Peterson said. "He is a great quarterback who brought a lot to that Florida offense."

Times correspondent Tyler Jett contributed to this report.

Jeff Demps injury hampers Florida Gators 10/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 9, 2010 11:15pm]

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