|Rainey leads Blue team to 28-14 win in Florida's spring game|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 April 2008 13:23|
It was about the only thing he did wrong Saturday.
Rainey ran for 75 yards and a touchdown, added a 65-yard scoring reception and was the biggest star of Florida's annual spring game. The 5-foot-9, 177-pound running back teamed with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow to help the Blue team beat the Orange squad 28-14.
``I thought he would do that and he did that,'' coach Urban Meyer said. ``I think Chris Rainey is going to be a very, very fine football (player). ... I was really impressed with the way he ran today, but he's done that all spring.''
Rainey provided most of the highlights early on, and the first one came before the opening drive.
Rainey was one of three players Meyer selected to race against the school's fastest students. If any of the contestants beat Meyer's speedsters, the coach guaranteed a scholarship.
Rainey almost cost the school a full ride. He misunderstand the starting directions and ended up standing on the starting line shaking his head as his opponents sped away.
Officials called a do-over, and Rainey responded with a run of 4.24 seconds - about 5 yards ahead of the field and the fastest 40-yard dash of his career.
``That was really fun,'' said Rainey, who admitted his legs were shaking beforehand. ``I told Coach they need to do that every year. I do like that.''
Rainey was equally dominant when the game started.
He ran four times for 41 yards on the opening drive, showing the kind of moves teammates, coaches and Florida fans usually expect from Percy Harvin. Two drives later, he lined up wide and found him uncovered down the field.
``That was a bad idea,'' Rainey said.
Indeed. Rainey caught Tebow's long pass in stride, juked safety Ahmad Black and strolled untouched into the end zone for a 14-0 lead. He added a 1-yard scoring leap two drives later and put Blue ahead 21-7.
``He's very impressive,'' Tebow said. ``It's not like it was anything new to us. I think it was to all the fans. But we saw it every day in spring ball. He's just an electric player.''
Tebow, who spent the last two days vomiting and dealing with a high fever, was 13-of-21 passing for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions. The first one came on a pass that slipped through Butch Rowley's hands. The second one was a high throw tipped by Aaron Hernandez and returned 50 yards for a touchdown by Lorenzo Edwards.
Tebow raced toward the sideline in hopes of tacking Edwards and ended up bowling over hard-hitting safety Major Wright.
``I didn't mean to hit him like that,'' Tebow said. ``I was just irritated. I threw a pick. ... I got cheap-shotted enough in the spring. I can get one on him.''
Carlos Dunlap had the best defensive performance of the afternoon, recording four sacks for the Blue squad.
Emmanuel Moody led the Orange team with 111 yards rushing and a touchdown in his Florida debut, but the former USC star also had a costly fumble.
Moody ran four consecutive times for 64 yards to start the second half, but fumbled at the 1-yard line when hit by Bryan Thomas.
``He's got talent, but there's no chance you'll see him play regardless of what dot-com says and all the e-mail I'll get and everything else,'' Meyer said. ``He will not play football if there's a chance it's falling on the ground.''
Quarterback John Brantley, vying with Cameron Newton for the backup spot behind Tebow, missed the game because of an injured right hand. Harvin (heel), tight end Cornelius Ingram (ankle) and receivers Louis Murphy and Carl Moore (ankle) also were held out.
Rainey, meanwhile, stood out.
He did the same last season, but for all the wrong reasons. The freshman committed a costly penalty in the opener and had two more errors a week later.
He injured his shoulder two games later and never got back on the field, spending the last seven months rehabbing and adding about 20 pounds.
He finally made an impact Saturday.
``It made me feel good,'' Rainey said. ``Prove to coach Urban Meyer what I can do so I can play in the game. He said if you do well in the spring you will get the ball, so I had to do what I can do.''