Diminutive duo stands tall for No. 5 Florida Print
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Thursday, 23 October 2008 10:17
NCAAF Headline News

 GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -Florida running backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps put on a show for teammates and friends one night this summer. They lined up behind a dorm, each talking a little trash as they stepped to the makeshift starting line, and raced twice in a 40-yard dash.
Rainey swears he won both of them. Demps believes he took the first one and barely lost the second. Witness accounts differ, too.
It might never be settled. But this much is clear: It was merely the first time the diminutive duo would dazzle a crowd this season.
Rainey and Demps, two of the team's fastest players, have emerged as the Gators' top runners. Yes, more productive than Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and more dynamic than speedster Percy Harvin.
``Those two guys are special players,'' coach Urban Meyer said.
07 yards rushing and four scores. He's averaging 13.3 yards a carry and has TD runs of 36, 42, 48 and 62 yards.
They've been their best the last two games, and not coincidentally, Florida's offense has looked its sharpest all season in the two lopsided victories.
Rainey ran for 103 yards and a touchdown at Arkansas, Demps added 103 yards on the ground and two scores, and Florida had two 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since 1997.
Rainey gained 66 yards the following week against defending national champion LSU. Demps added 129 yards and a touchdown and became the program's first true freshman to have back-to-back 100-yard games since Neal Anderson did it in 1982.
``I knew if I worked hard I would see the field,'' Demps said. ``But I didn't know that if I was working hard I would be able to do something like this. So, yeah, I am surprised. It's easier once you learn the plays and you kind of get a feel for the game. Then you can see it slowing down.''
Meyer raved about the tailback position all year, calling it the best group he's had in his four years in Gainesville. Starter Kestahn Moore and Southern California transfer Emmanuel Moody were supposed to be the main contributors.
much so that junior Mon Williams switched to linebacker before deciding last week to transfer.
``If we just keep doing our job in practice, the more they'll keep giving us the ball,'' said Rainey, who separated his left shoulder against the Tigers but should be find when the fifth-ranked Gators (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) host Kentucky (5-2, 1-2) on Saturday.
With the success Rainey and Demps have had recently, it could take some of the focus off Tebow and Harvin. There's no question the offense still runs through Tebow and Harvin. But the Gators have been somewhat predictable, albeit still difficult to defend, when they become a two-man show.
It might not be that way again, thanks to Rainey and Demps.
``They give you the opportunity to ... get that 50-yard breakout run,'' Tebow said. ``We're trying to get them to the edge with their speed. We're trying to get them in space and maybe get them one-on-one with a safety, a few more plays out wide because they're so fast and athletic.''
And always ready to put on a show.
``They've shown they can handle the pressure really well,'' Tebow said. ``Even starting in two-a-days, they turned nothing into some pretty big plays. It's the main reason those guys are so special.''
 

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