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September 12, 2010The good (Jeff Demps' rushing), the bad (Florida's yards after the catch) and the ugly (South Florida's opening drive) ... here's a look back at Florida's 38-14 win Saturday at home over the Bulls, which improved the Gators to 2-0 heading into this week's game at Tennessee:
1. Center Mike Pouncey, one week after flubbing numerous snaps, was just about perfect Saturday. Did you ever have a doubt?
2. Using a mix-and-match group for the second straight week, the Gator offensive line came up big, keeping quarterback John Brantley clean all afternoon and opening several big holes in the second half.
3. Florida tailback Jeff Dempsproduced one of the best all-purpose games by a Gator in recent memory, rushing for 139 yards, catching one pass for 21 yards and returning two kickoffs for 95 yards for a 255 total. What will he do once the Florida line has all its parts?
4. The secondary continues to excel, even though it had to play four true freshmen Saturday, three because of injuries. Strong safety Ahmad Black led Florida with eight tackles and picked off his second and third passes of the season. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins also had an interception, and for good measure returned a punt 30 yards.
5. The work of offensive coordinator Steve Addazio and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. After shaky starts on both sides of the ball, each coach seemed to make the perfect adjustments. The Florida offense had 391 yards in the final three quarters and finally began to click for the first time this season. The defense held USF to 228 during the same stretch, with a good chunk coming when Florida already had taken complete control.
THE NOT-SO GOOD
1. USF rushed for 244 yards on 39 carries and four players had rushes of 10 or more yards. The good news for Florida? The Gator run defense got significantly better as the game wore on.
2. Florida receiver Deonte Thompson didn't play poorly (he caught six passes for 83 yards), but he had another drop. For those scoring at home, that makes two drops already this season.
3. The start: On its first drive, USF went 96 yards on 17 plays and consumed 9:58 off the clock. Nobody could have seen that one coming.
4. Secondary injuries: Last week, starting cornerback Moses Jenkins went down with a hyper extended elbow. Saturday, his replacement Jeremy Brown missed the second half with body cramping. It's a good thing the Gators have some depth at that position.
5. YAC: Simply put, Florida's receivers for the most part aren't getting very much after the catch. That trend better change in a hurry.
FIVE STATS THAT STOOD OUT
1. 423: That's how many total yards Florida had. In case you forgot, that is 211 more than it had in Week 1 against Miami of Ohio.
2. 5: The Gators forced five turnovers, one week after coming up with four. Right now, Florida is on pace to record 48 interceptions during the regular season.
3. 12.47: Yards per carry this season for Demps. He entered the year with a 7.6-yard average.
4. 6.2: Florida's yards per play Saturday. Against Miami of Ohio, it was only 3.8.
5. 59.64: Percentage of offensive plays Florida has run the ball this season (68 rush, 56 pass)
FIVE GOOD QUOTES
1. "The ability for us to be able to play some power football is going to be important. It was nice to see the demeanor our team in the second half. That felt really good. I think I felt really good for them as well as for us." -- Addazio
2. ``Having that defense definitely takes a lot of pressure off our offense, and it's exciting to watch them play and make all those plays." -- Brantley
3. "We got a lot of kinks out in the first half." -- tailback Emmanuel Moody
4. "I thought we had a rhythm going. We were in sync with the offensive line pushing them back. The quarterback had time and we just started playing football." -- Thompson
5. "[The Gators] are a team that has been here. They know how to win and are proven. I thought they showed some great poise. They did not panic or anything else." -- USF coach Skip Holtz
FIVE FINAL THOUGHTS
1. Beating USF is nice, but the Bulls aren't exactly, let's say, Georgia. Then again, Georgia isn't Georgia right now either.
2. Could it be that Brantley is the only starting QB in Florida that hasn't been eliminated from the Heisman Trophy race yet?
3. Gators don't need no stinkin' Tebow!
4. Wasn't this going to be the week Lane Kiffin exacted some revenge?
5. Pardon me, didn't you used to be Tennessee football?