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Special teams helps Gators to blowout win over Vandy

Florida
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Florida's Solomon Patton recovered one of two blocked punts by the Gators against Vanderbilt. (US Presswire photo)

Throughout the season, Florida coach Urban Meyer has lamented the Gators’ special teams play. He might still be mad about a 41-yard punt return Florida gave up to Alabama’s Julio Jones on Oct. 2.

While Chas Henry has been one of the best punters in the country, the Gators’ coverage has been not so great. Florida had just one blocked kick coming into the game.

Chris Rainey changed that, blocking two punts to bring his career total to four.

“You talk about a momentum shift,” Meyer said. “And Rainey’s a very unique, skilled athlete that can come off that edge, that skinny like that.”

The first block set up a three-yard score by Mike Gillislee two plays later. On the second one, Solomon Patton returned the ball 42 yards for a touchdown.

Rainey tied a school record for blocks in a career, bringing his total to four. Tim Paulk (1987-91), Sam McCorkle (1992-95) and Carlos Dunlap (2007-09) all blocked four as well.

Of course, it was not all good. Terron Sanders missed a blocking assignment in the third quarter, allowing Javon Marshall to recover the ball in the end zone for Vanderbilt’s first score.

“That was on me,” said Sanders. He worked a move, he worked a good move on me. I was real disappointed afterwards, but we got the win.”


 




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