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Chris Rainey named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Chris Rainey also had a 40-yard touchdown reception on Saturday. (AP photo)

Florida’s Chris Rainey was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking two punts in the Gators’ 55-14 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Rainey’s first block was the Gators first of the season and set them up at 1st-and-goal from the three-yard line. Two plays later, Mike Gillislee scored.

Rainey blocked another punt in the second quarter, one Solomon Patton returned 42 yards for a touchdown.

Rainey finished with 136 all-purpose yards.

With his two blocked punts, Rainey brought his career total to four. That ties his for first place in Florida history with Tim Paulk (1987-91), Sam McCorkle (1992-95) and Carlos Dunlap (2007-09).

Rainey has been responsible for the Gators’ past four block punts, with ones last year against Mississippi State and Kentucky.


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Dominique Easley not on travel team for “a lot of reasons,” Urban Meyer says

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Florida freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley did not travel with the Gators to Vanderbilt for “a lot of reasons,” coach Urban Meyer said.

Easley, a five-star recruit who has played in four games this season, didn’t travel because he’s “Just not part of the team right now,” Meyer said.

Asked later whether that was Easley’s status with the team permanently, Meyer added that, “He’s not part of the travel team.”

It doesn’t seem like the same type “not with the team” response that resulted in Chris Rainey missing five games after his arrest.

But this is not the first sign of trouble for Easley, who was ranked second at his position coming out of high school.

Easley was one of two freshmen to skip practice in the preseason because of criticism from the coaches.


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Gillislee And Moody Healthy Again

Heading into last week’s Georgia game, it was believed late in the week that Florida’s running back corps was healthy and ready to go.  When gametime came ’round, however, Mike Gillislee and Emmanuel Moody weren’t on the field.

For that reason, you might want to take the following news with a grain of salt: Urban Meyer says that both Gillislee and Moody will be ready for action Saturday at Vanderbilt.

“Both are 100% for the first time in quite a while.  They had a really good practice (yesterday).”

Jeff Demps will also play — though he still has pain in his sprained left foot — as will running back/receiver Chris Rainey who returned to the team from suspension last week.

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Georgia Writers Split Over Dawgs’ Chances

Florida’s three-game losing streak and Georgia’s three-game winning streak give the appearance that UGA is primed to kick a little Gator tail when they face UF tomorrow in Jacksonville.

But the big question is this: Do you believe Florida’s open date and all that went with it (tweaks to the offense, Chris Rainey’s return, healing time for Jeff Demps and crew) will fix what has ailed Urban Meyer’s team?

If you do, then you scoff at the Vegas bookmakers who made Georgia a favorite.

Count The AJC’s Jeff Schultz among the scoffers. 

“Not seeing is not believing,” he writes of Georgia 3-17 record against Florida over the last two decades.  “Until then: Give me the 2.5 points.  But I won’t need them.  Gators, Gators, Gators.”

If you believe Florida’s offense is too messed up to fix in a single bye week, then you tab the Dawgs.  The AJC’s Tony Barnhart is among the Dawg-tabbers. 

“Georgia has better players at quarterback (Aaron Murray), wide receiver (AJ Green), running back (Washaun Ealey) and the offensive line is way better.”

Our take?  Florida has the better defense and defense usually trumps offense in the SEC.  While we really like Murray — the kid’s a future All-American — and Green, Ealey and Caleb King have a tendency to fumble at bad times.  And at some point, Meyer will finally adjust his offense to fit John Brantley’s skills.  Won’t he?

We’ll roll the dice that Meyer has made the proper fixes this week.  Take Florida.

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UF’s Rainey Will Definitely Play Vs Georgia

The t’s have been crossed and the i’s have been dotted.  The p’s and q’s have been minded as well.

Urban Meyer announced yesterday that Chris Rainey — suspended for five games after being arrested for aggravated stalking — will be back in the Florida line-up tomorrow against Georgia.

“Chris is going to play.  He had a good week,” Meyer said.

Rainey split practice time this week between receiver and running back.  Fellow runnings Jeff Demps and Mike Gillislee are back from injury.  Gillislee is 100%.  Demps is “the best he’s been in five weeks.”

Anybody else get the feeling Captain Meyer is about to right his ship tomorrow?

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Rainey Likely To Play For UF Vs UGA

The fact that Chris Rainey is eligible to play for Florida on Saturday led just about everyone — myself included — to assume that he would play for the Gators against Georgia.  But apparently there’s still a chance he won’t suit up. 

(Yeah, right.)

Asked if Rainey would play Saturday, Meyer said yesterday, “As of now, he’s done everything he’s supposed to do.  (Thursday) is the deadline I set with him and myself.  I’ll just do a thorough check again tomorrow of everything we’ve asked him to do.”

“(A second chance) is an opportunity for a young man to clear his name and get himself right, live we’ve had a bunch of guys around here do, and guys do all over the place.  I’m just going to keep a pretty tight rein on Chris Rainey.  It had never been an issue before.  It certainly better never be again.”

Meyer’s got that right.  As we’ve all stated numerous times, Meyer’s gone all-in with Rainey.  Any foul-up from the player and it will be the coach’s reputation that will take a hit.

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SEC: Florida catching heat over Chris Rainey

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

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