Florida came into the contest with Alabama averaging 259 yards per contest and tops in the SEC and was thumped to the tune of just 15 yards on the ground Saturday night. Jeff Demps says Alabama just made it tough to get in any kind of rhythm running the ball.
“It was a tough night for us,” Demps said. “We could never get in a groove and get things established.
“We didn’t execute and their linebackers played great on us. We thought we would come in and run the ball effectively, but things didn’t go like we wanted. We will take next week and try and get better with it.
“I knew they were going to come out and tackle very well, they always have, so I wasn’t shocked by that. They are a very sound and they tackle very well.”
Things got a little complicated when Demps was injured on his second kick return of the night midway through the first quarter of the game. He found a seam in the kick coverage and got by everyone but the kicker who jumped on him and brought all of his weight down on Demps while awkwardly banging his knee. Demps was pulled from kick return duties for the rest of the night.
“Early on but I’m fine, it wasn’t serious,” Demps said about his quit exit from the game before returning. “It was my knee and my ankle… I fell on my knee.
Compounding the injury situation to Demps, which seemed to be minor by the time he met with the media after the game, the Gators lost starting quarterback John Brantley late in the second quarter to a nasty tackle that was actually similar in nature to what Demps went through on his sideline hit.
Demps said the injury to Brantley, who was playing his best football as a Gator, was a tough one to handle, but still gave credit to Alabama.
“It kind of knocked the air out of us a little bit, but they played well tonight and we didn’t execute,” he said.
Now, the road doesn’t get any easier. The Gators travel to Baton Rouge to take on the #1 LSU Tigers. The Tigers may have a better defense than Alabama and now the gators come in limping with injuries on offense. The senior running back knows there is nothing else they can do but get ready for a fight.
“We have to put it behind us tonight and not think about it,” he said. “It will be hard, but we have to get through it.”