Demps Doing Everything He Can

Some have labeled him a Heisman Trophy contender and Jeff Demps has certainly put his team on his shoulders in the first two games of the season. Needing an offensive spark Saturday against USF, Demps supplied that early in the second half with an electrifying 62-yard touchdown run. It was the second longest of this two game season of which looks to be a special one for him.

Ever the modest player, Florida junior running back Jeff Demps is on the verge of being a major college football star in this 2010 season. Demps, who is an 'awe shucks' personality always gives credit to others for what he has accomplished and on Saturday it was no different. Following his 72-yard touchdown run a week earlier, Demps' 62-yard score was all about the people blocking him....according to him anyway.

"I want to credit the explosive runs to the offensive line," Demps said with his usual smile following the 38-14 win over South Florida Saturday. "They did a great job of opening holes and they made our jobs easier today."

Demps had a few more opportunities running the ball Saturday than a week earlier due to some injured and suspended players that made it back to play in week two. He understands full well how important it is in the continuity of the line on any given play.

"The offensive line is a great unit," he said. "When you have one or two linemen down it just isn't the same. When they are all together you can tell because they function as one out there."

Florida head coach Urban Meyer is still trying to find the true identity of this version of the Gators' offense. Right now, Meyer calls it a 'blue collar' offense, a workman type of group. Demps offered up his theory for what Meyer was talking about.

"I think a blue collar offense is a smash mouth team," Demps said. "I guess from time to time we can be a smash mouth team because we are based on...toughness. If we want to line up in the 'I' and run the football, that is what we're going to do."

One thing that happened Saturday is that Demps was able to get a feel for the game by getting the ball a little more than maybe he was used to. In game one he got it eight times, in game two, he ran the ball 11 times that he turned into his career best 139 yards. Demps understands the fact it can take time to get the feel of a game, but also understands the feel may be on for him or someone else in any given game.

"I think it's like a flow," he said of the number of carries and its importance. "It can go either for me or any of the backs or receivers. Once you feel like you are in a groove, things start to slow down for you. Then you can relax and play the way you want to play."

As you can tell, Demps isn't the least bit worried about getting the ball enough. He wants himself and his stable of running back teammates to do well enough to win games. Lack of touches has never been an issue.

"I wasn't frustrated, I don't like to get into all of that," Demps said of previous times with less carries. "I just like to do whatever it takes to help the team win...For me to make the big play it's a good thing to help our momentum and to keep ball moving."

Getting the wins is the only real goal and he knows that duplicating his good game would likely help in attaining that goal. Still, he wants to do more.

"I never had a game like that...It feels good," he said. "But, at the same time I am not satisfied and want to come out each and every weekend and get a little better."

In game one, against Miami (OH), the Gators really struggled on offense. Demps kind of got the scoring going with a 72-yard touchdown run, but it was really the fourth quarter when the offense had done enough to put the RedHawks away. On Saturday, it took a half, but once the ball got rolling early in the second half, it looked like a juggernaut offense that had been missing for six quarters.

The offense regrouped at halftime and really came out swinging.

"It's a little relief, at least we know we are capable of playing Gator football," Demps said. "We aren't going to let our guard down...I think everyone just came together as one. We told ourselves we weren't going to have a bad game...I think we focused in a little more at halftime on our assignments."

Demps also recognized the Florida fans in attendance for their part in the game.

"The crowd and the momentum had a factor in it," Demps said of the win. "I think when the crowd got into it, the offensive line was able to get the push off and help the running backs get extra yards.

Demps also starred on special teams returning two kickoffs for 54 and 41 yards and setting up the Gators in great field position. It was another reason he was able to lather up so well when he got the ball. It is also something he is wary of in the sense of getting over worked during a game.

College football's fastest player with an NCAA officially timed 9.99 seconds in the 100 meters, Demps spends extra practice time conditioning himself for the extra load of returning kickoffs.

"Practice is always tough," he said. "I just get a couple of more reps at practice to increase my durability because I know I will be running the ball (and on special teams). (Staying fresh) isn't that bad, I think coach does a great job about keeping us all with fresh legs."

The Gators next opponent is rival Tennessee and the Gators will have to travel to the hostile territory for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. EST matchup. Demps isn't worried about thinking that far in advance.

"I am excited to see how this week of practice is going to go," he said.
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