Chas Henry: 'The Specialist'

In Florida's loss to Alabama, the Gators managed to get six points on the board. Well, one Gator managed to prevent an Alabama shutout. That player isn't a wide receiver or a quarterback and he wasn't toting the ball in his hands to score. Punter/kicker Chas Henry did it all with his foot.

Chas Henry is normally responsible for punting the ball only but had to add on the kicker role to his responsibilities when he found out Caleb Sturgis was a no-go for the Alabama contest. Henry was told Thursday, just two days before heading to Tuscaloosa, that he would be kicking and punting. Little did he know, he would be scoring the only points his team would walk away with.

"Unfortunately those were the only points we had. Caleb went down and he's been injured and he's really struggling with his back and stuff. So, the coaches asked me if I could do it and I had to step up and try to help us out," Henry said after the 31-6 Crimson Tide victory.

It was a loss for the Gators but a career night for Henry. He came away with a total of 187 yards punting with a 75-yarder in that mix. On the kicking side of things he launched a 39-yard field goal and a 21-yard score. Henry said his nerves weren't really a factor because he had been preparing to kick in the event that Sturgis could not.

"We had done it these previous couple of weeks just because he's (Sturgis) been injured a little bit and I kicked all one week before the Kentucky game or the Tennessee game. He did a great job playing through it and did an amazing job for what he was going through and coach came up to me last week and said it's probably pretty serious with his injury. He said we have to go with me from here on."

So it looks like it's Henry from here on out as Sturgis will not be healthy for at least six to eight weeks. Henry said he doesn't mind as long as he can help his team in any way possible.

"I'm very comfortable. John Crofoot was the holder and he did an amazing job. It was his first game and he traveled and came with us. This is what we do for the rest of time in practice when we don't have anything to do so we were prepared. I thought we performed really well and didn't have a glitch or anything."

While Henry and company didn't have a glitch, Florida's offense certainly had a few. Still, Henry said he agrees with the jump pass call on fourth down. He said he didn't mind missing an opportunity to kick a field goal early.

"No, I thought that was a great call. Definitely. At an away place like this, playing the No. 1 team on the road, you have to. We thought we had it and it's worked for us well in the past and this time, unfortunately, it didn't work out but I thought it was a great call."

Henry said he knows his teammates appreciate his efforts because coach Meyer emphasizes the importance of special teams all the time. Still, he said he hopes he won't be solely responsible for the only points scored in any future games

"They understand it and coach Meyer makes sure everyone understands the importance of field position and what we do. Anytime we can put it inside the 10-yard line I think they have like a seven percent chance of scoring a touchdown. We're a very statistical team and we understand the importance of that and how that can help on our offensive side of the game and that's how I play defense. I want to put our defense in great position and I thought we did a really good job of that."

Henry, a senior, has been around for two losses to Alabama and the loss to Ole Miss in 2008. He said, while disappointing losses are rare for Florida, they aren't completely foreign. He is expecting his team to rally and win from here on out.

"We had a great talk about how sometimes it feels like we always slip up. We always have one game where we just don't click on all cylinders. Unfortunately we didn't click against a very good team. They made us pay for it and we shot ourselves in the foot a lot. This game is a lot different because we know it's something we can build on. We're going to. We're going to be better. We're going to build off this and be stronger for next week."
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