Rainey's Redemption Rallies Gators

Chas Henry said his game winning field goal against Georgia was redemption for key misses against Mississippi State. While that may be true, it's Chris Rainey's redemption that has been the catalyst to the Gators coming on strong in the last two weeks. Rainey has not only sparked the Gator offense, he's lit a fire under special teams as well.

Saturday in Nashville, Chris Rainey woke up a typically slow starting Gator squad with a blocked punt to set up the first score against the Commodores. But that was just the beginning. Rainey would make a tremendous catch while being pulled to the ground to give the Gators command of the game at 21-0.

Later in the second quarter the junior from Lakeland broke through for a second blocked punt. Solomon Patton scooped it up and ran 42 yards for a touchdown and the Gators had a 41-0 halftime lead. It was the best 30 minutes the Gators have played this season and gives Florida a ton of momentum heading into the SEC Eastern Division Championship showdown with South Carolina next week.

Rainey ended the day with 136 all-purpose yards on just 10 touches to go with the two blocked punt and was probably the Gators player of the game for the second week in a row. Last week in the Georgia contest he piled up 241 all purpose yards.

Now you can argue --- and many have --- that Rainey should never have played for the Gators again after his mindless threatening text messages to an on-and-off girlfriend. I respectfully disagree. There is a big difference between an idle threat by someone with no track record of violence than a real threat from someone who has shown that propensity. Urban Meyer took the behavior seriously and it was five games before Rainey was allowed to suit up again.

If Rainey had a checkered past that included poor behavior, attitude issues and other unacceptable behavior then he should have been shown the door. But that's simply not the case at all. Rainey has a pretty good track record on and off the field in his three-plus years on campus and that track record earned him this second change.

And he's sure making the most of it.


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