Speed Kills

Speed kills, and the Florida Gators have more speed than anyone in the country. With a one, two, three punch from the backfield and an offensive line that's blocking better than they have all season, there seems to be no end in sight to Florida's offensive dominance.

On Saturday, the Gators shredded the No. 3 ranked defense in the nation, rushing for 346 yards. Percy Harvin led the Gator attack with 167 yards on eight carries for an average of 20.9 yards per carry.

"This team the last five to six weeks, we really love each other," Harvin said after the game. "We have a lot of playmakers. We kind of have a mix of who can do what in what situations. We have a lot of speed so as long as we can get to the second level, we can make things happen."

Chris Rainey also averaged close to seven yards a carry and Jeff Demps averaged more than 10. Emanuel Moody, who handled most of the late-game carries, also rushed for 46 yards, averaged 6.6 yards per carry. The Gators have a lot of offensive weapons, but it all starts with the offensive line.

"We knew we had a lot of talent coming into this year, but didn't know who could do what," Harvin said. "We finally have an understanding of who can do what. Our numbers have been outrageous and our line has been dominating. We have a lot of speed and using the speed to our advantage."

The Gator defense held a Steve Spurrier offense to just 173 total yards. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, the Gator offense gets to go up against that quality defense, and it can only back both units better.

"We prepared so hard throughout the week and our offense prepared hard against our defense," Harvin said.

Harvin had two big touchdown runs, the first was a 26-yard gain on Florida's first offensive play of the game. It was a counter trap, and he scored from 80 yards on the very same play on the first play of the third quarter.

"We knew their linebacker was kind of aggressive, so we ran a counter to take advantage of him," Harvin said. "We knew we had a gap, and our line blocked tremendous. Hernandez made a great block and I just ran off his block."

In the loss to Ole Miss, Harvin caught 13 passes for 186 yards. He's proven he can perform from the backfield, the slot or out wide. He doesn't have a preference, though, he just wants to help the team win.

"I'm whatever this team needs," he said. "I'm a running back, receiver, whatever they need. If there's a more explosive offense than us, then they're a pretty good team. As long as the offensive line dominates the perimeter, we have a lot of speed to make them miss and go the distance."

One of the great things about Florida offensive success over the last six games is that it's allowing guys like Harvin to rest in the second half. Without having to take the pounding for a full four quarters could help the Gators when it gets to the postseason.

"It's the greatest feeling," Harvin said. "In the last five or six games I don't think I played more than a series in the second half. Just sitting on the sidelines and beating teams by this much we know we're pretty close."

Pretty close means getting closer to the 2006 national championship team. After all, the goal is to win an SEC and national title, and until they do that, you can't really compare this team to the team of two years ago.

"We're not better, but we're pretty close," Harvin said. "Offensively, we have a lot more playmakers than that team had. This year we just make a guy miss and we're out of there."

With two games left before Florida faces No. 1 ranked Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, Harvin knows the Gators still can improve.

"We have a lot we still need to work on," he said. "We have the Citadel and then we know Florida State is going to lay us pretty hard. We haven't reached it yet, but at the rate we're going, it's going pretty good."


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