Backs to be Prepared When Asked

It was a big sticking point in the outcome of the SEC Championship Game. The Florida Gators ran the ball a total of three times from the running back position and the Gators lost decisively in the contest. Though it wasn't the only reason for such a big loss, it is certainly something that made Florida head coach Urban Meyer say it won't happen again. The backs now and are ready to go.

When you have your top three tailbacks averaging 6.4 yards per carry or more for the season, it seems a little odd to give them the ball just three times in a really meaningful contest. Granted, Florida runs a triple option attack and a lot of times it is up to the quarterback to hand the ball off. But, there is no one after that game claiming that they shouldn't have had the ball more.

Against Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl, look for Florida to lean heavy on their running backs, and when they do, the Gators should be ready. Sophomore Jeff Demps said the Gators are anxious to make a statement.

"We are just going to stick to the game plan," Demps said last week. "We just threw the ball a lot in the SEC game and we can't help that. We just have to come back and keep working like we always do."

It is never about the individual with guys like Demps. He understands things don't always turn out the way you expect and in the SEC Championship game, the backs were just ready to go if called upon.

"I didn't get frustrated, there are no ball hogs on this team so we just keep working," he said.

The offweeks have been strange so far as a great deal of the Gator coaches spent a lot of time out on the road recruiting and missing some practice time. With that and coaching changes at Florida and Cincinnati, you would think it wouldn't be easy to get ready for this game.

"It hasn't changed," Demps said about intensity at practice. "We are still out working hard trying to get better. We just try and block all that stuff out right now and just keep working."

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