Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting Offensive With Demps

From here, by the author of TIMTEBLOG:
At the snap, the number called wasn't Tebow's, but Jeff Demps', who scampered into the end zone untouched around the left end. Tie game. Momentum shifted.

Even for Tebologists who follow No. 15's every step, this felt like a moment of clarity for offensive coordinator Steve Addazio: Florida doesn't have to depend entirely on Tebow to win games. In fact, recent history tells us Demps' stiletto style is a necessary contrast to Tebow's sledgehammer -- it wasn't until Demps and Chris Rainey emerged late in the win over Arkansas last year that Florida's offense really spread its wings and took off into the death phoenix it would become en route to the SEC and BCS championships.

People keep saying that this team is missing its "Percy Harvin," that versatile figure who can stretch the field in the passing game, and the Gators have already held below 24 points -- their lowest point total throughout 2008, against Oklahoma in the BCS title game -- three times. I would argue, though, that the game-tying moment on Saturday illustrated why Jeff Demps is as dangerous as Harvin -- if not as a receiver, then as a runner, and as a change of pace from the onslaught of Tebow that often defines the Gator running game. It is worth asking why Demps doesn't get more touches per game.

Tebow would be Tebow on the Gators' final, game-winning drive: A couple of runs right in line with his four-to-five-yards-per-carry adjusted average for the game, with a couple of completions to Riley Cooper (including the key play on 3rd and 10 to put the Gators in field-goal range -- a great play, but hardly a "Heisman moment.")

The point is this: Even if Arkansas was the "trap" game -- although if you win, it's positioned in hindsight as a "wake-up call" -- it is clear that both the coaches and Tebow are going to ride Tebow's legs all the way to Atlanta for the SEC title game. Theoretically, I would love to find out if Tim Tebow could win an SEC title (or BCS title) all by himself. As a practical matter, he can't. Now that Tebow has re-established himself as the team's thunder, it can't afford to forget about the Harvinesque lightning of Demps.

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