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The running back core started the second quarter of the season with their best performance of the season. The gators ran for 405 yards and four touchdowns. The Gators have leaned heavily on Chris Rainey this season, but the senior running back was corralled by two of the best defenses in the nation. Rainey was held to four rushing yards against Alabama, and 52 against LSU.
For many Gator fans the attitude of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" was taken early on when the Gators leaned on Rainey to move the offense. Well after combining for 56 yards the past two games, it is quite obvious that the better defenses in the SEC will not allow Rainey or Jeff Demps to beat them, and will force the Gators to find other options.
With defenses not afraid of Florida's passing attack the running backs have faced eight man fronts constantly. Still with the way this team is set up, Florida will continue to rely on Demps and Rainey to be successful.
Running back Mike Gillislee is a player to look for the rest of the season. Gillislee has provided the Gators with the strong running between the tackles, and still has shown the big play potential you would expect from Demps and Rainey. Gillislee had a career high 84 yards, including a 60 yard TD, against Kentucky and was the only Gator who was able to run the ball between the tackles against LSU. Gillislee is the type of strong runner that will compliment the speedier backs well, and could be the spark that this offense is looking for.
The running backs take a small hit since the last time they were graded, but they continue to be the focal point of the offense.