Notebook: Demps still dealing with sprained foot
Published: Monday, October 4, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 4, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.
Although he started Saturday, Florida running back Jeff Demps is still not at full strength.
The junior said Monday that his foot feels similar to last week after spraining it against Kentucky on Sept. 25. Demps said he still has sharp pains on the top of his foot.
"I'm trying to tough it out, but at the same time it's affecting me," Demps said.
Coach Urban Meyer said Demps is probable for Saturday's game against No. 12 LSU (5-0, 2-0 SEC).
Demps, who carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards against Alabama last Saturday, said he didn't know if he'd play against the Crimson Tide until after warmups.
Eight of Demps' carries came in the second half, but he was hampered by his foot throughout the night.
"It bothers me when I'm running and also when I'm trying to cut, plant or come back," Demps said.
Demps said he would try to practice Tuesday and wasn't sure if he'd handle kickoff duties against the Tigers.
His backup's status is also uncertain.
Meyer said sophomore Mike Gillislee has a bone bruise and is probable for Saturday's game. Gillislee left the Alabama game with what appeared to be a high ankle sprain, but Meyer said tests revealed only a bruise.
If Demps and Gillislee are still slowed Saturday, Meyer said senior Emmanuel Moody and possibly freshman Mack Brown would see more action. Receiver Andre Debose would handle kickoff returns for the 14th-ranked Gators (4-1, 2-1 SEC) if Demps or Gillislee can't.
Though Florida's backup running backs haven't generated much offense this season, Demps said he's confident any one of them could be productive if he's unable to play.
"The running backs have to step up," he said. "They've been doing a good job. If I go down or any other backs go down the other back can step up and fill in."
Meyer said redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Matt Patchan (wrist) is doubtful for Saturday's game, but hopes to get an update on his status for the rest of the season soon.
"We need him," Meyer said. "In a lot of ways we need him — his leadership, his toughness, his intensity."
Redshirt junior fullback Steve Wilks (back) is getting closer to returning to full strength, Meyer said.
Miss. State kickoff
The start time for UF's game against Mississippi State on Oct. 16 in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will be determined later this week because CBS has elected to use a six-day selection.
The games being held for CBS are Arkansas at Auburn, Mississippi State at Florida and South Carolina at Kentucky. The games not selected by CBS, along with Ole Miss at Alabama, will be on either ESPN2 (at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.) or on ESPNU at 7 p.m.
Trust in Phillips
With junior kicker Caleb Sturgis out indefinitely with a back injury, punter Chas Henry is doubling up with place-kicking duties.
To ensure his leg stays fresh, Meyer gave freshman walk-on Brad Phillips kickoff responsibilities. But only after special teams/linebackers coach D.J. Durkin convinced him Phillips had the leg.
"(Durkin) said, 'This kid can kick it.' I said, 'Put your job on that one big boy?' And he said, 'Sure,' " Meyer said.
Meyer didn't even know who Phillips was and needed him to stand up during a meeting to get a proper introduction.
"If I'm not sure (who Phillips was) then the whole team wasn't sure," he said.
Meyer was pleased with Phillips' work at Alabama, saying his kicks hung in the air around four seconds and were placed around the 5-yard line.
Phillips is a 5-foot-9, 178-pounder who played for Buchholz High School.
Jump pass sniffed out?
Alabama's defense wasn't fooled by Florida's jump-pass attempt, and from an outside perspective it seemed the Tide were ready.
Senior left guard Carl Johnson said his grandmother watched on TV and told him it looked like that Alabama's coaching staff was signaling to the defense to be ready for the jump pass.
Johnson wouldn't question his grandmother, but said it didn't seem like Alabama was prepped for it.
"From the indication on the field, I didn't know they knew," he said. "Especially not with Trey Burton. I'm thinking they would have been thinking heavy run game."
Despite Florida's blowout loss and LSU's miracle win at Tennessee over the weekend, the early betting line has the Gators favored by seven points over the Tigers, according to bodog.com.