The biggest news of the week so far in Gatorland was the arrest of starting slot receiver Chris Rainey for “aggravating stalking”. To make a long story short, Rainey texted a threat to his on and off girlfriend of 3 years after he left her house Monday night following a 10 minutes conversation/argument. The text in question said “time to die”. For more details on that story follow the link. Yesterday offensive coordinator Steve Adazzio said that Rainey was ”not part of the team right now”. This story is still unravelling and the only thing that is sure right now is that Rainey will not be playing at Tennessee this week. He could quite possibly be kicked off the team, but it is also possible he will be suspended indefinitely. Rainey had contributed 6 receptions for 34 yards along with 16 yards rushing on 4 carries in one and a half games. He was knocked out of the USF game before halftime with a concussion. Rainey’s loss is not significant in terms of statistics, but he was a veteran leader in an inexperienced group of wideouts. He was being counted on to have a big year as the coaching staff was working to get him the ball more often in open spaces. He will be replaced by uber talented freshmen Andre Debose and Robert Clark. Both of these players could very well end up being better receivers than Rainey was, but as of now they have 1 combined catch at UF. I wouldn’t be surprised if Omarius Hines became more involved in Rainey’s absence. Meyer hinted at this in his Wednesday presser and it would make sense as Omarius is a reliable target who matches up well with linebackers.
Another setback for Florida is a reported bug that has affected 2 members of the team, freshmen CB Cody Riggs and sophomore RB Mike Gillislee. For those that might remember last year’s game against Kentucky, the Gators played with over a half dozen guys that were either recovering from or playing with the flu. So let’s hope this is contained and both guys can come back to play Saturday.
The good news is that the offensive line is mending, slowly but surely. Starting LT Xavier Nixon, who played a little against USF, is expected to start against Tennessee after full week of practice. RG James Wilson is expected to resume full practice today after swelling in his knee made him miss most of the game against USF. The only missing player would be back up LT Matt Patchen, who has been out with a wrist injury. It is unclear at this point, thanks to the veil of secrecy that has been dropped over Gainesville when it comes to player personnel information, how long Matt will be out. Originally Meyer said it would be a matter of a couple weeks, when those weeks passed he then said Patchen would be out for about a month, and now there’s talk from the “insider” community than Matt’s wrist injury might be very serious and he could be out for the remainder of the season. We will have to wait for any definite news on that.
Will Hill should get to play for the first time against Tennessee as starting safety. I use the term “should” wishfully since nothing is certain with Meyer. It is another mystery why Meyer has kept him on the bench so far. Speculation is rampant and most of it points toward attitude problems and academic issues, some have hinted at an NCAA investigation but that seems baseless. It all remains speculation at this point. Meyer said ealier in the week that Hill would play if he was ready to play, whatever that means.
Coming up next, week 3 preview Florida vs Tennessee
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Written by The Gator Great