The Line: Alabama -9
The top ranked Crimson Tide is set to take on the Florida Gators under the lights this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Kick off is set for 7 pm CST and the game will air on CBS as part of a double header.
Despite winning all of their games by double digits and holding the opposition to 14.3 points per game, the Gators are being overlooked by some.
The Gators, though, found their offense last week against Kentucky. But that’s also the problem — it was Kentucky. The Wildcats aren’t the strongest defensive unit out there. The Gators did introduce a new wrinkle into their offense against Kentucky. I mentioned Trey Burton in an earlier blog so you can read about him there. No one can safely say that the Gators have solved their offensive problems, but it looks like they are figuring things out. Kudos to Urban Meyer for locating another way to create offense.
Florida is a little banged up. They may be without Jeff Demps, but they are still awaiting word on him. Meyer is saying that he is probable. The Gators also have several injuries on their offensive line. I guess we’ll see how healthy they are on Saturday.
Alabama also had a few injuries from their game against Arkansas. Marcel Dareus could barely move in the second half after suffering an injury in the 2nd quarter when one Alabama’s own players took him out. It’s listed as an ankle injury. Greg McElroy was also limping around late in the game. I imagine he will be okay. Dareus is the one to watch out for.
Alabama is coming off of a thrilling, comeback win in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This is the 2nd game of a three week stretch where the Tide takes on Top 15 teams each week. They have the advantage of playing at home this week and the advantage of seeing the Gators before.
McElroy will have to keep his mistakes in check. Alabama can’t afford to squander the same opportunities they did last week against a team like Florida.
Florida will also need to keep their mistakes in check. They didn’t fumble against Kentucky, but had 5 fumbles in the previous three games. Quarterback John Brantley threw his first interception of the year in the Kentucky game. The Gators are ranked 79th in penalties. They average 7 penalties for 50 yards a game right now.
This is still a dangerous football team. They are a quick, aggressive defense as evidenced by their 12 interceptions in four games, although 8 of those came against Miami (OH) and South Florida. Still, it shows how opportunistic this defense is.
I’m not sure if the Gators will be able to get their offense going against Alabama. Can Trey Burton have another big game? Certainly he provides a new person to look out for, but I think Alabama will be ready for him.
Alabama won the last meeting (2005) in Tuscaloosa between these two teams, 31-3. Alabama won the last meeting against the Gators as well. Some of you might remember it.
OUTCOME: Alabama is quite familiar with the Gators scheme. You can’t prepare for everything, but Nick Saban will have his defense ready to take on the multiple looks from the Florida offense. Alabama will send a steady, physical dose of Ingram and Richardson all night and wear the Gators down. Florida is fully capable of knocking Alabama off, especially if they get the ‘Bama defense on its heels early, but I think Alabama is going to come out on top Saturday night.
Final Prediction: Alabama 27, Florida 20
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