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Dainty Florida will roll the rough and rugged Tide

GAINESVILLE -- Big game this weekend up in the ATL. Stubhub expects No.2 Florida (11-1) vs. No.1 Alabama (12-0) to rank in its top 10 list for ridiculously inflated ticket prices. And that's not top 10 for a college football game. That's top 10 regardless of sport. Only Super Bowl and World Series tickets have gone for more. Club seats in the Georgia Dome are pushing $1,300.

Gator Clause isn't leaving Gainesville until Friday night, so I'll have plenty of time to bloggy blog until then. Something a bit odd I just realized. While interning for The Birmingham News, I covered Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson when his Hoover Bucs won a high school state championship. As a preps writer for The Herald, I covered Tebow's state championship in 2005. Pretty cool, huh?

Both Wilson's and Tebow's state championship wins were blowouts by the fourth quarter. The only difference in the two state championship games -- and this has something to do with my officially licensed prediction of the game -- Tebow played nose guard in the fourth quarter for Ponte Vedra Beach Nease. So, that whole idea about UA's rough and rugged style of play being too much for UF's dainty little spread-option offense ... it's nonsense. UF 38, UA 18

Saturday's game will be much more than a contest between Tebow and Wilson, of course. There will be plenty of talented players on the Georgia Dome's artificial turf and we're here to highlight a few important match-ups because, well, like y'all, I'm pretty excited about watching this game...

11) UA cornerback Javier Arenas vs. UF receiver Percy Harvin: Assuming Harvin plays more than a decoy role (I doubt it), this could be one of the best one-on-one match-ups on Saturday. Harvin will play receiver if he does anything. Arenas is looking forward to the challenge. When asked about Harvin this week, Arenas said he expects Harvin will play.

10) UA receiver Julio Jones vs. UF cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Joe Haden: Jones and Jenkins know a little about each other going in. They squared off in a high school all-star game over the summer. Jenkins has three interceptions and leads the team with 10 pass break-ups. Haden is one of the nation's brightest up-and-comers. He's second on the team with 69 tackles and eight pass break-ups. He also has two interceptions. Jones leads UA with 46 receptions for 723 yards and four touchdowns. He's the Crimson Tide's only downfield threat. UA tight end Nick Walker is second on the team in receptions (26 for 262 yards, two TDs).

9) UF quarterback Tim Tebow vs. UA linebacker Rolando McClain: In this corner, the Mac Attack (team-high 82 tackles, 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, three sacks), standing six feet and four inches and weighing in at 249 pounds. Wearing a crimson hat and menacing scowl, Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain. And in this corner, The Chosen One (tougher to take down than the Berlin Wall, 12 rushing touchdowns, third-down conversation machine, 43 career rushing touchdowns), standing six feet and three inches and weighing in at 240 pounds, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and heavyweight CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, Tim Tebow.

8) UF offensive coordinator Dan Mullen vs. UA defensive genius Nick Saban: Florida's offense leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring. The Gators are averaging 46.3 points per game. (That's a big number.) Alabama's defense leads the league in points allowed. The Crimson Tide is allowing 11.5 points per game. (That's a small number.) Florida's offense leads the SEC in total yards (449.4 yards per game). Alabama's defense leads the league in total yards allowed (248.5 yards per game). Something's gotta give, right?

7) UA tackle Andre Smith vs. UF end Carlos Dunlap: NFL scouts (and me) will be watching this match-up. Many consider Smith the best offensive lineman in the nation. Dunlap leads the Gators with nine sacks and is peaking at the perfect time. Sounds a lot like a young Derrick Harvey.

6) UF center Maurkice Pouncey vs. UA nose guard Terrence Cody: Cody is the guy that allows UA linebacker Rolando McClain to fill the gaps and make the tackles. UF leads the SEC in rushing yards per game (237.1 yards per game) and Cody will do his best to limit UF on first down. Cody (6-5, 365 pounds) will be highly motivated for this game. He's from Fort Myers. Pouncey is one of the best young offensive linemen in the country (along with his brother, of course). Maurkice and guard Mike Pouncey will also be highly motivated for this game. The Pounceys' stepfather, Robert Webster, who was severely injured (lost a leg) at work in Lakeland last week, is expected to make the trip to Atlanta for the game.

5) UA tight end Nick Walker vs. UF strong safety Ahmad Black: Here's a match-up that will draw my attention. Nick Saban loves to get his tight ends involved and UA will be looking to isolate Walker (6-5, 248-pound senior) in one-on-one coverage against Black, UF's undersized (5-9, 185 pounds) strong safety. Walker is Alabama's second-leading receiver (26 receptions for 262 yards). Black (What a story this kid has turned out to be, right.) leads UF in interceptions with six. Another thing: Getting Black out of the run-box will be one of the top priorities for UA quarterback John Parker Wilson. In the words of Black, "Pick party!"

4) UF linebacker Brandon Spikes vs. UA running backs Glen Coffee, Mark Ingram and Roy Upchurch: UF linebacker Brandon Spikes leads the Gators in tackles (80) and is a finalist for the Nagurski Award. UA's trio of power running backs are all downhill runners. Coffee is averaging 6.2 yards per carry (102.9 yards per game). Ingram and Upchurh are just as tough to take down. Expect some big collisions, folks.

3) UA's sure hands vs. UF's defensive thievery: UF has forced 21 turnovers during its current eight-game winning streak and converted 16 of those turnovers into touchdowns. Alabama has lost nine fumbles this season and quarterback John Parker Wilson has only thrown five interceptions. Alabama cannot afford to turn the ball over.

2) UF nose tackle Lawrence Marsh vs. UA center Antoine Caldwell: The importance of this match-up cannot be overstated. Marsh, recovering from a sprained medial-collateral ligament, has been UF's most reliable interior defensive lineman. Caldwell is a finalist for the Remington Award, given to the nation's best center, and helps pave the way for Alabama's between-the-tackles running game. UA is second in the SEC in rushing yards per game (201.5 yards). Florida is third in the league in rush defense (102.8 yards per game).

1) UF quarterback Tim Tebow vs. UA nose guard Terrence Cody: UF leads the SEC in third-down conversions (48.9 percent). UA leads the league in third-down conversion defense (25 percent). Another interesting statistical comparison: UA leads the SEC in fourth-down conversion (8 of 9, 88.9 percent). UF's defense leads the league in denying teams on fourth down (8 of 21, 38.1 percent).

1A) UA strong-side linebacker Cory Reamer vs. UF scatbacks Jeffery Demps and Chris Rainey: What!? All this hard work in the middle of the night and this is your No.1 match-up of the biggest game in SEC history? I can hear you now, "Goodman, you're an idiot." Well, hear me out first before you leave a snarky comment. UA is allowing an SEC-best 73.6 rushing yards per game, but the Crimson Tide hasn't faced a running game quite like Florida's. That's where Reamer comes in. This guy is fast. Reamer (6-4, 218 pounds, another Hoover High guy) was actually a defensive back in high school. UF leads the SEC in rushing (237.1 yards per game) on account of the team's speedy backfield. With Percy Harvin likely injured, the bulk of UF's rushing responsibilities will fall to Jeffery Demps and Chris Rainey, who, gulp, limped off the practice field on Thursday after reaggrevating his groin pull. Demps and Rainey like to get outside. Reamer will be waiting.

-jo-

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Do you drive and blog at the sametime? Or is the Herald forcing Manny Navarro to drive you to the game since the team he covers is garbage while you blog in the backseat? Make sure Manny wears one of those driver's hats.

Seriously, you and Manny should be making some preseason football bets. Loser has to drive the other to the conference championship game and has to wear the other writer's school colors. You would be driven around at least for the next two years until they figure out Randy Shannon couldn't be a head coach of a Pop Warner team and be successful. Think about it. A blog war on the Herald.

Those are all very good matchups. If Percy cant go look for Moody to get more touches since he matches up better against Alabama's tough physical D.

The KEY to the game as I put in your last blog is FLORIDA's D LINE against ALABAMA's O LINE. If Alabama wins this battle, they win the time of possession, and that means they are having success running the football. So our offense will have less touches and will wear down our D even more. We win that battle and force more 3 and outs, they give our offense more touches and if you do that to our offense no matter how good you are, we will score. We score and Alabama has to play from behind it could be a long day for JPW and Alabama.

ROLLLLL TIDE

ADAM S TIM TEBOW A FIRST ROUNDER?

HE'LL BE DRAFTED TO BE SOME TEAMS TIGHT END NEXT YEAR. FIRST ROUND IS NOT IN HIS FUTURE.

IM NOT TRASH TALKING IM JUST BRINGING MY OPINION TO THE TABLE.

First of all,

He is coming from a spread formation collage team which means he is no where near polished as a qb. Ala alex simth another one of urban meyers qb's. After teams see what matt ryan ( who played pro style at bc) did coming from a prostyle offense, it will be safe to say that no one we'll jeopardize their franchise for another system qb. Now with that being said, tim is to slow to play WR and not durable enough to play running back. Which leaves only one position for him to play, the tight end position. he could excel at that position do to his knowledge for the game and his strength but i see him getting drafted late second early third .

5rings...wrong thread...and why are you even posting on this board?

You're not talking trash? That's exactly what you're doing. Again, if Matt Jones can go No. 21 overall as a WR, Tim Tebow will go in the first round.

I guess I'll have to give you some actual football knowledge instead of just letting you regurgitate the same thing every other Canes fan keeps saying. The NFL is evolving. No longer do QBs only sit on the pocket, RBs only run the ball and WRs only catch the ball. A multi-faceted guy like Tebow, with his talent for the game, demeanor, personality and make-up will be highly coveted by NFL teams.

Tebow will be a first round draft pick and will be utilized by some genius coach as a Wildcat-type quarterback. Perhaps he plays every down...maybe not. Line the guy up next to a pro-style QB and he can throw the ball, run the ball, block or go out as a receiver.

Get your head out of the cloud of hate and the little box of the old NFL and realize this guy is going to make it.

How many of you UF fan's are making the trip to the A this weekend? It's a good damn thing that this game is being played in the dome it's fing cold up here. Oh and might I suggest eating at the vortex, they have the best burgers in Atlanta. Unless you like being yelled at "what ya have" then by all means head down to the varsity. Either way just keep an eye out for the GSP while heading up 75 they sure do like to hand out tickets. Set the cruise control to 80 or 85.

I went in '06 but can't afford to go to both the SEC and National Championship based on the fact that the tickets for the SEC are currently the same price as the BCS!

Atlanta is so much fun though. If anyone is going, check out The Brickery. Great southern food in a fine dining-type restaurant. Caesar Salad Burger was awesome.

AC is right about the GSP...they hawk out on these weekends. Never heard about vortex...would like to try that though if it is that good.

Adam S.

I agree I could see Tebow in a wildcat (single wing) type of offense in the pros, but how much punishment can a quarterback take in the NFL by running an offense that way. Obviously you would not run the wildcat all the time, but I'm just wondering if an NFL team will take a chance on drafting high a quarterback and an offense that could leave a quarterback susceptible to more punishment and injuries than they already experience

Adam S.,

I agree with Rawpimple 100%. It all comes down to line play. If Alabama runs that ball for over 200 yards they win. If not, they can still win IF their secondary can cover for 3 seconds.

I don't think Florida wins unless they run for over 150 yards because Tebow will not have enough time to throw downfield on obvious passing downs.

Also, remember how 'Bama destroyed Florida in '05 during Meyer's first year and had them down 13-0 in '06 before succumbing under 3 Parker Wilson interceptions.

That being said... my pick is:

Florida 35
Alabmama 24

Holy crap! Goody was swinging huge lumber on that post. That was strong. You set the table before the feast like no other can. If that list doesn't get you fired up, you're not fire-up-able.

There are enormous statistical clashes in this game. Will these teams statistical performances meet in the middle and give us a close game? Or is one team more likely to play up to their season averages and serve up a decisive win? Our esteemed author points out many quality match-ups that would suggest this game stays close.

The Reamer v. UF scatbacks is an interesting one. With Harvin banged up Bama fans want to see Reamer and Cody and McClalin have a huge day and put the brakes on Florida's running game. They see no reason why this won't happen. Alas, UF's highly disciplined O-lineman who pull and block like no others. Mr. Reamer please meet Mr. Pouncey or Mr. Hernandez, take your pick.

Fittingly, Tim gets two slots on the list.

My prediction:
Like UF has done better than anyone else, they protect the ball and will continue that pattern tomorrow. If UF's offense plays relatively well, there is no way Bama's offense can keep up with it. Can Bama score more than 28 on this defense? UA has some huge playmakers on defense but Florida's precisely run spread will spread Bama thin.

UF 42
UA 24

Lift,

68 total points!

-jo-

When in Atlanta, eat lunch at Gladys Knight and Ron Winan's Chicken & Waffles.

-jo-

MG - Like I said, I don't know if he'd be strictly a QB or just an all-around roleplayer. Obviously how he continues to progress, the combine, projections, etc. will all factor in. I just wanted to provide a good argument to that hater's statement about Tebow.

Eugene - Are you responding to a post of mine in another thread? Not sure what you're talking about... But anyway, you cannot compare the '05 Gators to the '08 Gators.

When in Atlanta, eat lunch at Gladys Knight and Ron Winan's Chicken & Waffles.

Or

Check out Fat Matts BBQ best in atlanta bar none.

Fatt Matts...That's where I'm headed. Thanks, AtlantaCane!

-jo-

Adam,

I was just throwing out info regarding the prior two meetings since Meyer has been running the spread.

Not only is this not the same '05 Gators team but, more importantly, this is DEFINITELY not the same '05 Bama team.

That team had OUTSTANDING cover people in the secondary and shut down every passing team it played that year... including Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl.

This 'Bama secondary does not cover nearly as well and the zone defenses will not be enough to contain some of the Florida skill people. I saw too many open guys when the Tide played LSU to think they can cover as well as necessary for this game.

Hence, I pick the Gators in a game that should be right around the spread.


5rings...wrong thread...and why are you even posting on this board?

You're not talking trash? That's exactly what you're doing. Again, if Matt Jones can go No. 21 overall as a WR, Tim Tebow will go in the first round.

I guess I'll have to give you some actual football knowledge instead of just letting you regurgitate the same thing every other Canes fan keeps saying. The NFL is evolving. No longer do QBs only sit on the pocket, RBs only run the ball and WRs only catch the ball. A multi-faceted guy like Tebow, with his talent for the game, demeanor, personality and make-up will be highly coveted by NFL teams.

Tebow will be a first round draft pick and will be utilized by some genius coach as a Wildcat-type quarterback. Perhaps he plays every down...maybe not. Line the guy up next to a pro-style QB and he can throw the ball, run the ball, block or go out as a receiver.

Get your head out of the cloud of hate and the little box of the old NFL and realize this guy is going to make it.

Posted by: Adam S. | December 05, 2008 at 09:48 AM


adam s its what ever thread i want it to be.

As for ur why am i on this blog?

1. its a free country
2. Ur blog is on a miami herald website
3. cus i want too

Now u say u have all the football sense in the world but then U say tebow is going to play out the wish bone for his whole career. How dumb is that? let me tell U something the game is not changing its all about pocket qb's with the exception to mike vick. there is not a lot of suceesful running qb's in the leauge know. name 1 or name 2 who mostly run out of the pocket. Vince young got benched because he cant throw down field accurately. Tim tebow is not a better runner then vince.

O yeah before i forget,
matt jones was picked in the first round because of his unbelievable size and quickness. he is 6'6 245 and can run a 4.4 or 4.5. thats why he was drafted so high. tim tebow isnt taller then him nor faster then him so that argument about matt getting picked so why not tebow doesnt fly.

Bam!!!!!
Adam s u are not as smart on football as u think. learn how to take criticism. big baby!!!!

o and i dont hate tebow, i said the man as unbelievable strength and knowlegde for the game. Ill i said was he is going to be a better fit in he nfl as a tight end.

U want me to a basher because u think im such a homer miami fan but the thing is im a fan of sports period im just in love with the U. so make me out to be a hater all u want when i was just trying to have a intellectual conversation about tebow chances in the nfl.

Eugene - Agreed.

5ringz - Not only do I have all the football sense in the world. I know how to read and write, too. Anytime you would like a lesson in spelling, grammar and capitalization, I'd be happy to teach you. I am also very good with reading comprehension, something you apparently struggle with.

Where did I once say Tebow would "play wishbone his whole career?" I simply presented a counter argument to your absolute statement that he'd suck in the NFL. It is one option of what he could do in the league and I didn't even mention wishbone once.

You keep talking about Vick and Young in comparison to Tebow, yet he is nothing like either of them. Nor am I saying he should be like them. These are arguments you create out of thin air to combat me when I am never making those statements in the first place.

Tim Tebow is 6'3", 240 lbs and runs a 4.6 40. Barely different than Jones aside from height. And Jones was drafted as a WR...that's not what I'm talking about for Tebow. My point was that if Jones can be drafted out of position and was only as talented as he was, and Tebow is significantly more talented and, additionally, a much better teammate, human being, etc., he will certainly go in the first round. It was an example, not a comparison.

I'm not "as smart on football" as I think? Laughable. Oh, now we go to name-calling with "big baby." Ain't that the pot calling the kettle!

An intellectual conversation, like you say you want to have, requires being able to speak intellectually. That is something, at least through the computer, you are unable to do well. I am done wasting my time with you. Crawl back in the hole you came out of.

Are you the same 5Ringz f@ggot that is always complaining about Urban and his "negative recruiting." What you do not get is the fact that Urban Meyer is not negative recruiting he is just telling the truth about the U. You should check the racist track record your boy Randy has. He loves telling the kids not to go with a white head coach. He loves using the race card and that is a cold hard fact.

lol exactly u are the dumbest person i have ever encountered on here. Ur something like a colt leader. U need people to believe U know what ur talking about and when some one corrects U get all hot and bothered. Telling people to go run back in a hole. lol How bout a 2 story 4 bedroom 4 bath house that i pay mortgage on. I dont know what a hole looks like. Im rich Bi%^&.lol

Like it or love it their is no genius coach that is going to come off his little magical horse to create a whole new offesnse to compliment tebow. so stay of the meth.

HOW BOUT IM DONE WITH U
LOL ur a funny mad adam s


Are you the same 5Ringz f@ggot that is always complaining about Urban and his "negative recruiting." What you do not get is the fact that Urban Meyer is not negative recruiting he is just telling the truth about the U. You should check the racist track record your boy Randy has. He loves telling the kids not to go with a white head coach. He loves using the race card and that is a cold hard fact.

Posted by: WH | December 05, 2008 at 01:47 PM


no wrong guy. i dont care about urban and his reciurting. He doesn't take guys from us so i can care less. If u say matt patchmen then i say he never belonged to us, he is a trader so u guys can have them. Just know that patchmen isnt such a loyal person.

trader? like baseball cards with his friends?

Trader? Like baseball cards with his friends?

No,
trader like he switched sides. Trader like his father and grandfather played for the U and he goes to the gators. i wonder how dinner is during Christmas in that family.

OOH You mean Traitor!

Um 5rings that is cult leader not colt leader unless you meant that Adam S. is a leader of young male horses.

I think 5 rings needs an editor

lol this aint grammar 101. its having fun on a blog. U guys are 2 serious. loosen up old men

5 rings,is there a 1st grader in that 4 bedroom house of yours to help you with your blog comments?

Gotta second 5 rings on this one.

"I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us."

-Mark Twain

I’m the dumbest person you’ve encountered? LOL look how you react when you are totally and utterly dominated and embarrassed in front of everyone. I know exactly what I’m talking about…you are the one who can’t speak English let alone put together a complete sentence. You think I’m trying to get everyone to disagree with you? No…they just agree with a rational and intelligent person.

Oh wow, now you’re done with me! You’re a joke, 5rings. I’m having a great time with all of this and you are taking it personally. GET OVER YOURSELF. Give it a rest brother.

Jo, no offense, but you would put up something like that considering you often write the wrong words and use spell check on Word to do your corrections. :)

Also, you’re quoting a man about spelling and grammar who used multiple noms de plume rather than his own name, Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

Oh, and here is another quote from "Twain" RE: spelling...

“...simplified spelling is all right, but, like chastity, you can carry it too far.”
- The Alphabet and Simplified Spelling speech, Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Patchan, not Patchmen decided not to go to UM after he attended the UM 48-0 loss to Virginia last year and saw UM players laughing on the sideline and said they had no heart. Current Canes Marcus Forton and Brandon Harris agreed with his statements.
Read it for yourself:

http://www.fanblogs.com/miami/007289.php

Wait before you vultures swoop in and reprimand me! I meant to say what Patchan witnessed contributed to his decision to not attend UM, he did not make his decision right after the Virginia loss.

Nice correction, MG, and you are spot on.

Matt Jones ran a 4.24 at the combine after having an incredible workout at the Senior Bowl. That's why he went in the first round.

5IsAMouthful......your relevance continues to diminish....

GO GATORS

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