GAINESVILLE -- Back in Gainesville. Took me awhile to get out of Columbia, S.C., on Sunday. Sorry to all for not having a live blog of the first basketball game. The Gators defeated Stetson 74-46. More on basketball later. First, a look back at the football game.
Here's a link to today's story in the Miami Herald about the Gators' dominant fourth-quarter defense on Saturday and this season. LINK! One key stat that didn't make it into the paper: The Gators are outscoring opponents 138-36 in the second half of games while the Alabama Crimson Tide is outscoring opponents 157-54 after halftime. That's a scoring-margin difference of one point(103-102), favoring the Gators. Wow! Here's a link to Sunday's game story of Florida 24, South Carolina 14.
Yes, there are two more games left in the regular season, but we're already beginning to focus on the Gators' upcoming game against Alabama. The Pachyderms looked pretty good on Saturday against Mississippi State, defeating the Bulldogs 31-3. Alabama certainly dominated Mississippi State more thoroughly than the Gators, but that is usually the case when Alabama plays a common opponent of the Gators from the SEC West.
Historically, Florida has struggled to victories against SEC West opponents. Alabama rushed for 252 yards against Mississippi State. The Gators had 140 rushing yards in Starkville, Miss. Alabama defeated Arkansas 35-7, allowing just 160 passing yards to Hogs quarterback Ryan Mallet and 61 rushing yards to Arkansas running back Michael Smith. Florida defeated Arkansas 23-20. Mallet threw for 224 yards against the Gators and running back Dennis Johnson had 107 rushing yards.
Alabama's only scare of the season came against an SEC East opponent. Alabama needed two blocked field goals to defeat Tennessee 12-10. Of course, Alabama plays Tennessee every year, so these teams are very familiar with one another.
OK, that's quite enough meaningless comparisions between Florida's and Alabama's common opponents. Check back a little later for Gator Clause's report card of Florida's 8-0 run through the SEC.