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Gator Clause swaps questions with an Alabama beat writer ... and things get physical!

GAINESVILLE -- OK, things didn't physical, but I'm pretty sure there are a few Bammers out there today who would love nothing more than to tear my ears off. Oh, well. That's the price you pay when you work for The Miami Herald and someone asks you if people in South Florida still dislike Nick Saban. LINK! (No clue when my questions will be posted. Just keep checking, I guess.) 

Here are the five questions I posed to Gentry Estes of the Mobile Press-Register. Gentry is Mobile's Alabama beat writer and does fine work, darn fine work. Full disclosure, Gentry and I went to the same high school in good ol' Irondale, Ala., but we didn't get to know each other until last season around this time. 

GATOR CLAUSE: Getting pressure on Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy is the key to limiting Julio Jones. Little has change along Florida's defensive line since last season. (Suspended DE Carlos Dunlap has split time his entire career.) How does Alabama's offensive line this season compare to the one last year?

GENTRY ESTES: First off, last year's line was better. How could it not be with two NFL players on there and the Outland winner at left tackle? But Alabama assistant Joe Pendry deserves credit for taking a patchwork group of replacements and making a cohesive line good enough to produce a Heisman candidate running back. The Tide has played to this line's strengths. While last year's offense used more of direct running style, this year's line works more on the edges, pulling and trapping and using the fact that the current linemen -- while not as physical -- are a bit more athletic than the previous group.

Pass protection has been solid much of the season, but left tackle James Carpenter -- a JUCO transfer who committed to Iowa State out of high school -- is not Andre Smith over there. Auburn whipped him a time or two. And even without Dunlap, Florida certainly has the weapons to give him a hard time. Senior Mike Johnson is the best of the bunch at left guard, but he's been slowed recently by a few nagging injuries. This should definitely be a concern for Alabama, especially since the line struggled at Auburn. It's hard to see the Tide beating the Gators if that doesn't improve.

GATOR CLAUSE: Trent Richardson is a great back. Will Alabama lose anything if Mark Ingram is limited?

GENTRY ESTES: I don't think so. I've been saying all season that Ingram could win the Heisman and he might no be the most talented back on his own team. Richardson is a legitimate stud. He's fast enough to break one and strong enough to run through tackles. He has also improved over the course o the season in the little ares like pass protection. He's got fresher legs at this point in the season, and I think that was evident against Auburn. Florida will wind up seeing a lot of Richardson, whether Ingram is 100 percent or not.

GATOR CLAUSE: Will Nick Saban's head explode if he loses to Urban Meyer again?

GENTRY ESTES: Saban will explode if Alabama doesn't cover the opening kickoff properly, so that's guaranteed, win or lose. But there's no question that last year's SEC title game stung him and the team. It was different because, unlike the Utah game, Alabama couldn't really point to anything it did wrong to lose. The Tide did what it wanted to do in that game, which was force Tebow to beat them through the air. It's just that Tebow was good enough to do it anyway. A lot has been made about Alabama's inability to finish in the fourth quarter, but I'm not buying that. I think that was coaching rhetoric to get guys motivated this year. Truth of the matter is Alabama was beaten last year by one o the college game's all-time great quarterbacks, who made plays when they needed to be made.

GATOR CLAUSE: Alabama safety Mark Barron is one of my favorite players in the SEC. Is there something about him I don't know about that would make me like him even more?

GENTRY ESTES: Barron is a big-time athlete, who played about every position someone can play in high school. If he gets a pick, he's a very dangerous return guy. What you may not know is that he is extremely soft-spoken and shy of the field. He gave very few interviews as a recruit, and prep coaches predicted that he wouldn't talk at all when he got to Alabama. To his credit, Barron has met with the media on multiple occasions in Tuscaloosa and done well with it.

GATOR CLAUSE: Rolando McClain will be the best defender in the Georgia Dome on Saturday. Who wins in the open field, McClain or Tebow?

GENTRY ESTES: We'll find out soon enough, I guess. I know Tebow's the real deal, but so is McClain. Hes the throwback linebacker that's tough as nails and loves contact. But what separates McClain from most is his intelligence. In my opinion, he's the MVP of Alabama's team and it's really not that close.



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NOTRE DAME called and said they're sorry but they don't need a WARDEN they need a COACH.

Straight football talk no heisman nor DUI bulls--t. Jo that's why I read your columns;-)

*Crickets chirping*

*Crickets chirping*

Man this dump is hollow. Maybe you should hang a big flashing sign in front of it that says "Eat at Jo's." Pfffffffft.......

You should get "The Curse of Kehoe" to indorse this place. He's always a tone-setter around these joints.

In my professional opinion, I think 305 and rawpimple need some help. 305 and pimplehead have a serious anger management problem.
I also believe pimplehead and 305 know the end is near (with Tim, the defense and the WARDEN gone) it's back to being a OLE MISS or even worse VANDY and they can't handle it.

Jo -- there was talk at the beginning of the week that Ingram was banged up. Is he injured? Surprised no one has brought that up.

great article jo, i liked his perspective. good analysis.


clearly the canes fans who have nothing better to do than talk trash on a gator blog have the serious problem. those guys have done nothing but defend the ridiculous stuff (meth, waffle house, warden, rural liar) those guys say on here. also, Brantley is a stud and UF currently has the #1 recruiting class coming in. were not going anywhere...clearly you canes fans cant handle that...

cane losers are ALL TALK... have been for years.

make it to Tampa in DECEMBER you whining pansies...oh,,,, and learn how to tackle...oh...and get a real coach not a clearance rack coach

bama might be able to 'talk' the 'talk' (mostly trash) but Florida will always 'walk' the 'walk' so =P bama!

CANDYCANE Fans are so prodictable. Please, have some dignity and remove yourselves from the blogging in the MIGHTY GATORS blogs. Become relavant in the A** conference and maybe, just maybe you can hang with the GATORS. COME ON MAN!!!!! GO GATORS.

Jo -- there was talk at the beginning of the week that Ingram was banged up. Is he injured? Surprised no one has brought that up.

Ingram got a hip pointer and missed most of the 4th quarter against Auburn. Word is he practiced fine this week but you really won't know if he's limited until game time.

Sardi214: Did you go to UF? Learn how to spell. It's predictable not prodictable.

Many great coaches have said that if your rivals don't talk about or hate you, you're doing something wrong or you just don't matter that much. I bet none of the Gator nation faithful spend much time on a UM site spewing BS. So any of you gator haters talking trash, please don't stop. With every jeleous jab you take at the Gator Greats, you only confirm your envy. We really don't care what you've done in the past and today U JUST DON'T MATTER.
Have a nice day!

My husband is da best coach in college football. he knows how to manage dat clock. he is a great coach. canes have only lost 62 games in his 3 years as head coach. he got dose northwestern kids to come. he got like 15 coordinators fired. he is going to get an extension. first he is offered the norte dame job. he be offered a free one night stay at the holiday inn for 3 years of coaching. he is incredible. he hasnt made the acc championship yet but it has helped the canes more dan you will ever know.

Jo - my friends from Utah think UF will kill Alabama, b/c bama struggles when blitzed - they just fall apart?

How hard is it for Miami fans that in their comeback season they are relegated to go to the Champs Sports Bowl. I know its a bowl but talk about irrelevant...bet the recruits love this.

TEABAG 2 the Phillipines, RURAL 2 Notre Dame, CHARLIE WEAK 2 Louisville, 'frank the tank' DUNLAP 2 rehab, and GAYtors back 2 mediocre..

Ko Classic,

If you haven't noticed every year for the last 3 yrs we have seen progress...

2007 = 5-7
2008 = 7-6
2009 = 10-3 (maybe 9-4)
2010 = ?

Prepare to shutter up those trailors in 2010 and 2011 boys!

Imagine a low pressure system rolling off the coast of Western Africa, gradually building steam over the Atlantic until... Boom! Cat 5 baby!

CANES in 2010=BCS
GAYtors in 2010=independence bowl


If the CoCANE fans had a crystal ball to predict the future, they wouldn't of hired their last two coaches.

Good blog Mr. Goodman. This will be a great game against a worthy opponent.

Canes fans please get a reality check as you sound more and more like Jets fans: Insanely childish with overinflated egos. I keep trying to muster up some respect for the Canes, but it's so hard with their fan's constant whining and silly insults. Win the ACC just once and then get back to us. How about maybe just getting to the ACC Championship game? This wait till next year stuff gets old after a while.

Good insight...what was/is his prediction on the outcome?

nothing but TALK from the silly cane fans....

What have they done in the last 8 years?...NOTHING


the funniest thing about these "canes" fans on here is that none of them went to UM. NONE. they will never understand what it feels like to support your own alma mater. hence the ridiculous comments. most have probably never left "the 305" and never will. they live in west kendall and root for a team they have NOTHING to do with.

gators by 3...

also, i agree with FREETRUTH. i try to like the canes and root for their program bc they have great athletes and shannon is a respectable guy, but the fans are such low life garbage it makes it really tough. the fans who actually went to UM arent that bad though...

u GAYtor numb skulls just don't get it, WE LIKE TO BE HATED (it's a 'U' thing). We're getting our swag back, so look out.

Start boarding up and strapping down the trailers meth heads. And you GAYtors who don't live in a trailer, you're in a safe place anyways, YOUR MOM'S BASEMENT.

There's a 'category 6 STORM' brewing down south and it's gonna be a doozy, (as in a 6th NC).

PS. they're filming already for the next documentary of domination (any documentaries on the GAYtors?) NOPE.

BTW, heard there's a 1 minute segment on ESPN about the GAYtors last couple of years and it's called
'jesus and the felons'.

They did make a movie about the GAYtor alumni and it was called
'men who stare at goats'.

Who do the Canes play this weekend?..........enough said.....


What the heck...where are you?.....must be traveling to Atlanta? ...this thread is as old as methusala!...give us a new post already!

Jo where are you?

Jo where are you?



I actually like Miami as a program, just not most of the Cane fans who post on this GATOR blog. I still think it must be frustrating to have a breakout year and go to the Champs Sports Bowl in a year that the ACC was incredibly weak.

Enjoy your last game under the 'WARDEN' and his sidekick 'charlie weak', and enjoy the documentary on the 'U', a true dynasty.
Not a flash in the pan like the GAYtors, who have a good season here (spurrier), a season there (teabag).

I don't think anyone in Gator country "hates" the canes and their fans Envy...this is a fabrication of your imagination.

You're right about the run 20 years ago..it was pretty sweet. I don't think the documentary is going to be that flattering though. The University and the Athletic dept refused to participate. Read Corben's comments at this link.


I think you've got some things to be proud of, but this documentary is not going to put things in a very positive light.

the documentary is about what a thug program "the U" was. be proud. hypocrite.

Hey pen!s envy - you talk about the gators being meth heads and living in hill billy hell but what is miami? It is an extension of the third world rift raft that make it up and is aka the co-caine capital. The funny thing is, is that you probably live in haileah or 8th street and a duplex that is slated for foreclosure as you squat it out.

GAYniesville the meth capital of Florida.
Also, why is everyone missing a digit or two?
Do they have any dentists in hicksville??

what do fingers have to do with teeth? check your spanish/english dictionary more carefully before you post on here.

ill be at the sports exchange in coral gables if anyone wants a couple free shots during the game. been a great season either way, hopefully we can pull it off. GO GATORS!!!

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