« The Dee Finley Saga -- Why You Shouldn't Expect A Suspension | Main | Brissett to start against Auburn on Saturday »

10 Things Florida Must Do To Beat Alabama

This is it. This is the week we find out if Florida is for real. 

Entering Saturday's game, No. 3 Alabama is the favorite after embarrassing No. 12 Florida last year in Tuscaloosa. But things have changed in Gainesville. Will Muschamp is in his first year at the helm, and the Gators' defense is ranked in the top 10 in the country. It's a nationally televised game in primetime between two coaches who know each other like the back of their hands. 

This is why they play the game, for weekends and games like this. While the line has shifted toward Florida from Alabama (-6) down to (-3.5) in some places, not many people expect the Gators to have a chance.

Stewart Mandel of SI.com"Theoretically, the Tide face a significant road test this week at Florida. In reality, those teams are as evenly matched as LSU and West Virginia were. — has already declared Alabama the victor.

All the talking heads on College GameDay this morning picked Alabama. 

But there's the feeling of upset in the air down here in central Florida. (Or, maybe it's just that cold front that sneaked into town overnight.)

Here's 10 things Florida must do tonight to beat Alabama and give Will Muschamp a statement win:

Run the ball: It all starts here. Florida is first in the SEC in rushing offense (259 yards per game), while Alabama's defense is first against the run. Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps have been tearing opposing defenses apart through four weeks. But they haven't played a defense like they will face tonight. In its only four SEC losses over the past four years, Alabama has faced a more than 2-to-1 run-pass ration in those games. The Tide have given up just one 100-yard rusher in their last 50 games; the key to beating them is pounding the rock. 

Stop the run: Every game comes down to these first two. They're fundamentals. But they also have greater importance in this matchup. Alabama backs Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy are better than anything Florida has seen thus far, and together they average more than 200 yards a game on the ground. Both are big, bruising backs that the Gators will struggle to bring down one-on-one. But to win, Florida must stop, or at least slow, Richardson and Lacy and force A.J. McCarron to beat them in the air.  

Get others involved: Florida has had success leaning heavily on Rainey and Demps, but more production will be needed from other positions against Alabama's defense. Tight end Jordan Reed and receiver Andre Debose, sat out last week's win at Kentucky with minor injuries and should be ready. Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said he will empty the kitchen sink tonight, meaning players like Reed and Debose should finally see an increased role in the offense apart from blocking for UF's speedy backs.  

Force a turnover or two: Historically, turnovers have been the ultimate deciding factor in this rivalry. Florida couldn't recover from two giveaways in its first three drives last season, losing a laugher in Tuscaloosa 31-6. The Gators want to force three per game. But if they can keep the score close, and as long as they don't give it away on offense, just one or two should do the trick tonight.  

Avoid the big play: Apart from turnover margin, the only stat Muschamp routinely emphasizes is big-play ratio. The Gators have done a nice job this season of limiting the game-changing big play. But Nick Saban and Alabama are known for it, especially against Florida. The Crimson Tide pulled away from Arkansas last week after McCarron threw a touchdown on a fake field goal, and receiver Marquis Maze has made a living throwing touchdown passes against the Gators.  

Start fast: The Gators haven't played from behind once this season, scoring on their first possession three out of four games. A young, inexperienced team led by an emotional coach needs to play with a lead and avoid getting behind early. Florida couldn't recover from a first-quarter 14-0 hole last season. Forcing John Brantley to win a game through the air is a recipe for disaster. 

Tackle: Another fundamental, another important one. When Richardson and Lacy get to the second level, the Gators defense needs to swarm to the ball and wrap up. If allowed to the third level, both running backs will run straight through Florida's diminutive secondary, breaking the type of long run the Gators 'D' must avoid. Florida will likely bring an eighth defender into the box on obvious running downs to try and slow the Alabama run game.

Take advantage: Alabama's linebacker, C.J. Mosley, is out for tonight's game. Arguably the team's fastest linebacker, Mosley's absence should help Demps and Rainey find some space. While everyone is enamored with their ability to get to the edge, Demps and Rainey truly beat you when they get north and south. Expect Alabama to try to keep them running laterally, which will be increasingly tougher without Mosley. Florida must take advantage.  

Watch the screens: The Tide make a living in the screen game. Florida's defensive line has shown a knack for exploding off the ball and penetrating into the backfield, usually a dominant trait. Expect Alabama to try and exploit their aggressiveness.

Win the battle of field position: Weis said this week that punting isn't necessarily always a bad thing. He's absolutely right. In this game, which could very well be a slugfest decided late in the fourth quarter, winning the battle of field position will be imperative. The play of both team's special teams units should play a large role in this one. 

If Florida can do all these things, then its chance of pulling off the upset increase significantly. I just don't think they're ready to do it yet. The Gators are young, and while sometimes that can be an advantage, it won't be against the experienced Crimson Tide. Muschamp will make sure they don't get blown out of The Swamp, however. 

Prediction: Alabama 24, Florida 20. 

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e2014e8bf38f61970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 10 Things Florida Must Do To Beat Alabama:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Bama is great, but I think the Gators will surprise everybody tonight with an upset. All the pressure is on Bama to win. Brantley is going to have his "break out" game tonight. GO GATORS!

Mike, nice post. We want to read more from you bro. Keep'em coming. Once every three weeks isn't enough. Make Gator Clause come back to life!

Noles have played one nobody. Gator trash has played 4.

You will be exposed tonight, Gator maggots.

Brantley suuucks. Gator trash is

EXPOSED.

YOU ARE THE REASON RANKINGS SHOULD NOT BE MADE TILL THE 6th WEEK.

#12? BWAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

Easley is a thug punk just like all Gatr trash. Bostic too.

Muschump is wilting.

Gate thug trash. Same as it ever was.

Garbage stays in the Swamp.

Top recruits? Re-load? Driskel a stud?

You are full of manure, Gatr maggots.

All off-season we heard how great Driskel was. Let's see.

All we really know is Gatrs are sooooo overrated. Playin your typical weak schedule will do that.

Call me when you get to 5-7. Shouldn't be too long now.

Don't worry. You guys are still National Signing Day National Champions.

BWAAHAHAHAHAH. Seems those recruits ain't so good.

Man, what is there to do in Trailerville when the Turd girders suck and the meth lab runs dry?

Let that be a lesson to all Gatr maggots. Don't load up on patsies and think you are good.

You suck. You haven't seen bottom yet.

Amazing thing, Matt finally puts up some news and the first 6 posts are by the same idiot cane troll.
Well Bama won big, our young players are not ready yet.
We don't have a true RB, the Demps and Rainey show didn't work against the top D in the land. And we lost our QB in the first half, there went any chance of a come back.
We will regroup and give it our best next week.
We play in the SEC, we know what that means, no excuses.
Go Gators!!

So that is the excuse? Young players?

Where, Gatr maggot? You are loaded with seniors and juniors. Plus, with all your ALLEGED top receuiting, it shouldn't matter, right? I mean, that is all we hear from February or August. About how these recruits are the best and can play right away. Guess not. Guess Gatr trash, the least respected fans in the nation, are full of it.

You were EXPOSED. Playing four patsies should never give you something to gloat about unless you are a dumb Gatr 'neck.

Barely out of September and your season is over.

BWAAHAHAAAH

The Excuse Express is leaving the station. All Gator fans board through gate "Loser."

ITS OVA.

You don't fool ME:

"You were saying??????" is just the new nickname for that trolling coward, UFelony30andmore. He keeps coming up with aliases because he doesn't want us to bring up the Canes and their miserable record. We should create a blog just for you, since that's all you do. I guess you feel safe coming out of hiding (though under a pseudonym) since the Canes won (after struggling) to the mighty Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman.

You know what? We got beat by a much better team. We got outmuscled at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Our fast, finesse backs couldn't run against Alabama's physical D, and our run defense was weak (except for the 3rd quarter). BUT, John Brantley played like an NFL caliber qb, with one obvious mistake that resulted in 6 for Bama. Brantley's injury is the worst part of this loss, not so much because of our season (doesn't look like we can win the SEC playing like that) but because he has shown so much improvement.

So we're 4 - 1 and it doesn't look good for us against LSU right now. Maybe we're not that much better than last year. But neither are you "You were saying??????"... you're just the same trolling loser walking around Orlando wearing your Cane gear (even though you're not from the 305, but the 954)... walking around angry because all the Gators get all the chicks and you lead a sad, miserable life.

Even if we do suck, we don't suck as bad as the U, or you!!!

You are so stupid it's pathetic. Bama was favored and they won, so what. We move on.
The only thing that is over is your program in the Gables, UM, the University of Mediocre.
Go ahead and keep making a fool of yourself, that is what you do best. At the end of the season the Gators will be better than the canes, again. They already are.

Yep. I'm dumb as rocks but UFelony was still my safety school.
And Bama didn't just win. They pounded and EXPOSED you for the fraud you are.

ITS OVA. 5-7. Here come duh Gatrs.

I was saying you are beyond dumb
I was saying you are delUsional
I was saying its sucks to be U
It's always great to be a Florida Gator

Yep. You keep worrying about me while your team implodes.

Trailerville without a good football team is a cesspool on fire.
EXPOSED.

Playing only 4 away games a year avoiding OOC competition is what cowards do. Sure it gives you a phony ranking to start the season but it is counterfeit and lacks honor.
UF is heading for mediocrity. Even Clemson will out recruit them not to mention LSU FSU and ALABAMA.

We'll be mediocre when we end up playing UM in a bowl game!

UFelony already is mediocre. Overrated and EXPOSED. Top recruits, top facilities, 90K screaming 'necks.

All that sure helps beat FAU but once you play a team out of the bottom 50, you get pounded.

Same ol' sorry Gatards. "Hello, Trailer repair?"

SteveB, the phonies and cowards are your canes, playing the schedule they do and unable to compete. Getting payoffs for years, getting improper benefits for years and still unable to come out of mediocrity. We are recruiting just fine thank you, it is you who will suffer with sanctions. Worry about your sorry program and let the superior one be.
Get back to us when you play #1 and #2 back to back, ok that is unfair cause it'll never happen. How about when you play a top 5 team, ok, ok, unfair again, that will never happen. Why are you here posting again?

Wow, Gatr tard. Good for you. You get a medal for playing back to back difficult opponents? I know that is not how the Gatards typically schedule and Bucktooth Varmint Foley is busy seeing if he can get out of the LSU game and make sure nothing like this ever happens again in the future.

If you won NC's for playing difficult teams back to back, then La Tech would win it every year....but they don't.

You got pasted. You will get pasted again this week.

All the supposed top recruits amount to a hill of beans.

You were.....EXPOSED. Frauds. Trailerpark frauds. Meth-head frauds.

The Teblow era is OVA.

You are insecurity masquerading as delusion.

You have all of the resources of Texas (absent the academics which is why they would never slum it by joining the SlezEC) yet you fail time and again.

100 years of cowardice and failure. 100 churches. 100 felons.

All these cane retards posting here have a point. After all we did lose to Bama, who ever heard of Bama, they must not be very good.
See the canes lose to powerhouse top notch teams like Maryland and Kansas State. Check your polls and year in and out these two teams are top 5. Now losing to K State is no shame, after all, Arthur and Bryce went there, so did Frank Haith, why would they leave UM if not to go to a top program.

Hey Matt, how out some news.
Update on the injury front?
Thoughts about the next game?
If you give us more info maybe more Gators will post, as it is now it's just a few of us and the same unemployed cane troll with several aliases and multiple posts.

K-State would pound you.

way to whitewash and sugar-coat it. You "lost" to Bama? How about, you were pounded. Blown off the field. Embarassed at home. Playing out of your league.

Delusion. It's what passes for critical thinking at the public diploma mill.

way to whitewash and sugar-coat it.
Gators lost to Bama
canes lost to Maryland and K State

DelUsion is what passes for critical thinking at Sun tan U, UM, The University of Mediocre

Hey Matt, you haven't found anything new out there to blog about?

Wow. The Trash train continues to roll.

Nice going, Easley. More assaults, arrests, and drug use than in every other school combined.

The trash belongs to you, UFelony. Trailertrash galore.

If it weren't for trash thug culture, Trailerville would have no culture at all.

LOL Gators lose to a top 3 team and possible eventual national champion and Canes lose to Kansas State, some scrub team, at home. Which team would I rather be?

I will be enjoying those sanctions coming and Al Golden defecting to another school. The Canes ship is burning and sinking at an uncontrollable rate.

Meanwhile the future is bright here. Keep enjoying our success!

If it were just a loss maybe your post would have merit. But it was a pounding Gatr maggot. You belong nowhere near the top 25. Bright future? Based in what?

No WRs.
No OLs.
No RBs.
No DBs.

Muschump melting down on the sideline shows why Texas gladly showed him the door. You crappy academic standing is why Texas laughed at the notion of the SleazEC.

When the sanctions are manageable, what will you do then? Your 5-7 record will speak volumes about your insecurity and epic FAIL.

Miami Moron keeps projecting his and his team's inadequacies.
Bama is no K State
LSU aint no Maryland
Miami has more trailer parks than Gainesville
More homeless people, more crime, more illiterate and unemployed people too.
This explains your obssession with all things Gator.

Matt, the LSU game is tomorrow and you still have an article about what to do to beat Bama. Pathetic.

Gainesville is a sewer. Culture is oppossum tagging.

"More" trailerparks? Not on a per capita basis, trailer maggot. "More" crime? Sheeet. The UFelony football team alone takes the crown.

YOu are insecure, douche.,

Or let's just compare apples to apples. Compare Trailerville to any college town other than Knoxville or Starkville and the true filth of Trailerville comes shining through.

You are a joke, UFelony, in so many different ways.

Home of the useless diploma.

And you wonder why Matt doesn't post more often. Get a freaking clue. This isn't a football blog, it's a depository for db's to post the same hate over and over. You couldn't talk football if your life depended on it. Matt, do the Gator Nation a favor and blow this blog up.

Ok. Your team is an over-rated catastrophe. Gatrs have no depth, little skill and no top stars. You have been drinking your Urban Kool-aid for so long you believe it anytime someone says the Gatrs are a good team.

They aren't. EXPOSED.

Can we hear about those pre-season rankings? A joke like Gatr Nation.

EXPOSED:

79-21;

"this Gator team doesn't have the talent or depth to compete with the elite teams in the conference or country."

"We're just soft out there. We've gotta get tougher as a team."

I agree you might as well blow up this blog. First Matt doesn't post any timely stuff and then he allows one loser cane troll with different handles to take over and post the same crap over and over.

Thin- skinned? Can dish but can't take it? Especially when the reality of your crap team and garbage school are exposed as frauds?

Be a man you Pansy. It is Gatr maggots like you that give the rest of you Gatr
maggots a bad name.

Soft, weak and exposed. When is the Furman game?

Floriduuuuuuuh.

Florida sucks

Where cowards live. A little adversity and the most disgusting fanbase in the country disappears.

Typical Gatr trash.

Posted by: Worthless diploma

hilarious....you go to the USF game last year? 15k strong,....

I know I saw the 'necks walking out in the 3rd Q against Missy St. Homecoming. Nice support. I guess having the most bloated university in the state is not enough to keep the cesspool filled for the whole game.

Posted by: Sucking Gatr Trash

Well thanks for watching the game and supporting the Gators.

Golly, Gomer. Thanks. Aww shucks. That was sweet.
Now go get your meth cake.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Who's having the big tail gate for the Bronco game? Should be fun celebrating one of our NCs in the rental home of the canes...They are removing the tarps, correct?

Not even Gatr garbage fans have the lack of class to attend. It is a non-event. No one cares.

Of course, with the dumpster fire that is the current football team in Trailerville, this is all Gatrm maggots have to look forward to. Two teams with combined 1-8 records.

What was that Gatr maggots were fond of saying to Cane fans? "Stop living in the past?" This isn't the mid-2000's. Timmy Teblow ain't coming back."

Can we get a post on the 5 things the Gatr maggots have to do to beat LSU? Errr........to beat Auburn? Errrr... Furman?

Timmy is coming back - he's is starting in the NFL and his college accomplishments along with the rest of the 2008 Gators are being celebrated by YOUR landlords. If you and the rest of cane fans could sell out some home games then YOUR landlord wouldn't have to come up with these hokey marketing ploys. See you on the 23rd, I'll be wearing a Marino jersey.

I hope Timmy can suit up against Auburn so they don't deliver another ass-blistering.

The Gatr program is a burning dumpster fire and right behind it is the Floridumb academic program.

It truly sucks, to be, a FloridUH Gatard.

When is the Furman game?

Matt Watts...........APB for Matt Watts........Matt Watts MIA........Matt Watts either post something or close this blog, wouldn't hurt to police it better.........but dude, where are you, what are you doing?????

Posted by: Sucking Gatr Trash

The burning dumpster is in Coral Gables. Everyone in the country know is. Can't sell out games, can't win and ACC game, sanctions looming, golden bolting, but you got swagga, pro bowlers, etc.

Cant' sell out games? Hmmmm..... Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah, it has always been true in Miami. Even while they were winning NC's and pounding Gatr maggot ass.

So what? What exactly is the point, ye holder of the worthless diploma?

You do know that the Canes have pounded the Gatr maggots 3 out of the last four times, riiiiiiiiiight?

Floridumb is in a downward spiral through the sewer. If it were a stock it would be pennies and the brokers would all be screaming "SELL, SELL, SELL."

Muschump won't be around much longer. Urban faked a heart attack to get out of that dump and away from the most disgusting fans in the country. He will go to Penn State where people have class.

Unlike you, Gatr maggots.

"Where have I heard that before?"

you mean like

trailers, worthless diploma,Canes have pounded the Gatr maggots 3, swag, pro bowlers, 5 rings and so on

Noticed you left our can't win the ACC.

"He will go to Penn State where people have class."

You mean Golden, right?

you are humorless and so very uncreative, Gatr maggot. I know that diploma is worthless but in 7 years of undergrad they did not teach you anything about irony, humor, satire?

Dee Finley said, "this place is a dump. I'm audi." Couldn't have said it better myself. With all the 5 star transfers and 5 star flame-outs and never-made-its, that Gatr team is a raging dumpster fire.

Seems like all the Gatr maggot fans have to eat yardbird again. And not just for Thanksgiving.

You Gatr maggots truly are the most disgusting fan-base in all college football.

Gainesville without a winning football team = death by meth.

Posted by: Curse of Ron Zook

"You Gatr maggots truly are the most disgusting fan-base in all college football"

youtube miami fans fighting
youtube child funneling at cane game

YouTube the inside of all the Pentecostal churches in a 5 mile radius in Trailerville. That is more disgusting than any fight...unless it involves the Gatard football felons. They have perfected felony battery.

Ahhhhhhh.... It's so easy with you Gatards.

100 years of mediocrity and cowardice.

Since you are all things cane, I am on stubhub looking to buy seats for the Gator celebration next Sunday at your rented home field. What are the best seats to watch Tebow and the halftime celebration? Or should I just pop bottles like Nevin at LIV? Will you be working? Let me know what section and I will buy some peanuts from you.

Losers go to NFL games. Gatr losers go to NFL games to live in the past.

Course, that's all you have Gatr maggots.

Take your worthless diploma with you. It should be good for a bag of peanuts.

"Losers go to NFL games"

What does that say about fans who celebrate pro bowls and td streaks?>

Hey orange and blue, don't waste your time with this cane idiot, I stopped responding to him a long time ago. You know what they say, you cannot argue with an idiot. Let him post by himself, thanks to Matt Watts this blog has been dead prior to the Bama game. Might as well take it down.

Posted by: Take your trash to the cane blog

True.

The comments to this entry are closed.