If Alabama is to repeat as National Champions this season, it will have done so surviving a rugged three-game gauntlet known as Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina.
Game two of that stretch comes this Saturday evening (7 p.m. CT, CBS) in Bryant-Denny Stadium when the Crimson Tide plays host to the 7th ranked Florida Gators.
After escaping Fayetteville last Saturday afternoon with a 24-20 victory over then 10th ranked Arkansas, Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC) will again have its hands full this weekend.
Florida (4-0, 2-0 SEC) enters Tuscaloosa fresh-off a 48-14 win over SEC East foe Kentucky last weekend.
With the much talked about Tim Tebow now a member of the Denver Broncos, the quarterbacking duties have fallen on the shoulders of John Brantley, who will look to mimic Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet’s first half performance from a weekend ago in attacking a young Alabama secondary.
For Brantley, the key is not to duplicate Mallet’s second half, where Alabama picked off Mallett twice in the fourth quarter to score the victory. The Gators will also look to backup QB Trey Burton and running back/kick returner Jeff Demps to move the ball downfield.
On defense, the Gators will have their hands full with the two-headed monster in running backs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, so look for Florida to force senior QB Greg McElroy to have to throw the ball more often than not to move ‘Bama on offense.
“I think it’s important for us as a team right now to make improvement, and I think to do that everybody needs to understand the kind of intensity that you need to have so that you can improve,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban told Rolltide.com earlier in the week. “It was pretty obvious in the last game when we didn’t have the kind of intensity that we needed, we didn’t play very well in the first half. When we had better intensity, we played better.”
Safe to say, there should be no lack of intensity for either the Gators or the Crimson Tide come Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
About the Author
Written by Dave Thomas