Published October 2, 2010 - 11:32pm
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The much hyped game between the Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday night turned out to be sort of a dud. While the game started off promising with nice drives by both teams, the game quickly became lopsided with Alabama keeping the Gators out of the end zone the entire night. The Florida offense got into the red zone five times, turning it over twice and coming away with only 6 points on two field goals. The turnovers and the mistakes by the Gator offense prevented them from making it a game.
So, what does this game mean?
Well, first I think it’s obvious that the Crimson Tide are the clear, dominant team in the SEC this year. Second, Nick Saban has his team moving on all cylinders and it looks like the Crimson Tide players are very in sync with their coach.
Saban’s game plan going into the game was excellent. Saban’s offensive plan was very prepared for Florida’s heavy defensive line up, using screen passes and outside running to dominate the first half. The Alabama offense didn’t need to do much in the second half as the Gators had the ball a great deal and the game was never close.
The more interesting question here is where does this leave the Florida Gators? The Gator defense is good, although Alabama didn’t really struggle with them too much, but the offense leaves much to be frustrated about. First, there are still a ton of mistakes and to still be having bad snaps five games into the season is inexcusable. The larger question is though what style of offense will the Gators push forward with? They have a talented passer in John Brantley, but he just isn’t a perfect fit for the spread attack that Meyer wants to run. Trey Burton scored 6 TDs against Kentucky, but he’s too young to run the offense, and even if he weren’t, it might be tough for Meyer to abandon John Brantley.
Do they Gators become more of a pure passing offense? Brantley was able to move the ball tonight pretty well but threw two interceptions and had another goal line fumble on a messed up hand off to the running back.
Lastly, one might question the strategy of going to Trey Burton near the goal line on the first drive of the game that led to Burton throwing an interception on the jump pass (a play that Alabama scouted and defended perfectly). Brantley had led the Gators down the field just to come out of the game inside the ten.
Again, no stand-outs really on the Alabama side of the ball. Just excellent play all around, no mistakes, and a great game plan.
Next week the Gators have LSU, a team with an offensive squad that makes the Gator offense look amazing. The Gators can probably hold off on major offensive changes going into LSU since it will likely be a low scoring game, and a conservative game plan should be able to win, but will Meyer be content to win the east with mediocre play on offense? Even if Florida can get by South Carolina and win the east, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who thinks they can beat Alabama at this point.
Alabama finishes off a tough three week stint with South Carolina next week. This could be a very tough game and could be interesting. South Carolina has been off this week and will have two weeks to prepare for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama rolls 31-6 tonight and moves to 5-0 on the season. Florida is now 4-1.