When it comes to coaching tress, University of Alabama coach Nick Saban has an impressive one both in terms of those he once worked for and former assistants who have gone on to become head coaches.

Among them, Jimbo Fisher led Florida State to the national championship last season, Mark Dantonio guided Michigan State to a Rose Bowl win, and Jim McElwain took Colorado State to its first bowl game since 2008.

Saturday was Will Muschamp’s second shot at his former mentor and it went about as well as the first meeting in 2011. He’s 0-2 and the Gators were outscored by a combined 80-31.

“It’s never personal,” Saban always says whenever he faces a former assistant coach, but there’s been one constant: He’s never lost to one.

  • Play of the game: Prior to junior running back Kenyan Drake’s 87-yard touchdown reception on the first play — when Florida made the mistake of lining up linebacker Antonio Morrison in coverage even with a 10-yard cushion — Alabama’s longest play of the season had been junior wide receiver Amari Cooper’s 52-yard catch-and-run touchdown against Florida Atlantic.
  • Player of the game: Cooper had 10 catches for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He also made some nice blocks.
  • Hit of the game: After Alabama’s 16-play touchdown drive to go ahead 28-21 in the third quarter, Florida desperately needed to both answer and give its defense a chance to recover. On third-and-2 at their own 43 the Gators handed off to Matt Jones, only junior safety Landon Collins read the play and shot across the line to catch the big running back from behind for no gain and a three-and-out. The Crimson Tide subsequently drove 80 yards to essentially put the game away.
  • Statistic of the game: Florida converted 2 of 13 third-down opportunities while Alabama was 12 of 16. That’s 15.4 percent compared to 75.0.
  • Did you notice? Time of possession was 39:16 to 20:44 in Alabama’s favor, but here’s another way to demonstrate it: Florida players combined to make 99 tackles while Alabama’s only needed 46.

Here are 10 other things of note from Alabama’s 42-21 victory against Florida on Saturday.

1. Blake Sims on third downs: The senior quarterback was once again fantastic on third downs, completing 7 of 9 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown. For the season he’s 17 of 20 for 210 yards, and Alabama is an incredible 22 of 27 (81.5 percent) for 288 yards and two touchdowns. To put that into perspective last season Crimson Tide quarterbacks were 50 of 76 (66.1) for 582 yards, with six touchdowns and three interceptions. The top target will surprise no one, Cooper, who on 13 attempts has caught 10 passes for 104 yards two touchdowns. No one else on the team has more than two third-down receptions.

2. Cooper vs. Vernon Hargreaves III: Of Cooper’s 10 receptions, six were with the cornerback in coverage for 53 yards and one touchdown. Hargreaves was lined up wide with Cooper in the slot on his 79-yard touchdown, what would have been a 33-yard catch was nullified by an illegal-procedure penalty, and the 26-yard slant appeared to beat a zone. Also, on the play Alabama tried to go deep when Hargreaves was out in the second quarter safety Keanu Neal appeared to step on Cooper’s right hand after the play was over.

3. Explosive plays: Saban defines an explosive play a run of 13 yards or more or a pass of 17 yards or more. Alabama’s goal is nine per game. It had 11, which was actually a season low. The defense gave up five explosive plays, two on the ground and three in the air, but Florida’s longest gain was still just the 28-yard touchdown pass that beat a blitz. Overall, the Crimson Tide has had 51 explosive plays compared to just 19 for the opposition. Cooper leads the team with 14 while running backs Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon both have eight.

4. Mistakes index: Here’s where the Alabama coaching staff will be all over the players during the bye week. The mistakes index is fumbles lost + interceptions + penalties + sacks. After scoring no worse than an eight during the first three games Alabama had an awful 16. The four turnovers were the most since the 2011 season opener against Kent State, and the penalties breakdown included three false starts, two snap infractions, two pass interference calls, a delay of game, face mask, Illegal touching (receiver going out of bounds) and Illegal procedure. The one that might drive Saban the most crazy was the delay of game on the first play of a possession.

5. Yards after the catch: Led by Cooper’s 71 and Drake’s 52 Alabama had 246 yards after the catch, the exact number it unofficially recorded against Florida Atlantic. It did so on two less receptions and averaged 10.4 yards after each reception. Overall, Cooper leads the team with 305 yards, and 709 of Alabama’s 1,343 receiving yards have been after the catch (52.8 percent).

6. Most around the ball: Defensive “touches” is found by adding together tackles, assists, sacks, passes broken up (interceptions are included in that statistic), hurries, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. This week’s leader was a player who didn’t have a tackle last week, junior linebacker Reggie Ragland, who scored a 10 to edge Collins and senior linebacker Trey DePriest at 7.5, and junior defensive lineman Jarran Reed at 7. For the season, Collins leads the team at 36, with Ragland second at 24.

7. Who was the thrown at? Florida went after all the players in new roles, with limited success. It threw at freshman cornerback Tony Brown eight times with two caught for 14 yards. Both were by wide Demarcus Robinson, who had 15 receptions the previous week against Kentucky. The Gators also threw a lot at sophomore Maurice Smith at star (the extra defensive back when the strongside linebacker was pulled), with six attempts, two completions for 35 yards and an interception. UF quarterback Jeff Driskel challenged junior cornerback Cyrus Jones three times with no completions (one drop).

8. Third quarter the difference: Even with its fourth turnover and giving up the game-tying touchdown, Alabama simply took over the game in the third quarter. Alabama executed 28 plays for 181 yards and had the ball for 12:02. Florida ran six plays and completed just one pass. Before the 16-play touchdown drive Alabama had just 33 rushing yards on 19 carries (1.89 average). It averaged 4.94 yards per carry the rest of the game and finished with 196 rushing yards.

9. The running game: Alabama’s only carry between the tackles during the first quarter was a quarterback sneak. Alabama’s running backs almost always have the option of bouncing to the outside if the initial hole isn’t there and they did so a lot during the first half. Twice Alabama went to a wildcat formation in third-and-short and Yeldon averaged 4.5 yards on the plays. Also, Drake did continue to get on the field after his fumble, and was in on the play Sims lost the ball, but didn’t take another handoff until midway through the fourth quarter.

10. Records chase: For the season Cooper has 43 receptions for 655 yards and five touchdowns. The Alabama records are 78 catches and 1,133 yards (both by Julio Jones in 2010), and 11 TDs (Cooper in 2012). He’s on pace to finish the regular season with 130 catches, 1,965 yards and 15 TDs.

With 2,391 career receiving yards he needs 533 to break the Alabama record held by DJ Hall 2,923. At his season pace he’ll do so in the second quarter at Tennessee on Oct. 18.

With his 59 rushing yards Yeldon has 2,627 career yards. He needs 938 to break Shaun Alexander career record of 3,565.