Keys to an Alabama Victory over Florida Today


#1: Establish the Deep Passing Game

The gators are going to stack the line today in order to stop the dynamic duo of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. In order to take the pressure off the running game, Alabama needs to make sure that they take safe shots downfield to stretch the defense. Look for Florida to take a page out of the playbook of Auburn from last year's Iron Bowl. Auburn stacked the line and kept one linebacker at all times on Mark Ingram. The result was Mark Ingram's lowest rushing performance of the year, only 30 yards.

#2: Hit Julio Jones on Lots of Slant Routes

Even though Alabama needs to go deep, Jones is one the best receivers in the country about physically dominating a defensive on a slant route and then taking it to the house. He is big, he is physical, and it is important that we use the physicality to back the Florida linebackers off the line of scrimmage. It will also slow down the pass rush and not allow Florida as much. It will do this by not allowing Florida to run its 5-2 defense designed to stop the rushing game of Bama. Urban Meyer said that Jones is "probably the first receiver that's going to be picked in the NFL draft" so you know that they will be respecting his ability.

#3: Offset The Outside Speed That is On The Edge of The Florida offense

Florida is stacked with playmakers with speed. Although artist top playmaker, Jeff Demps, is is hobbled with a left foot injury, is expected to play. Even if he is a step slower, he is still among the fastest players in college. Back-up sophomore, Deland Florida's Mike Gillislee, is also able to provide explosive plays on the edge.

#4 Hit Florida's QB Often

As a first year starter, QB John Brantley has been a solid passer, but nothing to write home about. Alabama needs to turn up the pass rush to rattle the traditional drop-back passer. Most of his passes have been in the short passing game. As a result, he has a good passing percentage of 64% and only one interception. Alabama does not need for him to get into a rhythm early. The Alabama linebackers & cornerbacks will need to mentally prepared for this type of passing attack, while also not letting their guard down on the deep ball. You can bet your bottom dollar that Florida made note of the things that Arkansas did in the first half against Alabama last week. Much like Alabama did Mallett, they need to hit Brantley hard and often with a strong pass rush.

#5 Stop Tebow-esque Trey Burton

Following the departure of a college football legend in Tim Tebow is not easy, but Florida is using the RB/QB/TE/WR freshman phenom in much the same way as Tim Tebow. He scored six touchdowns on Kentucky, and Florida will once again go to the young star for producing points on the board.

#6 Don't forget about Ingram & Richardson

Alabama needs to stretch the field to set up the running game since Florida will definitely stack the box.

Think about what Florida coach Urban Meyer said this week when asked about slowing down Alabama's rushing game: "How do you stop a great running back? You load the box, plus-one them and don't miss a tackle. Unfortunately, you do that, you leave your cornerback on an island with probably the first receiver that's going to be picked in the NFL draft."

The key to it all will be balance, however the running game will wear the Gators out in the 4th.

Look for Alabama to win, but it won't be easy. Florida has lots of talent and one of the top coaches in America. I predict Alabama to win 24-20.

Roll Tide!

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