Keys to Victory for Florida Against Alabama
For "Albert the Alligator" to pull off an upset over that pesky elephant, the Mighty Gators need to follow the keys for success this Saturday:
1. The Florida run defense needs to put all bets off and shut down Alabama running back Trent Richardson; the young man averages 6.8 yards per pop and 114 yards per game. It may seem obvious, but Coach Boom and Dan Quinn MOST bottle up this guy to under 50 yards this Saturday. I'm not on sold on the idea of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron coming into the Swamp and beating Florida with his arm. Force Alabama to become one dimensional, then throw the kitchen sink at McCarron.
2. Rainey and Demps must have at least 15 touches (running, catching and/or returning) apiece in order for the Gators to win. Neither John Brantley or the Gator receivers can win this game for Florida.
3. Take a slice of Urban Meyer's philosophy and try to block a punt (teams that do win 90 percent of the time). Just imagine the decibel level in the Swamp if Chris Rainey blocks a Crimson Tide punt—the Gators may never lose momentum.
4. Time of possession and field position. If the Gators stick to key No. 1, then time of possession shouldn't be a concern; however, they can't afford huge punt and kickoff returns. Offensively, keep Mr. Richardson and Marquis Maze resting on the bench as long as possible.
My prediction: Neither team has seen a legitimate defense this season, so I think both offenses will struggle in the first half. The team with the most playmakers will have the advantage in the second half, and I would have to give the slight edge to Florida. Heisman type moments from Richardson, Rainey and Demps. Charlie Weis should have a solid plan to play chess with Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
My pick: Gators win on a Caleb Sturgis field goal. Florida 26, Alabama 23