Alabama-Florida Preview: Running games should keep clock moving, score low

Will Alabama look to Outside Shoulder Technique to limit Florida’s ability to attack the corners?
By Tony Carter

The (4-0) and the 3rd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Gainesville this weekend to face the also (4-0) and 12th ranked Florida Gators. This marks the first meeting as head coaches between Florida Coach Will Muschamp with his old boss, Alabama Coach Nick Saban.

This week’s game offers some unique challenges for the Tide as did last weekend’s Arkansas game. Alabama’s defense more than met the task by stymieing the Arkansas pass offense for nearly 170 yards short of their 355 yards per game through the air. (Arkansas now averages 312.2 yards per game passing.)

Defensively against Florida, look for Alabama to play outside shoulder technique to force Florida’s small and speedy running backs toward the center of the field. This puts Alabama’s outside linebackers in the flats sooner to prevent Florida from attacking the corner. This plays into Alabama’s strength with big linebackers in the middle, and forces play selection to move inside or to go vertical, which is another strength of this Alabama team with its secondary.

Florida has the SEC’s top rushing offense (259 yards per game) and UA has the conference’s top rushing defense (45 yards per game). This game Alabama will be forced to stop the explosive plays in the running game as Florida sports a daunting 36 plays of 10 yards or more on the ground.

In contrast, Alabama has yet to give up a running play of 15 or more yards. Alabama has given up only one rushing touchdown in four football games in 2011. Florida must find a way to get the defense off the field as Alabama has physically forced teams into submission as the games have progressed (see Arkansas coaches pulling starting quarterback Tyler Wilson from the game with about 10 minutes remaining).

Keys to the game: UA must limit big plays, watch for Florida to try to create matchup advantages for speedster running backs C. Rainey and J. Demps on Alabama linebackers. Florida can’t afford to become one dimensional and abandon the run. This is especially important if Alabama’s secondary continues to play the way they have all season. Watch for Alabama to play seven and eight in the box to force Florida to go vertical.

Outlook: Expect a low scoring game as both defenses appear to be proven against the run and have established running games, which should keep the clock spinning therefore lowering the number of possessions for both teams. Points will be at a premium so field goal opportunities will be taken advantage of likely by both coaching staffs. Alabama’s pounding run game will outlast Florida’s undersized front seven—and should be the storyline of the game.

Prediction: Alabama 23 Florida 16

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  1. 1
    Justthefacts

    Just the FACTS
    Suitcase Saban back to NFL FACT
    Is phoning in Bamas wins FACT
    Bama has no QB FACT
    Will be like deer in headlights at Swamp FACT
    Bama has no WRs fact
    No offensive line FACT
    They won’t score FACT
    LSU ranked #1 FACT
    Arkansas is mediocre FACT
    Penn St terrible FACT
    No quality wins yet for Bama Uh Oh FACT
    Bama will be lucky to make bowl game TRIPLE FACT

    • 2
      WhoreEagle

      The above is a dumb post – FACT
      The guy that wrote it is a douche – DOUBLE FACT
      I’m embarrassed for him and his family – TRIPLE FACT

  2. 7
    Crimsonite

    The guy is a lying piece of shyt – fact. He is a Barnturd cum slurper from al.com sites. – fact. His name is Boris and his Mother takes it up the arse from Great Danes. – fact. Reading his posts is even worse than the al.com sound offs which are the most retarded, juvenile horseshyt posted by any newspaper in the nation. – fact. To wit: al .com soundoff – Awbarn held back against Florida Atlantic because CheezeDick took mercy on them. Bwaa haww haww! What a crock! However, I’m not convinced that South Carolina will beat them. In my opinion USCjr is not a top 15 team, much less top 10. If it’s a shootout Barnie wins. USC’s only hope is that it is low scoring and that they can pound Awbie with Lattimore and keep it out of Malzhans hands. Alabama – Florida? The predictions are all bullshyt. The Swamp is not as tough, as loud or as rowdy as Happy Valley. Rainey and Demps are deadmen just like the Arkansas Fantastic Four. When Florida loads the box McCarron lights their azzes up. Alabama 35 – Florida 10. RTR!

    • 8
      CRIMSON HAMMAH

      BAMA IS THE GREATEST TEAM OF ALL-TIME
      FACT
      AJ MCCARRON IS AWESOME
      FACT
      LSU IS 79TH VS THE PASS
      FACT
      AU IS GOING FOR A LOSING RECORD IN THE SEC FOR 3 OUT OF THE LAST 4 SEASONS
      FACT
      LSU ARE CALLED THE CAJUN CHOKERS FOR A REASON
      FACT
      LSU AND OK ON UPSET ALERT
      FACT
      BAMA WILL BE #1 NEXT WEEK
      FACT
      BAMA DOMINATION
      FACT
      ALABAMA FOOTBALL IS FOOTBALL
      FACT

  3. 11
    Fat_Die

    FACT- I have nothing valuable to add to this conversation.
    FACT-Justthefacts tucks his cowk and balls and wears sexy big lady lingerie.
    FACT-BAMA will dominate Florida this weekend.
    FACT-Justthefacts likes it in the pooper.
    FACT-BAMA will run the table this year.
    FACT-LSU makes me sick.
    FACT-I work on an oil rig in the gulf of Mexico.
    FACT- Watching LSU beat BAMA while on an oil rig full of coonasses sucked.
    FACT- When BAMA beats LSU this year I will shed a tear of joy.
    FACT-Beer is deliscious.
    FACT-I should stop now.
    FACT- ROLL TIDE!
    FACT-Justthefacts is Justabitch.
    FACT-2×2=4
    FACT- Auburn plays SC this weekend.
    FACT- Auburn loses this weekend.
    FACT- I’m Hungry.
    FACT- I’m going to eat something now.

  4. 12
    Fat_Die

    FACT- LSU won’t be one for long.
    FACT- I just burped my baby about an hr ago.
    FACT-LSU Is good but overrated.
    FACT- The FLASH is not really as FLASHY as he thinks he is.
    FACT- not only does the Capstone have jealous AUBURN subscribers, now LSU fans are on BAMAS jock.
    FACT- LSU is envious of BAMA.
    FACT- LSU fans still cry over SABAN leaving them, I hear them cry about it everyday at work.
    FACT- it’s breakfast time.
    FACT- I hate LSU more than Auburn.
    FACT- the FLASH is outside raking my leaves as I type this in.
    FACT- he is only getting 10 dollars to do it.

  5. 14
    Crimsonite

    Hey flash welcome to #1 in the only poll that don’t mean JACK SHYT! We’re #1 in Sagarin and Vegas and tied with you in USA coaches. But just sit back and watch the giant switcheroo Sunday after Bama beats the shyt out of Florida. RTR!

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