This is an intriguing game. Florida has the revenge factor going for them, and they have clearly the better team. Alabama is talking this year like they’re just as good as last year, even though they are definitely not. Alabama thinks it can throw all over the field with John Parker Wilson, and to some extent that will be true. Florida’s secondary is very vulnerable, and if the coaches keep calling linebacker blitzes like they did last week then they’ll have no help.
Alabama won’t be able to run though. They haven’t had any running game this year with Kenneth Darby looking nothing like himself, and Florida has as good a rush defense as anyone in the country. Mike Shula prefers to run the ball, control the clock, shorten the game. He won’t get to do that today and he’ll have to rely on Wilson to carry the offense.
Wilson has done a pretty good job of doing that for a freshman. However, Alabama really hasn’t played anyone. They’ve played Hawaii, Vandy, Louisiana-Monroe, and a shaky Arkansas team. Not exactly murderer’s row. He has not faced a real SEC defense, and has not played in a tough road environment. It will be hard for his to stay composed in front of a ramped up Florida Field crowd. After three somewhat nondescript home games, in that they were blowouts and not particularly interesting in second half, Florida fans are ready to explode in a solid win against a good opponent.
Florida is celebrating the 100th Anniversary today. The team is wearing its 1966 throwback uniforms, which are infinitely then those stupid orange sleeve jerseys from last year. Florida has every reason to be up for this game. Alabama will be overmatched on offense, and their suddenly-cocky defense (who just lost, by the way guys) haven’t seen an offense with as many weapons as Florida has. If the Gators jump out to an early lead, it could get ugly.
I don’t think Percy Harvin will have much of an impact as he’s still getting over his injury, and I think Bama’s run defense is good enough to mitigate Tim Tebow for the most part. He’s not fooling anyone anymore. DeShawn Wynn will be very important. If he gets 100 yards again, there’s no way Florida loses. Chris Leak will end up driving the offense though, since I don’t think Wynn will get more than 70 today. It’ll be the passing game making the most headway.
As it is, I don’t think it will be a close game, but I don’t think it will be in much doubt. Alabama may have some leads if Florida turns it over, but UF will pull away. I’ll say it ends up something in the 27 – 10 range.