Alabama prediction time

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Way back in the summer, when it seemed the start of the football season would never get here, I made three bold predictions in one of our daily football fixes.

One of those,  I picked Florida to beat Alabama.

I felt good about it all the way up until the end of the first quarter in the Gators’ opener. When they were sitting there with zero points and negative yards against Miami (Ohio), I was wondering what in the world was I thinking back in July.

I mean, not only did I pick Florida to beat Alabama, I predicted Tennessee would upset Oregon and Florida State would upset Oklahoma. Those first two upset picks look a little ridiculous now. The Vols were crushed. The Seminoles were squashed.

So, what’s going to happen to the Gators on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa?

What I will say is this: I’m not backing out of the pick I made in July. To do so now would make me a major wimp.

After watching the Gators improve over the course of the first four games – and their confidence grow – I’m starting to feel better and better about my prediction. In fact, I think it’s going to happen – the Gators are going to upset the Tide.

The Gators won’t say so, but this is a game they’ve been pointing to since last December. This is a game where UF’s intensity and will will match the Gators’ performance in the Georgia game in 2008, when Florida was determined to pay back the ‘Dogs for their end zone celebration from the year before. And did.

Granted, the Gators started slowly this season, but they’ve been building up to this moment – and now it’s finally here.

I think the Florida defense will keep the Gators in this game from start to finish. I think Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson will have some success, but it will be tough to come by. And I think the Florida secondary will respond with another big game and come up with some interceptions to add to its season total of 12.

Offensively, it’s going to be a struggle the whole way, but John Brantley will eventually find some holes in the Alabama secondary and the Florida special teams will come up big (maybe even scoring a touchdown) – and the Gators will pull off the upset.

Just remember, you heard it here first, way back in July.

Prediction: Florida 24, Alabama 21.

72 COMMENTS

  1. Robbie, thanks for your blog. It was very good! I definitely like your pick. After the Gators win, you can rub it up to Pat. I totally agree with your predictions and insight for this game. I think the Gators will beat Alabama, and Bama will be chocked when they’ll see the Gators storm their home field. Just don’t call this an upset. The Gators Will Beat Bama and the Gators will play Auburn for the SECCG!
    Remember I said that.
    GO GATORS, PLAY HARD AND SMART>>> GATOR NATION IS 100% Behind you guys!

  2. Robbie, thanks for carrying the Gator Flag, something that ‘Snake bit”
    Dooley refused to do! Your accessment of the game rings with truth! Can’t wait for Florida to play a complete game from start to finish and there’s no better time than right now!
    “GO GATORS” Roll up the ‘Tide’….

  3. And I was laughing pretty hard when ‘Ole Robbie picked UT over Oregon and FSU over Oklahoma too. I believe Virginia may just upset the nolies this weekend too, but allow me to tip my hat to Robbie for picking UF to win this game Saturday night. In retrospect, I was the opposite to Robbie’s pre-season pick of UF over Bama and thought the Tide would be our first (and probably only), regular season loss. But now, after seeing how Bama struggled to put away an Arkie team with no run-game and an average defense, and seeing how well the Gator D has played this year so far, I think Bama is ripe for the picking this year. That’s not to downplay what a great team Bama is btw, just that after losing 10 starters off defense and both kickers, and showing that against teams with similar talent levels in Penn State and Arkie (both teams who moved the ball on Bama too), the team with the pure talent level to compete with Bama is Florida IMO. UF 28 – Bama 24.

  4. If the Gators stick their tackles (and the linebackers fill their gaps), they can win this. Play fast and loose, Gators, and all the glory will be yours. Like Urban said, “It’s got to be all in, from everyone.”

  5. I like your perspective, Robbie. We finally saw the Gator offense spread the field, inject more receivers into the flow last week. Young defenders are growing up and Bama had to replace more 2009 D-starters than did the Gators. Meyer’s had this game going in his head since last December; so have his players. UF 27, Tide 17.

  6. gators win if they play hard all 4 quarters and dont get down if they fall behind at some point. would have been nice to spring burton in the wildlizard this game instead of last week but thats spilt milk now. if demps plays need to run him outside only and let gilleslee go up the middle and no fumbles. if demps isnt 100% then keep him off the field. i think gillislee should get more carries even if demps is 100% every game and he should also keep moody on the bench unless hes just not having a good game, hes better than moody. o line has got to come thru especially left tackle and pouncy cant have any bad snaps. how about a shovel pass to burton and throw to hines and moore mostly as thompson will gladly drop whatever comes his way if hes in the endzone. #8 cornerback will need some help if he covers jones…robbie should take over 4 pattie the dud-ley also. go gators 35-20

  7. PUNK INGRAM, RICHARDSON – BEAT BAMA!!
    Hopefully they will have very little success and our defense will punish them more than they punish us.
    Our offense should pick it up a notch too!
    I like Robbie’s prediction:
    GATORS – 24
    BAMA – 21
    GO GATORS!!!

  8. MONTANA, springing Burton last week was exactly the best thing to do. Bama is breaking in 10 new starters on D this year, and their front four isn;t getting a lot of push without Mt. Cody taking up 2 OL, so they’re using their LB’s more to blitz. UF’s OL has allowed only 2, maybe 3 sacks total this year as well. We threw a number of things at UK last week that that young Bama D has to prepare for, including roll-outs, passes to Denose in the flat, Burton in the Wildcat and at TE, 5-wides, etc. When Burton is on the field with Brantley now, the Bama D will have to hold off their blitzes a lot more and be forced to “freeze” for a second to see where the ball is going. If Bama had that same veteran, senior D from last year, I’d be picking Bama to win this weekend, but if Addazio calls a good, balanced game-plan and sticks to what he was doing last week, UF is going to move the ball on Bama and score enough points to win. That said, this will all come down to the Gator D v.s. the Bama O when all is said and done. the first team with two or more turnovers is going to be the loser.

  9. Todd, you took the words right out of my mouth! Meyer knew what he was doing when he unleashed Burton last week! I am sure that one move disrupted Bama’s prep fro the game. Game preps are developed well in advance and now that they have a whole new dimension to worry about, they will spend less time working with their DB’s on pass coverage. If we win the game, it will be on Brantley’s arm. They will focus on stopping Burton and our overall running game, counting on The assumption that Brantley will choke and not be able to win the game with his passing abilities. If we can get adequate blocking and single coverage, with Hines at TE, Brantley will carve them up! He just has to take what they give him and the receivers and backs will need to break some tackles. If they can do that, we will be successful. Now, if they stop our run game with 5 guys, we will be in trouble, cause they will be able to drop 2 more in coverage.

  10. I for one am not counting out my Gators! Last time we met Alabama we were VERY “one dimensional” …Tim Tebow was the Offense! Percy quit on the Gator Nation and opted for a paycheck, rather than a back to back National title ring…so Meyers only other “trusted” playmaker was Tim! While it was rare, Tim WAS contained in the SEC game as he was really the only threat Alabama had to prepare for, and prepare they did! At the moment, so long as we do not revert/convert into a single dimension “Trey Burton” Offense, the Alabama Defensive coaching staff has a lot to think about, as we are truly acting more like a “spread offense” where playmakers, plural, line up in space, the QB has SEVERAL options available to get the ball to…so for the moment, I believe our true X-Factor is our “unknown identity “ that will keep Alabama busy, especially if our coaches have game planned to “SPREAD” the ball around! Gators Win… in a squeaker!

  11. Brantley is not Mallett. Nick will force him to connect on the deep post. If Brantley doesn’t stare down targets, makes good reads with picthes and hand-offs, and finally connects for a few mid-to-deep passes–Gators win.

    Gators win -> 24 – 17

  12. Barker, Percy didn’t quit on Gator Nation. He moved on to the next level. That’s what good football players do. In fact, that’s what we all do after college. Percy gave Florida his all, and he did it with an excellence rarely matched at Florida or anywhere else.

  13. We were graced to have him, no doubt, no one like him ever on the ben Hill Griifin palying field, but I “Graduated” before moving on “to the next level”…that’s all…never have been a fan of these guys leaving early…I am sure every coach in America would agree! Tell me he would not have been a HUGE factor had he played 7 or 8 of his Senior year games and Graduated…Sorry I am old School, 76 gator! 40 Years watching Gator Football…

  14. Don, Percy had the right to move on. He earned it. He gave us 2 National Championships and 2 SEC Championships. Remember he even played with a broken ankle against Oklahoma and went through a hell of rehab to be ready for that game. That’s how much he cared for our school. Why jeopardizing his future by staying one more year? Without him we would have not win against Oklahoma. He had two long runs that helped us win that game. He is the most electrifying player in Florida Football history. Tebow was the one with more heart, but when Percy had the ball in his hands, we knew something good was about to happen.
    Peace,
    GO GATORS!!!

  15. AMEN!!! HHO…You are right…Percy was the BEST all around player I have seen in a Gator uniform at his position…Tim Teebow also earned the right to leave, and he was truly a FREAK for staying his Senior season…would it not be awesome to see Joe Haden lining up on the other side of Janoris Jenkins, tomorrow night in Tuscaloosa….oh well, get ready to say goodbye to Jenkins, Hill, and Demps, also! Just wishing we had more FREAKS that’s all…Go Gators

  16. I’m rooting for Gators but not putting any money on it.They have tremendous talent but have not figured out how to use it yet.Offense has been schizophrenic-run Demps 26 times one week, than barely get the ball the next. Overall game not that important since winning the East will still get the Gators to SEC playoff & a chance to go for the championship.

  17. At least you have the courage and foresight to overcome that other writer who likes us to know he likes beer and what songs we need to know are on his I-pod, thus rolling Jack Hairsten over again and again in his grave, thanks for the balance

  18. If the game were played in the Swamp I would say FL by 3 to 7. With the game in Tuscaloosa I believe the crowd will be overwhelming and the deciding factor will be turnovers. Brantly will have a hard time making audibles on the line and will lead to some confusion on offense. Other than that I believe it will be even as far as time of possession as well as yardage. Normally I would say best of luck but today I will just say may the best team win. See you again in December.

  19. Shocker. A Sun writer picking the Gators in a big game 😉
    We appreciate the loyalty Robbie! I will be stunned if we get the win in Tuscaloosa. In remembering one of the best Gator wins of all time – I’ve gotta go with a 24-23 Gators win. I hope Sturgis can make the kick!

  20. This game have has a arburn/florida feel to me. When auburn would come in the swamp and upset the gators and no one thought they would. This is how I see this game. Florida 27 Alabama 26. Go Gators. this game has upset all over it.

  21. A prediction: The gators will have no more than one completed pass where the ball travels at least 20 yards in the air from the line of scrimmage. That is not where the pass is ten yards and the receiver runs 10 yards for a total of 20 yards. Instead, a down field pass of at least 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. Except for this year, the first few games the Gators toss the ball all over the place. But, as soon as they play a “good” team, usually Tenn. the Gators quit throwing the ball long. This is especially true if there is a sack of a Gator QB. Because of this Ala. linebackers will be cheating towards the line of scrimmage packing the box and stuffing the run. They will have a short drop to fill the passing lanes to stop the Gators 10 yard pass, which will be the norm. The net result will be another anaemic Gator offensive output. The Gators will have to rely on the defence to keep things close. Hope I am wrong and the Gators run it up, but it has not been Meyer’s history.

  22. HOLD TIDE HOLD! Incredible. Bama holds their way to two first half TD’s without a single call. So far, seven in this game that should have been called, but lets face it fellow Gators, it isn’t just that. This is a poorly coordinated offense and a poorly coached OL. I realize Steve Addazio is a valuable assistant, but he’s no OC, period. Move him back to OL coach and perhaps this OL can really, truly dominate again with his undivided attention, and lets put Qb’s coach Scot Loeffler in charge of the offense the rest of the way and see what happens.

  23. These predictions make me laugh. And that last comment is idiotic. Getting blown out because of uncalled holding penalties? Get real.

    Alabama just humiliated Florida. The entire nation knows. What many may not realize:

    Florida has NEVER gone unbeaten and untied in a season with at least 8 games played. Alabama has done so NINE times. All of which were 10 or more games in a season. Losing to Alabama hurts. But that gnawing feeling that eats away at Florida fans is they are not even close to football power Alabama has been. Decade after decade. Coach after coach. Florida may eventually supplant Tennessee as the 2nd best team in the SEC ever but still has a ways to go there. Catching Alabama is an exercise in futility.

  24. If only! Brantley found nothing to his liking in this game. When will Addazzio figure out no one thinks Brantley will run the ball on his options and dives? If they do not have to defend Brantley, then the chances for success are WAY down. Adazzio is like a cigarette smoker: He knows it is bad for his health, but he does not believe it. Well, he better start believing Tebow is long gone, other wise he’ll keep up this play calling ill suited for Brantley. Also, just a little too cute on the jump pass by Burton. Think Bama didn’t see that coming? Maybe Georgia will fire Richt and hire Addazio. That would help us out at least two ways. If only . . .

  25. Five games into the season and we still do not have a dependable QB/Center exchange. That is football basics #1! I think defense and special teams will get better. I do not see how the offense will find its groove (against good opposition) unless MP can really play the position. No one doubts the young man’s heart or playing ability, but playing center is different. Some players just can’t do it well.

    If Roby can play (maybe staff doesn’t think he can), then let MP go back to being a great guard and even better team leader (fired up talk is cheap when the ball has been snapped poorly again). If the staff doesn’t solve this one soon, we could have some Doug Dickey style disasters in our near future (something we 76 Gators would hate to go through again.)

  26. Gator Nation:

    How did those predictions work out? Embarrassed–and I mean embarrassed–for the second straight year on national television. Perhaps you can recruit Tebow out of the NFL, as he has been deactivated from the Broncos’ roster.

    Brantley for Heisman!!!!! LOL

    Jack the Seminole

  27. How pathetic can you get, Todd?! Get pounded 31 – 6 (don’t EVEN get in the end zone…when did THAT last happen to the Gators?), and whine about the officiating. You oughta be ashamed. Have you no pride?

    Sure, Fla dominated the second half stats. DUUUHHHH! I understand the coaches using that as an encouragement tool, but to make ANYthing of import out of it is a loser’s mentality (ala Auburn). Florida is better than that!

    Good luck the rest of the way. Wanna see y’all again in Hot-lanta!

    RTR

  28. Too Funny, Gator Fans too Funny. I’m all for rooting for your team but a blow out from the Gators. Oh it was a blow out alright. Hopefully Urban is taking is meds this morning. Oh yeah Bama is not Kentucky or anyone in the east for that matter. The good news your one game up on Vandy. RTR!

  29. Being a gator fan for a thousand years or so buys a little historical perspective. I am hauntingly reminded of the fearful, always predictable play calling of the Doug Dickey era! Give Alabama their due. They are a great team, but did we have to make it so easy for them?

  30. I can’t believe our coaches are so naive to continue calling the same plays that Tebow used to run. I believe our OL cost us this game. Pouncey threw a bad snap to Burton that cost us a TD before his INT (not to mentioned that the refs robbed us a TD, the ball was over the line and Burton had forward movement). Todd, you are so right about Alabama. They were HOLDING the Gators all night and I wonder, if the refs don’t call for holding, why aren’t we doing the same? Brantley played with guts, and I still think is our best QB. He needs to grow in the position and play more relaxed and not wait until the second half to start playing with heart. Our WR are almost non-existent in the red zone. They made some nice plays in the open field, but then when we get close to the goal line, we don’t have a DeShawn Winn Running back that can punch the ball inside anymore. I don;t know about you guys, but I am sick to my stomach of the dive run plays, all in first down. The Gators running game is so predictable. Let’s develop our passing game first and let the run be a compliment. Texas Tech was one-dimensional two years ago and were still hard to stop. Ask Texas in 2008.
    Go Gators!!!

  31. Gator offense is way to predictable. Gators played very weak for 3 games, but managed to win against inferior opponents. We then play well against an inferior opponent.

    Now we are totally exposed. It is as if we never had a training camp. We still can’t snap the ball, the coaching calls are often horriffic… and not matched to current personnel. Our talent is better than that. We start to look like UGA for goodness sake… and it hurts to say that.

    Urban, regroup ! Take more control of the calls. We need to beat LSU this week.

    Go Gators.

  32. The Gators were holding on several plays. So let’s quit the whining about that and move on, you sound like Texas fans. You lost the game because your quaterback turned it over in the RED Zone too many times. One writer on here nailed it, Tebow is gone. Correct the quarterback errors and let the kid run plays that better showcase his talents. The Gator nation has a great program, great coach, and great players. Don’t belittle their efforts by blaming the officials. There were non calls that favored the Gators too.

  33. As I’ve been saying for quite some time, letting Mullen go was a HUGE mistake. Our offense has not been the same since. Nor will it be as long as Addazio is running it. The Florida offense has been trying to ‘find itself’ ever since he has been in charge. Remember back when the offensive line dominated the fourth quarter of the 2008 SEC Championship? When have we seen that since? Answer: we haven’t. Now both OL coaching and offensive coordinating are suffering because Addazio is trying to do both. We are so predictable on offense that its only a matter of time before the rest of the league figures out what Alabama already knows…the Florida offense that won two national championships is now resident at Mississippi State.

  34. I thought we played with a lot of heart, but I was surprised the OL didn’t have more success. We HAVE a back that can punch it in from down close– both Moody and Gillislee do well in short yardage. That’s the issue with running Burton or Brantley– they’re not a threat to run inside. Our young defense was strong, but had key breakdowns (Will Hill, Jon Bostic). Some of the playcalling was flat awful—our coaching staff is in love with their offensive system, and they are too slow to make in-game adjustments. Rooferman, I’m with you. WAY too cute. We’re supposed to have the best OL in the SEC. If you have a tough running game, you don’t need to fake it. If we meet ‘Bama in the Championship game, I believe our younger players will draw from this experience. I hope our coaching staff can do the same.

  35. Clearly the thinking going into this season was that the O-Line needed to be the focus of the offense and that a lot of the touches by the tailbacks would create a productive explosive offense. That was misguided. And if we are to be honest, Moody is the “Dan Werner” of the football team. Moving to a QB-WR focused offense at this point will takes some guts as teams like LSU will need turnovers to beat us. It will be interesting to see where things go from here. Minimal slow changes have the potential to produce a 2-3 loss season and a BCS bowl game. Big offensive changes could make things worse or better.

  36. Our coaching staff sucks! And our team is soft! I told you on this blog time and time before if Meyer do not throw the dam ball down field and stop with the short shit we are going to get beat down, every time! Ala is to strong for us! we were out coached and our played. Meyer should’t got rid of Cam Newton. Brantly suck!

  37. As for Addazzio, I have told you he is not a D-1 coach! I am in real estate and I could have game planed for Ala better then he did! He is calling four year old plays! Did you see the Ala coaches on the side line telling there player to look out for the jump pass!

  38. There Todd goes again whining. If he isn’t whining about Saban’s practices, he is whining about holding and officiating. That is the sign of a true LOSER. Always needing an excuse instead of just manning up. I manned up when Bama lost to Florida 2 years ago and you need to Man up that Bama just whipped UF up front on Saturday. Brantley, while avoiding sacks for the most part, was out of his comfort zone due to the UF offensive line getting shoved backwards. Similarly, McElroy had all day to throw. Man up Todd! Holding calls didn’t cost you this game or the last one.

    Roll Tide. Sorry to the rest of Gator nation. This guy just rubs me the wrong way.

  39. JohnWhoRocks, I agree with you on Gilleslee being a back that can punch the ball in in tough situations but Moody has always being so unreliable! He is so mistake prone is not funny, always losing his footing or fumbling. I like Moody but he seems so unlucky to me that coaches do not trust him and that’s why they are trying to develop Burton. Unfurtunatelly, Gilleslee got hurt on Special Teams (not so special that night). Brantley need to throw deep, that’s his major asset. He is being in the system for 3 years. He is not so rookie in my opinion. The coaches are wasting his true talent, his arm. He needs to pump fake more and trick the opponent when he passes instead of giving away the play by starring at his target. The run can come as a compliment of the defense, and Pouncey needs to play Guard, not center. He is hurting the team and ruining his NFL stock. He has had 5 games to put it together and still looks unreliable at the center position. Meyer needs to take control of the offense and turn it around like he did in 2005 and 2006. Put a Fullback to protect the pass and torch the secondary with deep passes near the sideline. Even if the Gators throw an INT the ball will be deep into the opponents territory if we tackle right away.
    Football 101.
    God Bless my Gators!!!

  40. Roll Tide, I just had a meeting with your not-so-attractive overweight mom and she says you are the typical kid that thinks everybody picks on him. Booho, grow up dude. Why do you come here to insult us. We give our opinion on a game. Stay in your barn and leave us alone. I hope Gatorsports.com would block your IP address.

  41. HHO, I live in SW Florida. I did NOT insult the Gator Nation. I respect the Gator Nation. I insulted you and Todd. Anyone who can’t admit defeat without constantly bringing up external reasons (i.e. holding calls) is nothing but a loser. Like I said, I manned up 2 years ago. Alabama was beat by a better team. No excuses. I just expect the same from UF. Most UF fans are like that. You and Todd on the other hand…Losers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxqCGTkV5wg&p=5699B0BC6C6DF265&playnext=1&index=33