Tide suffocating opposing offenses


Heading into the season, many were predicting this Alabama defense would be the best Nick Saban has had in his five years in Tuscaloosa. Through four games, it certainly appears to be.

This is a suffocating defense that doesn’t give up big plays, doesn’t give up many points, first downs or yards, and doesn’t give up many third-down conversions.

I thought I’d throw these numbers out there to illustrate just how dominant this Saban defense has been this season . My intent is not to depress Florida fans, but these stats might just do that:

* The Tide is giving up only 184.0 total yards a game and ranks in the top three in the nation in pass efficiency (74.70 passer rating), scoring defense (8.8 points a game), rushing defense (45.75 yards a game) and pass defense (138.25 yards a game).

* Alabama’s defense has been the best in the nation in limiting pass completions. The Tide has held opponents to 43.95 completion percentage (67 of 157) and leads the nation in fewest yards per attempt (3.52) and is second in yards per completion (8.01).

* Opponents are averaging a mere 2.82 yards per play against the Tide.

* Opposing offenses have driven across midfield against Alabama only 13 times this season.

* The Alabama defense is giving up an average of only 11.75 first downs per game this season.

* The Tide defense has been its smothering best early in games. Alabama has given up only 10 first-half points all season.

* The Alabama defense leads the nation in three-and-outs with 30 through four games.

Statistically, this is the best defense in the nation — and the best Saban has had at Alabama (and maybe anywhere else).

Yards and first downs and points are going to be hard to come by for the Gators on Saturday.


  1. With our disfunctional offense we will be lucky to score in double digits. That will not be a positive view but it is the truth. This game will get ugly in the second half when the our defense becomes demoralized and fatigued by our offenses inability to move the ball. That said if Charlie Weiss actually figures out someway to disect this Bama defense and we somehow win my respect for him will be through the roof.

  2. I think we have a chance vs. Bama. Two things need to happen. First, our defensive line has to continue playing well, stuffing the run, but even as important, protecting our young corners with a fierce pass rush. Second, our wide recievers need to get open! Catch the ball! Stay in bounds! Stretch the field to give us some room to run. No good wide reciever play? Then Bama stuffs the run and we have little chance except to score on special teams and off turn overs.
    I am not calling for a win, guarnteed, but we CAN win this game.

  3. I don’t fear Bama’s offense, except for maybe Richardson, and our run defense is a strength. If the defense can get off the field, I think Rainey, Demps and even Brantley might pop one or two. If we win turnovers and the defense doesn’t wear out, we have a real chance, esp. if it comes down to special teams.

  4. The Gators can and will win this game. All 90,000+ will be LOUD and the totally inexperienced Bama QB will buckle under the pressure our front 4 will bring all night long. Rainey (who most forget didn’t play last year). Demps, Burton, and Brantley will deliver Gator Nation a nationally televised coming out party and 5 star RB recruit Keith Marshall’s decision will be made for him. The future is bright Gator Nation and 10/1 is just the beginning. GO GATORS!

  5. We moved the ball last year with a totally inept offense. This year is better. That big play sheet Charlie carries around…hasn’t even got to the WR pass plays yet(minus a dozen plays or so thru 4 games). The turnovers cost us last year. If we play the turnover game even it could be tight. If the gators win the TO game- upset time in gainesville.

    Gators 23
    Tide 21

  6. One – the game is in Gainesville with a stadium full of the GatorNation
    Two – A total different set of coaches with thru the roof NFL experience AND Charlie has won a few Super Bowls
    Three – When no one respects a team is when they typically perform the best
    Four – Florida has the better defensive line and Wil’s D-Boys will take away either the pass or the run, most likely the run even though Richardson will be one of the two best backs Florida will face this season, the other plays for South Carolina.
    Five – we did not have Sturgis kicking for us last year or Rainey. Sturgis is our wild card advantage.

    Biggest worry – our punter!!!!!!

    Gators in an upset at home – 26 to 16

  7. JaxGator47-
    Thanks for remonding me re Sturgis, I hereby adopt it as a third reason we could win. Just think how diferent last year would have been had he been healthy and as dead on acurate as he has been so far this year . . .
    We have a shot at this one!

    Go Gators!

  8. I have confidence that Saban and Smart cannot throw a defense against us that Charlie hasn’t seen before. He will know how to attack it and will make the necessary adjustments, something we haven’t had in a long long time. It will be up to the players to execute. We will not be “outcoached” this time.

  9. Bama’s O does nothing to beat you. I’m not scared at all of their O. UF can’t turn the ball over and must get 1st downs and keep their D fresh. Bama has a 1st year QB and they tend not to fair well in the Swamp. Bama will make the mistakes and UF will make them pay.

    Ibankin…our O was bad last year but not this year.

    UF 23
    Bama 16

  10. All early season stats should come with an asterik, as the limited body of work is usually confined to the early season cream puffs on most team’s schedules, Gators included. Bama’s only major foe so far was Penn State, a very poor offensive team. Do I think the Gators will run for their average? Not likely. But I believe they will open up the passing game more than they have, so it should be interesting. I predict a good game.

  11. Yes, Weis has Superbowl rings and has shown offensive prowess far better than in the last two years. But I recall that Weis had a QB named Tom Brady, among other superstars. Schemes are important, but it also takes players. In college football recruiting is usually a bit overrated whereas coaching is a bit underrated, but the bottom line is that even if the coaching is pretty even (which still needs to be proven) Bama simply has more playmakers than we do right now.

    More than almost any team in the country UF has been a victim of attrition and its own success, which is why we have far more freshman and sophomores than we do juniors and seniors (about 2-to-1 in fact). It doesn’t mean we can’t pull an upset, or keep it closer than last year, but UF has to play with zero turnovers and with just a fraction of the penalties we’ve had to date. Arkansas had tons of missed tackles. We can’t do that either. And Weis has got to coach smarter than Saban or Smart. The D must have a couple of turnovers to win too.

    It’s going to be a tough October. Keep your chins up.

  12. If we exit this month 1-3 or 0-4 I wonder what people will think of our coaching staff? Because those are likely and realistic possibilities. People will turn on this coaching staff on a dime. I think there is a fair chance we finish the season 2-6…But assuming we lock down our recruiting class and do not lose any coaches I think we are 10-2 next year and in the SEC title game.

  13. Bama does not try to beat you by blowing you off the field on offense. They are happy to win a game 12-0. If you read the above you knoe that they hardly ever let you get across mid-field. So they are happy to grid away on offense playing field position and kicking field goals waiting until your D is worn down and then Richardson pops one which puts pressure on you and forces you into being aggressive and turning the ball over. That is when Bama is able to blow teams out.

  14. Cory I’m with you…anyone that says be REALISTIC about this game has to think Bama is only in their second conference game. And stop giving Bama blow jobs they are good enough to beat you down but we’re just as good to offer some beat downs ourselves. It’s going to be a good game 21-17 Gators!

  15. Throw the kitchen sink at ’em, COACH WEISS!!!
    I concur with all of the above, for most part…
    GATORS gotta’ get some BIG-PLAYS…period! INT’s for D.B.’s, hits like Bostic made at Kentucky, Defense just HANG -ON to Richardon’s jersy ’till help ARRIVES!!
    WR’s gotta STEP-UP and make some DOWNFIELD plays!!! Demps and Rainey -JUST DO IT, BABY!!!
    The TIDE CAN BE BEAT…Carolina showed that last year!
    GATORS…WORK the tide SILLY!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. This defense is talented at every level so plays must go where they are not. Double tight-end sets for protection and blocking or trade tight-end for full back to run draw plays and short or intermediate routes in open space. Middle screens could take advantage of their tendency to push into the horizontal lanes and leave vacant space. Quick TE receptions in the WR side flats are another vacant area. Ball Control, lots of first downs and getting someone in open space. Avoid the negative yards of long passes.

  17. Charlie: Bama will be all over the swing pass to the flat, so that won’t work as the bread and butter play. 2 backs, I-Formation. Run sweeps and counters and allow the speed boys to pick their gap or cut back against over-pursuit. For passing downs have Brantley roll out with a moving pocket to avoid Bama rush. Bubble screens or fake screen to one side, then throw back to the other side. Burton MUST touch the ball many times in addition to speed boys. Wide recievers haven’t done much- just use them to clear out an area and throw to Burton and Jordan Reed running underneath to the open spot. Brantley- PLEASE throw accurate passes this week !!!!!

  18. I have a feeling I smell an upset coming!! The swamp will be rocking Saturday evening. We have different coaches and a better overall team. I think the score will be 20-17 Gators. Let,s send the elephants sinking in the swamp!!

  19. The gators are showing no evidence that they are any better than last year. Arkansas had beaten a few cream puffs also, had a better passing game and had a power back in their running game. This will be a beat down of epic proportions. In the words of Steven Tyler ….dream on….at least til Saturday nite. P. S. Have you knuckleheads seen bama’s defense,
    Shut down corners and 1st round draft pick defensive backs. And you’ve got a few scat backs. Pleeeeeeease!

  20. This will be a slugfest. Close game until the Saban/Tide recipe takes effect on us in the third-fourth quarter and they wear our defense down with the Richardson/Lacey combo. I just don’t know if we can score enough on them to win. I find it unlikely Demps and Rainey will have great success running through the teeth of Bama’s D-line. Saban will also find a way to neutralize the flat, where many of the great Rainey/Demps runs have emerged. I also doubt Brantely improves on his pedestrian QB numbers. The Bama secondary is ferocious. We are good, Bama is just a little better. Bama 24, Gators 14

  21. Weis has a lot in the back pocket that has been held for this game, it is going to be a defensive battle with a few big plays on both sides, add to that the best kicker in the SEC and this will be a significant win for the Gators, and it is going to be more convincing then anyone is will ing to suggest. Alabamas offense will not be effective against our strength.

    Florida 24
    Alabama 16

  22. Let’s see last year the gators stunk.but this year with a couple of cream puff wins and freshman defensive backs you are ready to take on the greates football program ever with the only coach to ever win national championships with two different schools. And your keys to victory is to beat bama by stopping two running backs no one can stop. And what’s funnier is your two backs way a collective 300 lbs. And are going against linebackers and corners that will be in the NFL next year . Good formula. So than you are going to stretch the field with a quarterback that stares his receivers down more than you do that coed In earth science class.

  23. hmmm Troy held Penn State’s running backs much lower YPC than Bama. What does it mean? 🙂

    Gators will run on these boys very soon.

    Make noise at the stadium Gators. Take their snap count away.

    There very well may 3 UF backs with more yardage than Bama’s number one.

  24. robg8r, I am not arguing that there were a few cream puffs, but you can’ hold that against the Tide. Just because they beat a few teams the way they were supposed to doesn’t change the talent level. This is an NFL train right now. 8 of the current Defensive players will be playing on Sundays soon. Might be the best NCAA defense I have ever seen. You are in for a rude awakening my friend.

  25. They were bigger,faster and they hit harder than the Gators….The LSU Tigers,well the last time they came to Tuscaloosa there wasnt enough ambulances to haul all the hurt Tigers to the vet!Saban said when he first came to Tuscaloosa he wanted the other teams to hate to play Alabama. I would imagine the Razorbacks and Gators would fall in that catagory along about right now. Roll Tide!!

  26. Roll Tide,
    We gotta agree with you now, we all saw the result. Hats off to “Bama and their dominance of the line of scrimmage. I hope we learned something from ya’ll we can use v. LSU, looks like we’ll need it!
    Go Gators!

  27. Whoopee dee doo, Robbie. Stats are meaningless after four games against Kent State, Penn State, North Texas and Arkansas.

    by Gator Jaw
    thanks Gator Jaw for the input those gators really messed up our defense stats helped our rushing stats but really killed our points per game made it go up to 8.4 all the way from 8.0 any future prediction are needed thanks Gator Jaw