College football: Alabama Crimson Tide scouting glance

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun
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Alabama (2-0) vs. Florida (2-0)

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

TV: CBS. Radio: 103.7 FM, 850-AM

Last week: The No. 1 Crimson Tide beat sacrificial lamb Mercer 48-14, which naturally felt like a 48-14 loss to Nick Saban. “If it stinks, it stinks,” he said. What stunk was nine penalties for 95 yards, that after an eight-penalty outing against Miami in Week 1. Alabama has roared to big leads (38-0 vs. Mercer) in both games and then gone into coast mode. Saban hates coast mode. It’s going to be a long week of practice in Tuscaloosa.

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Best offensive player: QB Bryce Young was ultra-impressive in his first start against Miami. He wasn’t quite as tongue-wagging against Mercer. But then, it was Mercer. Like Florida, Alabama has used a variety of runners. Brian Robinson is ostensibly the No. 1 back, but there’s an abundance of talent all over the field.

Best defensive player: Linebacker Will Anderson Jr.  is the best of a very, very, very good lot. So good that some were touting this as potentially Saban’s best defense. But Anderson dinged a knee against Mercer and is questionable for Saturday. That came a week after another starting LB, Christopher Allen, was lost for the season with a broken foot. As good as Bama is at plugging in starters, Anderson will be hard to replace. Drew Sanders and Chris Braswell have been playing in replacement of Allen and Anderson. 

Fun fact: Saban has won six national championships in 13 seasons at Alabama. One more will personally give him more than (AP and coaches poll) every school except Notre Dame, which has eight. Overall, the Crimson Tide has won 13 national championships.

Series: It began in 1916 with the Crimson Tide winning 16-0 in Jacksonville. Bama leads 27-14 overall and has won the last seven games. No. Florida hosts Alabama for the 11th time in the 42nd all-time meeting. Florida coach Dan Mullen (0-10 overall, 0-1 at UF) is searching for his first career win against Alabama.

Quote: Saban on whether his players understand his ranting after the Mercer game.

“They’ll understand this week because they are playing a really good Florida team. So if they don’t wake up and shake themselves, they’ll get shook.”

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