Listen Now! Florida welcomes Alabama to the Swamp; Gators insider breaks down the game

Tim Walters
The Gainesville Sun
View Comments

When it comes to Florida vs. Alabama, recent history hasn’t been kind to the Gators.

The Crimson Tide have won the previous seven meetings going back to 2009. Three of those wins were during the regular season, and four were in the SEC Championship game.

The last time Florida defeated Alabama was Dec. 6, 2008, in the SEC championship game. The No. 2 Gators defeated the No. 1 Tide 31-20.

Florida would go on to win the national title behind a motivated Tim Tebow, who earlier in the season delivered what in Florida lore has become known as “The Promise” speech following a loss to Ole Miss.

In the seven meetings since, Alabama has won convincingly, with last year’s SEC title game being the closest of those contests. The final was 52-46.

On average, the past seven games have been Alabama 40, Florida 18.

Jaguars season breakdown:Listen Now! Jaguars columnist: Revamped squad should be vastly improved from 2020

Seminoles season breakdown:Listen Now! Seminoles reporter breaks down FSU

More:Listen Now! Mark Rodgers, agent of Russell Wilson, Trey Mancini, talks trip to LLWS

It makes this Saturday’s contest between the two seem like a near impossible task.

However, there’s hope Gator fans.

First and foremost, the game is being played at the Swamp in Gainesville. You can be sure the majority of those 88,000-plus fans will be clad in Orange and Blue, and when Gators fans get together to make some noise, it can be a hinderance for the opposing quarterback, especially one as young as Bryce Young, who hasn’t had to play in front of this type of hostile crowd yet.

Second, Florida has an incredibly talented backfield, led by Malik Davis and Dameon Pearce. Add in running threat QBs Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson, and the Tide will have their hands full trying to contain the ground game.

Third, Dan Mullen is an offensive genius and I have a feeling he has plenty of tricks we haven’t seen in the first two games against FAU and USF.

Is that enough? How has the team been preparing? And what is the quarterback situation heading into the 3:30 p.m. Saturday game in Gainesville?

Zach Abolverdi

To help get answers, Gainesville Sun Gators beat writer Zach Abolverdi joins me on the latest edition of “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast,” powered by the USA TODAY Network.

Zach grew up in Gainesville during the Steve Spurrier era and started his sports journalism career prior to Urban Meyer’s final season with the Gators.

Zach is a Hearst Award winner and graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism in 2014.

He sees the Gators at practice every day and he knows this team as well as any journalist in the country.

You’ll want to hear his breakdown of the team and what we can expect, not only this week, but next week when Florida hosts Tennessee.

You'll also want to listen to the end, when I give an inspirational famous quote so stirring, it'll leave you believing in miracles.

If you’re a Gators fan who wants to know more about the team — or a Bama fan who wants to scout the enemy — then this is the podcast for you.

We can be downloaded wherever you listen to podcasts, or simply type in “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast” into your favorite search engine and you’ll find several options to listen on, including Spotify. We also can be found on any of the 17 USA TODAY-Network Florida websites.

USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA Deputy State Sports Editor Tim Walters

It’s as easy as hitting play. And at 24 minutes, 17 seconds, it's the perfect length for listening while heading to work or going for a walk.

If you like it, you can check out previous shows, which feature current and former professional athletes and coaches, as well as our stable of journalists who cover beats and write columns, all of whom have a tie to the Sunshine State.

Contact Walters at

View Comments