Listen Now! Whitley on how Gators will rebound vs. Tennessee after close loss to Alabama

Tim Walters
The Gainesville Sun
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Florida had the rare loss that felt like a win against Alabama this past Saturday in the Swamp.

In losing 31-29 after trailing 21-3 after one quarter, Florida showed a fight, spirit and most importantly — the ability to keep up with the most dominant team in the country.

Alabama extended its win streak over the Gators to eight, but Florida made the country take notice as the ground attack had its way against Alabama’s defense, especially in the second half.

Yet, lots of questions remain as Florida prepares for a 7 p.m. battle with SEC East rival Tennessee this Saturday in Gainesville.

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Is the team set up for a letdown? With one SEC loss against them, the Gators have no room for error and must win out against their conference opponents if they hope for a rematch with Alabama in Atlanta in December in the SEC Championship.

Which Emory Jones will show up at quarterback? The one that struggled and got booed in the first half, or the one that led his team back and was cheered loudly in the second half?

What part will backup quarterback Anthony Richardson play?

And, maybe the most important question of all — can Florida clean up special teams mistakes that cost them on multiple occasions against Alabama.

To help answer these questions is Gainesville Sun columnist David Whitley.

David Whitley

He’s the latest guest on “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast, powered by the USA TODAY Network.

David is a 1982 graduate of the University of Florida who joined the Sun in January. He’s a longtime reporter and columnist who has worked all over the state.

And as we learned last time he was on the podcast, he’s practically family with rock legend Tom Petty. His wife bought a used Oldsmobile Cutlass from Petty's one-time Gainesville High English teacher. See, just like family…

David has a unique wit and insight that makes him very engaging to listen to.

Florida Gators fans cheer at the start of the game during the football game between the Florida Gators and The Alabama Crimson Tide, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Sept. 18, 2021.

If you are a fan of the Florida Gators, or college football in general, 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.

It’s as easy as hitting play. And at right around a half hour, it’s a great way to pass the time while driving to work or taking 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

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