Alabama Crimson Tide 32 – Florida Gators 13


Well that was ugly.  If I had to point to one thing that made the biggest difference in this game (besides


just flat out being the better team of course), it was tackling.  The Crimson Tide hit the player with the ball, wrapped up, and brought him down.  There weren’t broken tackles.  There weren’t missed hits.  Alabama did what it was supposed to do fundamentally.  On the other side,


didn’t wrap up.  The Gators didn’t bring down the ball carrier with the first hit.  There were missed tackles, blown assignments, and numerous times where a Tide player was finally brought down by the third or fourth guy to hit him.  A few made tackles here and there and the Gators could’ve actually been in this game.

Offensively, the Gators’ biggest issue was running the ball.  Sure Tim Tebow did his part and gained 63 yards on 10 carries, but collectively the rest of Florida ran the ball four times.  One week after carrying the ball a total of 15 times for 179 yards, Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey were only handed the rock three times.  Say what you want about Alabama’s defense, they are good, but to only take three shots with your top two running backs?  Demps gained nine yards on his lone carry, then didn’t touch the ball again.  Rainey did have a one-yard loss, but also pushed ahead for eight yards on his other carry.  Emmanuel Moody was on the field several times, but didn’t touch the ball once.  Once Florida got behind early, someone determined the passing game was going to get them back into it.  Early panic if you ask me.  Despite getting close in the first half, not allowing the run game to get going hurt the Gators in the end.

I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way now and then try not to mention it again.  We have one more chance to watch #15 in a Florida uniform and then his Gator career comes to an end.  He was one of the greatest players to ever wear orange and blue.  There’s no denying that.  But I will NOT miss the crying.  The first time was understandable.  It’s emotion.  It can overtake you when you least expect it.  After all, this is a kid who just wants to win more than anything.  But again and again?  He’s a football player and although Saturday didn’t turn out how he may have wanted or may have dreamed, he needs to be a football player.  Alabama beat you and your team.  It sucks.  I hate it right now too.  But you are the leader of your squad.  Man up and act like it.  Sorry if that may disappoint some Gator fans out there, but it had to be said.  He isn’t the five-year old fan who just watched Ohio State get waxed 41-14.  He’s the quarterback of one of the top programs in the nation.  Act accordingly.

As for the other Heisman Trophy candidate playing in this one, I will have absolutely no problem with Mark Ingram taking home the statue.  The Tide running game dominated on Saturday and Ingram led it.  28 carries for 113 yards and three touchdowns is an NFL stat line.  Ingram’s long only went for 15 yards, meaning he just kept pounding away at a Gator defense that was typically very, very good against the run.  Throw in two receptions for 76 yards including the 69-yard scamper that may have broken the Gators’ back and you have a guy that deserves the trophy as much as anyone.  I know I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for him next Saturday and cheering him on against Texas in a few weeks.

And there you have it.  I could analyze this game until I turned blue in the face, but there’s really not much else to say about it.  As much as it pains me to admit it, the Crimson Tide looked every bit the best team in the nation.  They controlled every aspect of the game and kept focused for the entire 60 minutes.  They deserve to play for the national title and I hope they win it.  The performance they put together was one that will be remembered for quite some time.  Unfortunately for us Gator fans, it’ll be one we can’t forget.