Gainesville, Florida — Benhill Griffin Stadium is quiet. In games that are much closer than many expected, Gator’s fans infiltrated the air with deafening chanting as they made their final efforts to pass Alabama Crimson Tide.
This 31-29 defeat of the Gators confirmed what the Crimson Tide football team already knew and what their opponents were afraid of. The Alabama program, which dismantled Ohio just nine months ago, has been recharged and is looking to the next national title.
But Saturday’s show was far from perfect for Crimson Tide. They took 12 penalties at 87 yards. They left the run game in Tuscaloosa and won only 91 yards on the ground. They couldn’t pull away from the Gators in one fell swoop, like when receiver Slade Bolden dropped a solid touchdown in the middle of the end zone in the third quarter.
Alabama Defense, which allowed Miami and Mercer only 135 yards above the ground, surrendered 258 yards to the Gators. This includes a 17-yard touchdown with Dameon Earrings. A quarter in which Florida is within 2 points of completing its comeback.
A failed Florida two-point attempt followed that play, but a two-point deficit stalled the Gators and eventually kept them out of turmoil.
What sets Alabama apart from most other teams in the country is its ability to beat its opponents on holidays like Saturday.
Nick Saban’s team doesn’t downplay any season — Alabama ranked first in the 2020 College Football Playoffs in the Top 25 Preseason Vote for the Associate Press. A championship game that is not the same as the team that beat the Eyes. Ten suitable players for the game are currently playing in the NFL. Teams with sales on such rosters typically experience varying degrees of decline next season. They are certainly not expected to be in the playoffs battle.
Last season, LSU powered up the Southeastern Conference for the 15-0 season, much like the 2019 dominant team that won the College Football Playoff. A few months later, he lost 14 players to the NFL, including quarterback Joe Burrow, Clyde Edwards Heller, and receiver Justin Jefferson, setting a 5-5 record in 2020.
Alabama’s ability to unleash NFL-ready talent, seemingly every season, while other teams have spent years hiring and building to that point, has created a gap between Alabama and many other teams. .. And with a glimpse of what Crimson Tide expects from Saturday’s match in conference play, Savan seems to have formed a team ready to play in the College Football Playoff again.
Florida coach Donyell Malen said when he took over the program in 2018 after the match, “I talked about it when I got here. I want a team that can consistently compete for the championship. Must defeat Alabama. “
During his 15-year tenure in Tuscaloosa, Savan and his staff have demonstrated their lasting ability to hire and field talent at unmatched speeds, even in the country’s most successful programs.
In this year’s interview, University of Maryland coach and former Savan attack coordinator Mike Locksley said that stars like Julio Jones electrified Tuscaloosa as Alabama embraced a dazzling air game. He later said he believed that the program helped attract more talented players.
“If they’re still looking back and taking over in 45 or 50 games, I think it’s hard to hire a skilled receiver,” he said. “But I think the numbers made by people like Julio, Amari Cooper, and obviously Calvin Ridley gave rise to the idea that you could go there as a receiver and make numbers with that style of attack. It allows you to hire more people with that type of skill and that type of skill set, and it opens your attacks as diverse as they became. “
Crimson Tide did not lose the season under Savan, avoided a setback and managed to reload the roster every year. For Saban’s program Signed the top recruitment class in Japan In 8 of the last 10 seasons. In 2020 and 2018, it came in second after Georgia.
“Obviously, Savan and his staff are the best recruiters and they do a great job with the team’s attitude,” said Steve Spurrier, who won the Heisman Trophy as a Florida quarterback in 1966. I did.
Sparrier pointed out the spectators as Florida’s biggest advantage towards the match on Saturday. Savan said after the match that second-year quarterback Bryce Young thought he managed the game well despite the noise of the crowd, but 90,000 fans at the home stadium known as Swamp did say. Makes a difference in the game and makes mistakes in Saban’s typical disciplined team.
Saban told reporters that some of the team’s errors were the result of snap count issues.
“The center had a hard time listening a few times and snapped the ball late,” Saban added later. “Overall, I think there’s a lot to learn. I hope our team can learn from this experience.”
Florida’s defense, which was very malicious in 2020 and the first two games of the season, brought young imperfections that forced Young with some unpleasant throws and offended Florida fans. However, the Florida attack consistently missed the opportunity to take advantage of those failures, and the Alabama attack was just enough to stay ahead.
“Our team was hoping to win today’s game. When playing in championship level games, the error tolerance is very small,” Malen said.