Statistically, Tide, Gators Are Close

Take the team with the best offense and second best defense, mix with the team with the best defense and second best offense, stir in The Swamp, and the result could be an epic college football game.

Alabama, best in the Southeastern Conference in defense, and the league's top offensive team, Florida, meet in a battle of unbeaten (both 4-0) and nationally ranked teams in Gainesville at 7 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. eastern) Saturday with CBS televising the game. Bama is ranked second in the nation, the Gators 12th.

Alabama's defense will be missing one of its top performers as linebacker C.J. Mosley has been pronounced out of the game after suffering an elbow injury in last week's win over Arkansas.

Florida leads the SEC in total offense, 461.8 yards per game, followed closely by the Crimson Tide at 456 yards per game. Alabama allows just 184 yards per game to pace the conference in total defense, and the Gators are second, giving up 231.8 yards per game.

Florida is first in the league in rushing offense, 259 yards per game, followed by Alabama at 230.8. The Tide holds opponents to 45.8 yards per game rushing, best in the SEC. The Gators are third in the league in rushing defense, permitting 56.5 yards per game.

Somewhat surprising, Alabama ranks higher in passing offense than Florida. The Tide is fourth in the SEC at 225.2 yards per game, while the Gators are sixth at 202.8 yards per game. Bama leads the league in pass defense, allowing 138.2 yards per game. Florida is fifth, giving up 175.2 yards per outing.

In pass efficiency, Florida is sixth and Alabama seventh. Bama is first and the Gators third in pass efficiency defense.

Scoring is the name of the game. Florida leads the league at 40.2 points per game with the Tide fourth at 38.5 points per contest. Bama is first in scoring defense, giving up 8 points per game, and the Gators are second, giving up 9 per game.

Coaches put a lot of stock in turnover margin. Florida is even on the year, three fumbles lost and three fumbles recovered and four interceptions made and lost. The Tide is at minus one on the year, two fumbles gained and three lost, and four interceptions made and lost.

In the Red Zone, Florida has had 20 opportunities and scored 11 touchdowns and made 7-7 field goals for 94.7 per cent. Alabama has had 18 opportunities and has nine touchdowns and has made 1-3 field goals for 88.9 per cent. On defense, the Gators have given up four touchdowns and 3-5 field goals in nine opponent opportunities for 77.8 per cent. Bama is right behind with four touchdowns allowed in five opportunities for 80 per cent.

Florida is last in the league in penalties, 78.8 yards per game, and Alabama is second, only 29.8 yards. The Gators have about a half minute per game advantage in time of possession, 31:42 to 31:09.

Florida makes 23 first downs per game, Alabama 21. Bama opponents make 11.8 a game, Gators opponents 15.2. Florida is successful on 42.6 per cent of its third down opportunities, and the Tide makes good on 41.2 per cent.

Both teams like to run the ball. For Alabama, Trent Richardson is second in the SEC at 110.2 yards per game and Eddie Lacy is seventh at 91.2. For Florida, Chris Rainey averages 102.8 yards per game for fourth in the league, and Jeff Demps averages 80 for eighth.

Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron is fifth in the league at 194.8 yards per game and the Gators' John Brantley is sixth at 188. Brantley is fifth and McCarron seventh in passing efficiency.

Marquis Maze of Alabama is fourth in the league in receptions with 20 in four games.

Richardson is tied for the SEC lead in scoring at 13.5 points per game. Florida's Caleb Sturgis is the league's top placekicker, a perfect 11-11 on field goals and 18-18 on PATs. Maze is third in the conference in punt returns, 16.8 yards per runback.

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