David Rader, who coaches Alabama's quarterbacks and serves as offensive coordinator, will be watching the game from the coaches' booth in the press box. He doesn't expect to see much weakness with the Florida defense. Rader has been looking at videotapes of the Gators' early games. "You don't see many big plays against them," he said.
Rader said, "They are big and fast. They bring pressure that forces the offense to adjust. They have players with the ability to make plays. They have a good package and impressive players. And they play really hard. So they are really good with schemes and personnel. They are good tacklers and they bring the attitude a defense is supposed to have, which is aggressive."
Who would want to play against that defense?
Rader hopes he sees the first defense all day long. "We would like not to see their Twos (second team defense)," Rader said. "We'd like to see their Ones the whole game."
The reason for that is that Florida won't be playing its best unless the Gators have to, and Rader wants them to have to.
"Their first group is as good as anyone in the league, which is to say as good as anyone in the country," Rader said. "People talk about the Florida offense, but the defense is very, very good."
Asked when he started thinking about the Florida game, Rader said, "About the time we got the little pass at the end of the Arkansas game to wrap; that one up. I even spoke to Brodie (Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle) about getting ready for Florida in the lockerroom after the Arkansas game, and I don't usually do that because I want them to enjoy the win."
Rader said it would be his goal to put Alabama's best offense against Florida's best. "And if we could put our best against their least, that would be better. But so far every link in their defensive chain looks strong."
Rader said that Bama's offense is only average going into Saturday's game. "If we're going to call our offense good, then we have to make plays every Saturday. Last Saturday (in a 24-13 win over Arkansas) we didn't make the plays we had made the week before (in a 27-14 win over South Carolina). So right now our offense is average."