Tide Preparing For Florida's Plays

The two most intriguing players in Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championship Game are likely to collide. Florida has a unique quarterback in Tim Tebow. Much of Bama's success this year is because of nose tackle Terrence Cody.

Following practice Wednesday, Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "The big thing we've tried to emphasize to our players is to focus on the task. It's just like trying to make a putt in golf. It's a lot easier if you focus on what you have to do to make the putt, rather than focusing on the results of the putt. That does not enhance your chances of being successful at all. So that's really what we've tried to get the players to do is focus on the things they need to do to play well, practice well and prepare well.

"You give any good team that you play the proper respect and we certainly do that, but at the same time we need to focus on this about you and your ability and your execution, in terms of what you have to do and that's got to become your priority. That's what we are trying to do and the players have done a good job of that."

Alabama, 12-0 and ranked number one in the nation, will meet Florida, 11-1 and ranked second in the nation, in the SEC Championship Game in the GeorgiaDome with kickoff at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. central time) Saturday. CBS will televise the game.

Saban was asked about the preparation for Tim Tebow, Florida's junior quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore. Tebow is as dangerous as a power runner as he is as a pinpoint passer.

"We prepare for the plays they run," Saban said. "They have a lot of direct run plays. It's similar to a single wing offense." [In the single wing, a tailback was the do-everything man, taking the direct snap from center and either running or passing on almost every play.]

Saban said Tebow is "not a typical quarterback. He's big and physical and he's a very good passer. When he runs, he's a running back; when he passes, he's a quarterback. And he makes very good decisions."

Many expect Bama nose tackle Terrence Cody to be key to the defense against Florida. Cody was injured midway through the season, but has been back for three games. Saban said he has been making steady progress since returning to action against LSU. "He played well in the Auburn game," Saban said. "He's very close to what he was early in the year."

The Bama coach said that Cody "is a complement to the type defense we play. If you play the 3-4 and they can't block the nose tackle with one guy," Saban said, there are opportunities for the front seven to make tackles and for the secondary to play normal defense.

Moreover, Saban said, "I don't think he's anywhere near where he can be."

The Crimson Tide worked indoors on Monday and Tuesday and will be back inside Thursday afternoon for its final on-campus practice.

"We've had a couple of good days indoors with the idea that it was cold outside," Saban said. "We wanted to practice outdoors if we could, at least one day, and today was the best opportunity to do that. We practiced inside (Monday and Tuesday) because we wanted to get used to that and the turf and we will go back inside tomorrow."

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