FOOTBALL: Grading The Gators vs. UA

On Saturday at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama the Florida Gators got taken to the woodshed 31 - 3 by the Alabama Crimson Tide. For the Gators things got bad, then they got worst, as Florida found itself down 17 - 0 before the Gators could register its first first-down. Welcome to the SEC Coach Meyer. The Gators were completely dominated by the Crimson Tide.



Can't think of a single thing

Maybe Dallas Baker and the special teams

Just about everything associated with the Gator football program.


The defensive line looked overmatched at times yet had several members has season high tackles, Jeremy Mincey, Marcus Thomas, and Steven Harris all posted season highs. But missed tackles meant that most of the tackles were being made of Florida side of the line of scrimmage. Thomas recorded a sack, but Florida could get very little pressure on Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle. GRADE D

Starting linebackers Brandon Siler, Earl Everett, and Todd McCullough had lots of tackles, but like the defensive line most were made on the Gator side of the line of scrimmage. Siler contributed a sack, but missed several tackles as did Everett and McCullough. The Gator linebackers had to respect the run, which limited their ability to get into their drops on play action, giving Alabama receivers room to operate over the middle. GRADE D

With out consistent pressure on the quarterback, Florida's basic man-to-man defense got abused. Dee Webb got smoke on Alabama's first play from scrimmage. Dee Webb got toasted twice and Kyle Jackson spent most of the day going the wrong way. It was a pretty pitiful day for the secondary. GRADE F

The offensive line woes continue. Florida's offensive line had trouble protecting quarterback Chris Leak against Alabama's defense all day, allowing four sacks and a bunch of quarterback hurries. With the game going the way it did, the running game never had much of a chance and the running success the Gators did have may have been more of the Crimson Tide laying back against the pass than the offensive line's ability to open holes. GRADE F

With the Crimson Tide defense keying on Gator receiver Chad Jackson, Dallas Bake had a career day catching 6 balls for 119 yards. Besides Baker, Chad Jackson had 50 yards on 8 catches working mainly the underneath routes Alabama seemed intent on containing Jackson and did a masterful job. Only two other Gators caught a pass, Tate Casey and DeShawn Wynn. Almost every Florida receiver dropped at least one pass that could have or should have been caught. GRADE C-

Earl Everett was the second leading rusher with 32 yards on a fake punt. Josh Portis and two receivers occupied the next three spots in terms of rushing yards. It was that kind of day. Oh, I almost forgot, DeShawn Wynn led all runners for the Gators with 47 yards on 12 carries. GRADE D

Chris Leak showed some emotion on the field Saturday, mostly it was frustration. Chris Leak had a terrible day throwing for only 187 yards on 16 for 37 throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns. Leak was under constant pressure throughout the contest. He suffered the tipped pass at the line of scrimmage for an interception, several dropped passes, a couple of poor passes and even had the umpire defend one of his throws. When given some time he made a few nice throws, but it just wasn't his day and he didn't make enough plays GRADE D

A made field goal, a fake punt, and the recovery of a fumbled punt highlighted a decent effort by the special teams. The punt return for a touchdown by Alabama that was called back due to penalty was a reprieve. GRADE C

Whatever offensive game plan Florida had got tossed 5 minutes into the game when Alabama went up 14 - 0. Coordinator Dan Mullen could not find the right combination of plays and execution to mount any kind of sustained offense against a very good Crimson Tide defense. Meanwhile, Co-coordinators Strong and Mattson had there own problems getting any kind of solid pass rush, thereby exposing the secondary to a task it could not complete successfully. Coach Meyer will surely be asked why our Gators laid such an egg and be second-guessed on just about every aspect of this game. There is arguable some justification in doing that. GRADE Offense D, Defense D, Head Coach D

The Gator faithful that went to the game never had a chance. The Crimson Tide crowd were as primed and ready as their team. I am glad I watched on television at least I had the option of turning the dang thing off. Sometimes I wish I had. GRADE I


Take nothing away from the Alabama Crimson Tide as they were the better team. Alabama was stronger, faster, tougher and had more want to than the Gators. It was a shame about the Prothro kid breaking his leg, he was impressive. This game reminded me of why I love the SEC, even when it breaks my heart. Coach Meyer and staff must now show how well they can rally the troops and bounce back from such a demoralizing loss. It is important to remember while this loss is a set back it is not insurmountable.

Randy Platt
The Armchair Quarterback
Later GATORS, after while the rest!

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