In particular, the expectations surrounding both teams may be unrealistic at this point and both teams still have a lot to prove after opening the season with two relatively easy wins.
It was another sign of just how young the Gators are after losing a strong core of experienced players from last year's national championship game.
"I was just asked in an interview
if I was surprised by the second half. No, I wasn't at all,"
"I'm not disappointed at all. We're 2-0 and there are a lot of teams out there that aren't. I'm good. There's no bad. Now, tomorrow we'll scream and throw coffee cups against the wall, but tonight's all good."
Sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow took some responsibility for the letdown, even though he completed 18 of 25 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 93 yards and two more touchdowns.
"We know we can play better," Tebow said. "We're looking to go out there and play to the best of our ability. When we came out in the second half and didn't do that; it was upsetting.
"We're going to come out next week and try to do better. We just had problems. I don't think anyone was letting up or worrying about what they were going to do after the game. It was mostly my fault because I'm the quarterback and I've got to manage the offense. I've got to play better in the second half."
That's especially true with
"Reality sets in next week," Meyer said. "We hit the SEC."
The same is true for
"I was very pleased and proud of
the way our guys played today," first-year
"We came up here to try and dominate this football team. That's something that's very important to us. That's the identity we want to create. We want to play winning football for 60 minutes, even though we probably made more mental errors today."
Saban went on to run off a checklist of concerns, including the passing game, a temporary loss of composure on defense, allowing a punt return for a touchdown (that was negated by a penalty) and two fourth-quarter offensive penalties when the Tide was attempting to control the ball and run the clock out.
"That could be very costly in the future," Saban said.
The immediate future is a home game
Just like with
"They're well coached. I always
Richard Scott is a Birmingham-based sports writer, author and featured columnist in Tiger Rag. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.