Tag Archives: Florida

Grant: ‘We’re getting hit in the face with reality right now’

Forget the sugar coating. Anthony Grant brought it in his postgame news conference after Alabama lost its second straight game, 61-52 to Florida.

AP photo

Continued suspensions for leading scorers JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell created another vacuum in the middle for an over-matched team. Florida scored the first 16 points of the second half when Alabama missed its first 10 shots.

It’s look-in-the-mirror time in the Alabama locker room.

“We have to go to work. We have to get better,” coach Anthony Grant said. “We have to make sure our guys can understand that now. They can face reality.

“We’re getting hit in the face with reality right now. How do we respond to that? To me, that’s where we are as a team right now.”

Read the newspaper tomorrow for more of Grant’s comments. Andrew Steele also spoke after his 11-point game followed the brief suspension. In addition, Grant talked about what cause Releford issues and a practice injury to a starter that required a Tuesday trip to the dentist.


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Video of pregame warmups: See who is participating

We’re about an hour from tipoff in Coleman Coliseum. Take a look at who was involved in the pregame shoot-around a little bit ago.

I’ll give you a hint. Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele were out there. JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell weren’t.

More to come. Go nowhere.


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Florida will be shorthanded tonight as well

All the focus centered on the suspension revolving door at Alabama, but Florida won’t come to Coleman Coliseum at full strength tonight either.

The Gators will be without their top two reserves — Will Yeguete and guard Mike Rosario.

Yeguete, who averages 4.5 points a game, suffered a second concussion Saturday against Tennessee. Florida coach Billy Donovan told reporters Rosario will miss the game with a hip pointer.

Click here to read the full story from the Associated Press.

Of course Alabama will play without starters Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green. The two suspended stars are the top two scorers for the Tide who need a win for NCAA tournament shot.


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Avoiding the Arkansas/Florida hangover

Associated Press photo

Handling success was quite an issue for Alabama football last season. It was a year ago this week when the Tide went from undefeated defending champs to a staggering giant. This is what I wrote about the issue for today’s paper:

TUSCALOOSA — A video hit the Web on Monday afternoon of Alabama’s postgame locker room Saturday night. Fresh off a convincing 38-10 beating of Florida came a spirited singing of “Yea, Alabama.”

Moments earlier saw one of the louder celebratory exits from an opponent’s home field.

Emotion was thick.

Now what?

Coming off consecutive poundings of opponents ranked in the top 15 at the time, No. 2 Alabama (5-0, 2-0 SEC) faces three straight challenges of a different variety. Top-ranked LSU won’t visit Tuscaloosa until Nov. 5, so until then, the blinders are in place.

Vanderbilt (3-1, 1-1), up first Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium, has the only SEC win among the three teams remaining on Alabama’s October schedule. A road game at Ole Miss (2-3, 0-2) comes Oct. 15, followed by a visit from Tennessee (3-1, 0-1) a week later.

After crushing Arkansas 38-14 and beating Florida by four touchdowns, Alabama players have a chance to show they’ve learned how to handle success better than a year ago.

Click here to read the rest.


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One final video from Florida game

I’m finally all tapped out of footage from Alabama’s win at Florida on Saturday. It feels like that was two weeks ago already. Here’s a little more from the pregame, a few plays and the loud exit of the “Million Dollar Marching Band” at the end of the night. Enjoy.

 


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Video of Saban’s post-Florida news conference

I know this is a little late, but those following my Twitter feed know it was a long and unlucky day of travel Sunday. So here is Nick Saban talking Alabama’s 38-10 win over Florida. More to come from his Monday briefing in a bit.


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Some extra photos from Florida game

Pregame action.

Take a look at the updated photo album from the trip to Gainesville while I take care of a few print responsibilities and travel.

Take a look at the album cover. It might touch a nerve, so check out the complete set.

Alabama at Florida 2011


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Tide drains the swamp, stomps Gators

AJ McCarron celebrates (Associated Press photo)

Take a look at the game story that leaked from my fingertips during and a little bit after Alabama’s 38-10 win over Florida on Saturday night.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Slow Jeff Demps. Stop Chris Rainey.

Escaping the un-Swamp-like cool Saturday night was supposed to be as simple as that for Alabama.

It did, but it wasn’t that easy. Not at first.

Surviving an early passing onslaught instead of the speed running game, Alabama countered with its brand of power-running. That and the big-play defense propelled the Tide to a 38-10 pounding of Florida on a wild night in Gainesville.

The third-ranked Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) scored 35 straight points after falling behind early when Florida (4-1, 2-1 SEC) dusted off its aerial passing attack. But after Florida hit on a few big passing plays early, the Tide adjusted and the Gators lost quarterback John Brantley to a second-quarter leg injury.

By halftime, the 10th-best rushing offense in the nation had negative-three yards. Rainey and Demps were neutralized by the Alabama front line, while the running back in white had his way.

Trent Richardson rushed in triple figures for the fourth straight game with straight-ahead power running. His 181 yards came on 27 bruising carries was not just a career high, they shifted momentum back to Alabama’s favor after taking a few body blows.

Alabama coach Nick Saban, who smiled wide running through a gauntlet of Tide fans afterward, said the win “was as good as it gets.”

Click here to read the rest.

Then click here for all the extras on the schedule/results page. Much more to come later today.


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Follow the Alabama at Florida action live

Alabama and Florida are about to kickoff in Gainesville and we’re here to provide all the insider knowledge of the big game.

Click here to follow the action on the Twitter home of The Daily Bama Blog. It’s a more efficient medium to convey quick thoughts during the game. It’s worth subscribing for the kind of nuggets you won’t get from the TV announcers.

Hanks: “You guys haven’t seen anything yet”

Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis made headlines this week when saying Alabama’s defense can expect “the kitchen sink” from the Gator offense this evening. Crimson Tide wide receiver Darius Hanks wasn’t quite as descriptive, but hinted the Alabama offense hasn’t tipped its hand just yet. Here’s my GameDay section preview story:

TUSCALOOSA — About three or four times a game, Alabama takes a swing.

Typically using a play-action fake, the Crimson Tide looks to extend the opposing defense with a deep pass.

So far, it hasn’t yielded much. Only a few have been completed, and none for touchdowns aside from Michael Williams’ 37-yarder off a fake field goal against Arkansas.

So far with first-year starter AJ McCarron behind center, the passing game has been more about nibbling at the opposing defenses. Through four games, Alabama ranks 64th in the nation, averaging 225 passing yards a game with primarily safe throws.

But keep your eyes open, receiver Darius Hanks said.

“AJ has a very big arm out there,” said Hanks, a senior. “You guys haven’t seen anything yet, I feel.”

Click here to read the rest of the story. Then click here for some quick hitters.


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Some photos from Day 1 in Gainesville

Take a look at the first night in Gainesville on Friday. Let me tell you, it was wild. They know how to throw a party down here.

The highlight, easily, was running into former Alabama media room super star and tight end Colin Peek. He’s one of a kind. Coming in a close second was the never ending stream of joggers on the “undie run” paralleling midtown Gainesville.

Quite a night. Here are a few extra photos with much, much more to come now that game day is here.

Alabama at Florida 2011


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A video trip down Alabama/Florida memory lane

It’s another travel day for this sports writer, so this post was scheduled last night. I didn’t want you to go without today because of my trip to Gainesville. So here is video look-back at some of the great Alabama/Florida games of the past.

2010: Alabama 31, Florida 6

2009: Alabama 32, Florida 13 (SEC Championship Game)

2008: Florida 31, Alabama 20 (SEC Championship Game)


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Matured Kirkpatrick still bringing the swag

Kirkpatrick against Arkansas

There’s no denying the impact Dre Kirkpatrick’s had on the field this season. Just see the Penn State fumbles and last Saturday’s open-field tackling. Coming off what Nick Saban said was his best game in an Alabama jersey, Kirkpatrick faces a different challenge at Florida. Here’s what I wrote about him today:

TUSCALOOSA — Dre Kirkpatrick can chuckle looking back at his 19-year-old self.

As a 165-pound freshman, he spent most of his time on the sideline with nothing to do as established players fueled Alabama’s 2009 national title run.

“I was one of the little jokers on the sideline because I didn’t get much playing time,” he said.
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Now a junior and 25 pounds of muscle heavier, the cornerback has just as much fun with the game. Now, however, Kirkpatrick is doing it with big plays for the third-ranked Crimson Tide entering a Saturday meeting at Florida.

His eight pass-breakups already are better than his 2010 total and lead the team.

The only two forced fumbles of the season came by way of Kirkpatrick’s helmet at Penn State.

His biggest game, though, came last week. Six of his nine tackles came in the 38-14 pounding of Arkansas when the Tide secondary slowed one of the nation’s most explosive passing offenses.

His open-field tackling limited a few short passes to minimal gains instead of the home runs the Razorbacks are accustomed to hitting.

Each big hit drew a reaction from the player who still idolizes Deion Sanders, but Kirkpatrick kept his celebration to a un-Deion-like minimum.

Click here to read the rest of this story.


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Odds shift during week for Alabama at Florida

First, I’m no expert in the world of the Las Vegas sports books. Judging by the money they pull in, these guys know a lot more about the world than me.

So it’s worth noting a few shifts in the betting lines for Alabama’s trip to Florida on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide opened the week as much as a 6-point favorite to beat the Gators by a few of the operations. During the week, the spread narrowed. Now, most say Alabama should win by four.  Take a look at the screen shot below tracking the movements of the line from the Wynn Casino.

Click to enlarge.

Then click here to see the movement of all the major point spreads on the Vegas Insider website.

The changes aren’t exactly monumental, but something to keep in mind watching the action Saturday evening. Keep an eye out for my expert score prediction on game day.


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Video of Nick Saban news conference

Here’s a look at Nick Saban’s Wednesday news conference where he addressed Florida, it’s quarterback John Brantley, the new-look Florida offense, and playing in the Swamp on Saturday night.

 


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