Crimson Tide drown Gators 38-10 in The Swamp

By Adam Silverstein
October 2, 2011

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium may have come alive for the first time in 2011 on Saturday, but the No. 12 Florida Gators (4-1, 2-1 SEC) were unable to take advantage of the raucous home crowd, allowing the No. 2/3 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) to score 35 unanswered points on their way to a 38-10 victory in Gainesville, FL.

Alabama star running back Trent Richardson rushed for a career-high 181 yards on 29 carries, leading the Crimson Tide to their third-straight dominant victory over the Gators. Florida has been outscored 101-29 by Alabama since defeating them 31-20 in the 2008 Southeastern Conference Championship.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]The Gators made a statement early Saturday, following an opening play false start penalty with a 65-yard touchdown pass from redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Andre Debose to take an early 7-0 lead.

The Crimson Tide answered back immediately, ending a 12-play, 52-yard drive with a field goal. Florida hit a field goal on their ensuing possession, and Alabama responded with Richardson’s first score of the game, tying the contest at 10-10 with just seconds left the first quarter.

That is when the momentum changed.

On the Gators’ next possession, Brantley was faced with a third-and-four from Florida’s 49-yard-line. Rather than throwing the ball away after sensing heavy pressure, he tossed it right into linebacker Courtney Upshaw’s hands. Upshaw returned it 45 yards for a touchdown, putting the Crimson Tide ahead for the first time.

Alabama added to their lead two possessions later, ending a 10-play, 61-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by QB A.J. McCarron.

UF threatened on their next possession, moving the ball from their own 33 to UA’s 13. Brantley was then sacked on consecutive snaps. He was pushed back 22 yards and stayed on the field long after his second sack. He wound up being carried back to the locker room with an injured right leg, and redshirt junior kicker Caleb Strugis failed to connect on a 52-yard field goal, his first miss of the season.

Brantley did not return to the game after suffering his injury, leaving freshman QB Jeff Driskel to carry the load. The Gators’ first three possessions of the second half began deep in their own territory on their seven-, 16- and nine-yard line, respectively. Five of Florida’s second half possessions resulted in a punt; the other was a fumble by Driskel.

The Crimson Tide added two more rushing scores in the second half – both in the fourth quarter by Richardson and RB Eddie Lacy – and ran out the clock as the Gators was unable to move the ball.

Alabama outgained Florida 366-222 in total yardage and 226-15 on the ground. Running backs redshirt senior Chris Rainey (11 carries for four yards) and senior Jeff Demps (three carries for four yards) were made a non-factor in the contest.

Brantley finished 11/16 for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but his absence in the second half appeared to give the Gators absolutely zero confidence offensively. Florida held McCarron to just 12/25 passing for 140 yards, but he was able to move the ball and earn first downs when necessary.

Things do not get any easier for the Gators next week as they travel to Baton Rouge, LA to face No. 1/2 LSU. The game will air live on CBS at 3:30 p.m.[/EXPAND]

22 Comments

  1. g8ter27 says:

    Amazing how 3 quarters can change the outlook on a season. Hate to say this but I am feeling a 6-6 year coming on.

    • Aligator says:

      cheer up, that was one of if not the best team in the country. we are a year or so away from being in the top 5 again. we will win 8 or 9 games …..

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    While I hoped they won, I wasn’t surprised that we lost. What was more suprising was the way we lost. very disappointing. Doesn’t bode well for LSU next week.

    If we had been up 14-3 with a completed pass, that game might have turned out very differently. It reminded me a lot of the UF/Nebraska game in 1996 where we were in control for 1 1/2 quarters, then a couple of bad plays and we totally lost all confidence and imploded into the horrible rout.

    • Aligator says:

      you got to be more positive man …

      • Ken (CA) says:

        I am positive, positive that we are going to have a really tough time at LSU next week. fortunately Bama andLSU are both in the west, we can lose both of those at this point with USC loss today and still get to atlanta. Rreally tough injuries tonight that will make it even more difficult. I am surprised that both lines played so poorly tonight. I thought we would be able to run the ball better, but even more importantly, i thought our dline would take it to their oline, but we got owned….I dont know if floyd and easleys practice injuries impacted them, but they were helpless against what was supposed to be the weakest point of the bama team…

  3. Sarasota 'cane says:

    I felt bad for Brantley. I really thought Weis drew up a great plan for bama’s D. You knew they would stack the box and John seemed to answer the challenge. I didn’t think UF could win before the game but once the game started I thought they had a chance until John was injured. Driskel wasn’t ready but the experience he will develop over the next few weeks will make him better for next year. Does anyone think Burton might be under center in place of Driskel next week?

    • Ken (CA) says:

      not a chance, tyler and brissett would be there before burton is, and no reason to replace driskel. unless his ankle is worse than it seems, he will be fine. I blame Muschamp for not having him more prepared. I commented last week that putting him in but having him do nothing but hand off the ball doesnt help him at all, and he will only get better, as he actually gets a chance to play the position in all facets…

      • scooterp says:

        You blame Muschamp for not having a true freshman QB ready to face the toughest defense in CFB???? I know some people expected Driskell to be a world beater, but that statement is just stupid. The last time I checked Weis is in charge of developing the QBs. Its not anyone’s fault – this is what happens when your starter goes down and you have 2 true freshman and 5-11 3star QB to replace him.

  4. Aligator says:

    I just hope since it is obvious that coach weis has been holding back with the passing, that he let’s somebody throw the ball all over the place….

  5. John S says:

    I am very disappointed in the defense, Alabama’s offense is no where close to what they were last year. This will be a reality check for the D line and and linebackers. They got slaughtered at home. They need to bow up to not be embarrassed in the future.

    Offensively I understand the struggles, but if we’re going to be competitive we need better from our front 7.

    • GG says:

      Dline overrated (looks good against lesser teams), too many freshman/sophs in secondary, linebackers just so so. We have a long way to go before be can handle the big boys. I beg to differ with Urban, don’t think we are loaded. Lots of 4 (some 5 star) star guys on the field but doesn’t look like it when you come up against a team this solid.

  6. alex says:

    We are not a very good team. Our D-line and O-line was dominated. Bama ran the ball down are throat and kept pressure on the QB. It is obvious we may not eclipse 75 rushing yards in the next two weeks and if Brantley is out for an extended period of time we might not win a game this month.

    • Aligator says:

      we are a great team, we are not an elite team…..yet …

    • Mr2Bits says:

      Our obviously outmanned defense held Bama scoreless through the third quarter, knowing that the offense was without its leader. They finally got worn down in the 4th, but I didn’t see any quit even then. Driskell was put in an impossible situation, with an ineffective run game and the best d-line in the country teeing off on him almost every play, but he never quit either.

  7. cline says:

    crybabies get over it. Bama is legit and we are young. Go Gators!

  8. Brett says:

    Wow some of!you guys are way negative

  9. SRD says:

    My surprise was how bad the oline blocking scheme seemed to be. It’s one thing to have guys getting off of their blocks and making a play, but it seemed that many times last night there was an unblocked player waiting in the hole where the play was supposed to go.

  10. aaron says:

    very young and experienced the whole layout of this game is different without brantleys injury. He was on track for one of his best games yesterday. GO GATORS

  11. Eli says:

    I’m surprised by all the negativity. We must be very spoiled fans. Guys, this was a welterweight fighting a heavyweight. Alabama was clearly the better team going in, and they showed it. We are a very good team with a lot of potential. Our o-line needs some serious work, we need to draw up some new blitzes, and losing Brantley (for who knows how long) really hurts. But losing big at home against a team that looks like a clear national title contender is nothing to be ashamed about. Let’s hope we get out of October alive, and let’s be glad that South Carolina did us a favor and lost to Auburn. Go Gators!

    • SC Gator says:

      This is very true. That Alabama line is far more experienced and they put it to good use. Our secondary is very, VERY young and they still didn’t get anywhere near as burnt as they could have given that inexperience. If Brantley doesn’t get knocked out of the game we may or may not have won it but odds are we lose a close game if we do lose and not a beat down.

      I’m not saying there is a lot to be happy about but there is plenty to be hopeful about. Win or lose this week @LSU, we can pull ourselves off the mat and take care of things against the rest of our slate. That’s NOT something I felt we could do at this point last year and we didn’t.

  12. Jesse says:

    IMO…. Brantley played great (less the pick six). Debose finally emerged, surprised he wasn’t returning kicks. Weis needed to get our RB’s in space to succeed, didn’t happen. Our D-line had some nice pressure early but their O-line and RB’s are awesome and wore them down as expected. Our O-line provided good protection for 1 1/2 quarters but Upshaw blew it up in the second quarter. I like Driskel and he will be great someday, just not immediately. Trial by fire is a great way to learn… At least Weis will have a whole week to game plan with our new roster. I do feel much better about playing Auburn and USC, they both looked like crap. I think we have to root for UT this week. Go Vols, beat those Dogs!

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