1 » When comparing the No. 1 Florida Gators and No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide, there are plenty of similarities between the two teams. One thing in Florida’s favor is their considerable edge over Alabama in championship game experience. Senior quarterback Tim Tebow and the seniors are 4-0 in National Championship and SEC Championship games. “I think our experience helps us a lot,” Tebow said. “A lot of players on our team have played in the big games, even the experience from last year’s game against Alabama and also against Oklahoma. Plus, our rivalry games are so big, to us they’re just like an SEC Championship game or a National Championship game. It helps us a lot. We’re ready for those pressure-packed moments.”
2 » The Gators and Crimson Tide both have strong-legged kickers, but both teams are seeking touchdowns – not field goals – when they play on Saturday in Atlanta, GA. “If you have to settle for field goals in a game like this, it’s going to be tough to win,” Tebow said. “You have to come up with big plays in the red zone. When you get down there, you have to put it in for six because that makes a difference in winning and losing. In those final drives last year, if we settled for field goals, who knows if we win that game?”
3 » Alabama defensive lineman Terrence Cody is literally the biggest issue Florida’s offense will have to deal with on Saturday. Described as “massive,” Cody has the ability to dominate a game at the line of scrimmage. Even so, the Gators did their best to contain him in 2008 and will take him to task again later this week. “He ain’t Superman,” junior right guard Mike Pouncey said. “He can be blocked. It just takes a lot of effort.”
4 » With junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap likely suspended due to his DUI arrest Tuesday, senior linebackers Brandon Spikes and Ryan Stamper – the Gators’ dynamic duo on defense – prove to be even more important to the unit’s success. “Their linebackers are both really, really good,” Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said.
Extra Bit » Four Florida volleyball players were named to 2009 All-Southeastern Conference teams on Monday. Sophomores outside hitter Kristy Jaeckel and right-side/setter Kelly Murphy were both selected to the first team while senior libero Elyse Cusack and sophomore outside hitter Colleen Ward earned second-team honors. Cusack was also named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week and league-leading 13th time in her career. She is the only player in SEC history to receive the honor four times in a single season and has done so in back-to-back years.