TUSCALOOSA, AL — It was a record setting night in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama Crimson Tide, where QB Blake Sims and WR Amari Cooper led the Tide to a big victory over the Florida Gators. Despite the many, many errors Alabama made that helped the Gators to 21 points, the Tide came out victorious beating Florida 42 to 21.
Unlike any Saban-coached team we’ve seen in recent years, this Alabama team committed 11 penalties for 80 yards and four turnovers. However, Blake Sims performed when he needed to; completing 23-33 passes for 445 yards, garnering the second best passing performance in school history. Amari Cooper, who leads the nation in receptions, caught 10 passes for 201 yards on the night.
Sims and Cooper weren’t the only ones to add to the 645 yards that Florida’s defense gave up against Alabama. Running back Derrick Henry added 111 yards on 20 rushes. Florida found success throughout the game with their ability to capitalize on Alabama’s mistakes, each of their 21 coming in response to Alabama turnovers. Unfortunately, Driskel and the rest of the Florida offense couldn’t find a sustainable rhythm, relying on the turnover responses too much.
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel could not get in a groove and was held to 93 passing yards, completing just 9 of 28 attempts. Driskel was able to add 59 rushing yards to the game.
There were some key offensive players for Florida that didn’t show up like they had in previous games. Demarcus Robinson who had 15 receptions last weekend in the overtime victory against Kentucky, only had two receptions for 14 yards against Alabama.
”We didn’t make the plays and they did,” Driskel said. ”We didn’t get it done. It’s a matter of execution.”
There were a brief couple of minutes where Alabama played backup quarterback, Jake Coker as a result of Blake Sims getting hurt on a 24 yard run late in the third quarter. Coker made the most of his time in the game, connecting with Amari Cooper for a 4-yard touchdown. Saban later revealed that Sims had a bruised shoulder, which explained the quick trip to the locker room.
Alabama, who remains undefeated on the season, has an off week as they prepare to take on Ole Miss on the road on October 4. This should allow plenty of time for Sims to rest his bruised shoulder.
As for Florida, they fall to 2-1 on the season and they will also have an off week as they try to get their second SEC win on the road against Tennessee on October 4. This would be a big win for Muschamp and his Gators, as they will play LSU, Missouri, and Georgia at home following their date with the Vols.
Muschamp, who is desperately trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s 4-8 season, will need to win on the road and put on a show at home to prove he is worthy of the Florida head coaching job – a privileged position in the football community. A win against LSU, Missouri, or Georgia would go along way with Florida fans and help push the losing record that still looms from last season further into the past.
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