Behind Enemy Lines: Preview of Alabama-Florida with Gators Wire

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No. 1 Alabama was able to take care of Miami and Mercer the first two weeks of the season. But now they have their sights set on the Gators as they travel to “The Swamp” this Saturday.

We had a chance to catch up with Tyler Nettuno of Gators Wire to get a closer look at the 2021 Gators! Here are his thoughts.

Which QB gives the Gators the best chance to beat Alabama, Emory Jones or Anthony Richardson, and why?

I think it’s become pretty clear at this point that Richardson is the guy. Not to diss Jones, who has stuck around and worked hard for four years, but Richardson just does things that I’ve never really seen someone of his size do. He continues to make amazing plays whenever he’s in the game, and while Jones has had some positive moments, to be sure, the consistency hasn’t been there with either his mechanics or decision-making. If Richardson’s hamstring is good to go on Saturday, he needs to play a major role in the game plan.

I know the 2020 Gator defense was not up to the standard, so what are your thoughts on the Gator defense after two games this season?

It’s hard to evaluate considering the fact that FAU and USF had two of the worst FBS offenses a year ago, but so far, it seems to be at least somewhat improved. The pass rush was great in Week 1 but dropped off a bit last week, and while Kaiir Elam is a fantastic corner, the secondary as a whole isn’t playing great. Overall, I think the defense will end up being better this year, but it remains a weakness.

Offensive player that Alabama fans should know about (other than QB’s).

Receiver Jacob Copeland was expected to be the guy to step up to help replace the production from Kadarius Toney, Kyle Pitts, and Trevon Grimes. He had a slow start in Week 1, but in Week 2 he had the best game of his career, making five catches for 175 yards and two scores. Florida will probably need a lot of offense to contend with Alabama, so expect him to see a lot of targets.

Defensive player that Alabama fans should know about.

Defensive end Zachary Carter probably could have gone to the NFL last year, but he returned to anchor the Gators’ defensive line. He totaled five sacks in 2020, but he has three through two games this year. He could make things difficult for Bryce Young if the protection doesn’t hold up.

Alabama is a 15 point favourite, what has to happen for Florida to win the game?

Based on the way this team has played the last two weeks, it’s honestly hard to see how Florida can win this game. With that being said, Richardson has proven to be a special player, and if he’s healthy and able to see significant action Saturday, he might be able to muster enough magic to keep this one close. Bryce Young hasn’t thrown a pick this year, but if Florida can put some pressure on him, we could see some mistakes from the young passer. But Florida will need to be very efficient in capitalizing on those mistakes. Contact/Follow us @RollTideWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Alabama news, notes and opinion. You can also follow Stacey Blackwood on Twitter @Blackwood89.

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