Alabama 42, Florida 21

    Sept. 20 Alabama 42, Florida 21 And You Care Because … In a key early-season SEC showdown, Florida had no answers for the suddenly prolific Alabama

    September 21, 2014

    Sept. 20 Alabama 42, Florida 21

    And You Care Because … In a key early-season SEC showdown, Florida had no answers for the suddenly prolific Alabama offense. The Tide piled up 645 yards, the majority off the right arm of QB Blake Sims, the most ever allowed by a Gator team. Florida knotted things at 21 on a Jeff Driskel 14-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter, but Bama controlled the rest of the game. The Tide scored the final three touchdowns, two on touchdown passes to WR Amari Cooper.

    What Else? Sims recorded the second-best passing day in the history of Alabama football. He wound up 23-of-33 for 445 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. His first touchdown, an 87-yarder to Kenyan Drake, set the tone for this game.

    – Florida QB Jeff Driskel was in many ways the anti-Driskel in this one. The beleaguered senior only connected on 9-of-28 passes for 93 yards, one touchdown and a couple of interceptions.

    – Amari Cooper was unstoppable, proving that even when matched with a corner of Vernon Hargeaves’ caliber, he’s one of the game’s premier receivers. Cooper schooled the Gators for 10 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

    – If today was an indication of where the Florida D is at, what does it mean for Will Muschamp’s future? The Gators used to be able to count on the defense, but the unit was repeatedly abused, on the ground and through the air, in Tuscaloosa.

    Game Rating: A

    By Phil Harrison
    If you wanted to get to Alabama, the opportunity might have just gotten much, much more difficult, because the Tide is beginning to round into form.

    Yeah there were a ton of uncharacteristic turnovers to gift the Gators 21 points, but the play of senior quarterback Blake Sims was fantastic — throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns against an SEC defense. It wasn’t all lasers and confetti either, as the Tide went for almost 200 yards on the ground and probably could have done as much damage there if it weren’t for the suspect Gator secondary.

    There is plenty of season to go, but after this performance, Alabama looks like a Nick Saban led team again, and you can go ahead and pencil them in as a legitimate SEC and national title contender.

    On the other sideline, head coach Will Muschamp’s seat just got hotter than a thousand suns. Nobody really expected the Gators to beat ‘Bama at home, but the way the offense sputtered despite the benefit of four turnovers, and the fact that the defense gave up more real-estate than the Louisiana purchase isn’t going to win the coach free meals at the Gainesville area Denny’s.

    One program has the world before it, the other is in a world of hurt. At least there is plenty of season to go. Depending on which side you are on, that’s either good news or bad.

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