| FTBL Barnhart's 5 Things to know about the SECCG



1. If Tim Tebow has a big game against Alabama he should win the Heisman Trophy: I know everyone is impressed with the numbers that Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford (4,080 yards, 46 TD), Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell (4,747 yards, 41 TD), and Texas’s Colt McCoy (3,445 yards, 32 touchdowns) are putting up. Those numbers are staggering. But trust me when I tell you that nobody in America is playing as well as Tim Tebow is right now. Since the 31-30 loss to Ole Miss on Sept. 27, Tebow has been a force of nature. In the eight games coming into Saturday’s showdown with Alabama Tebow has completed 90 of 144 passes (68 percent) for 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He has rushed for another 408 yards and 10 touchdowns. In those eight games Florida has outscored its opponents 414-97, an average margin of victory of 39.6 points per game. Florida put up 56 on South Carolina, which had the nation’s No. 3 defense, and 45 on Florida State, whose defense was ranked seventh at the time. This week Tebow faces the nation’s No. 3 defense in Alabama.

2. Alabama has speed, too: There is no question that one team (Florida) wants to turn this game into a track meet and the other team (Alabama) wants to it to be a street fight. But it would be a mistake to think Florida is the only team with speed. Yes, Florida will be very quick on the turf in the Georgia Dome. But so will the Alabama defense, that didn’t get to be No. 3 in the nation by being slow. Florida has an edge in speed but it the speed gap between the two teams is not as wide as some people think. I was on a conference call with some Alabama players earlier this week and it was clear they are getting tired of hearing that they are slow in comparison to the Gators. It’s not true. Speaking of speed, there is no doubt in my mind that Florida’s Percy Harvin is going to answer the bell at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

3.These teams don’t know what it is like to be behind: Florida has played 720 minutes of football this season. The Gators have trailed for only 15:38 through 12 games. Alabama trailed for 16:34 against LSU before winning the game 27-21. In the other 11 games this season Alabama trailed for 6:47. The Crimson Tide trailed for 5:32 against Mississippi State and for 1:15 against Ole Miss. In the other nine games this season Alabama never trailed. The reason Alabama and Florida don’t have experience in trailing is because both teams like to put their opponents into a hole early and watch them make mistakes while trying to climb out. In 12 games this season Florida has outscored its opponents 160-10. Alabama has outscored its opponents 123-20 in the first quarter through 12 games.

4. It will not be a high scoring game because both defenses are good: Everybody knows that Alabama has a great defense. But Florida’s defense, which was a weakness last season, has become a strength for the Gators. Here are the NCAA rankings in four major defensive categories.


Total defense—————3 (248.5 ypg)—————7 (275.67 ypg)

Scoring defense———3 (11.5 ppg)——————4 (12.3 ppg)

Rushing defense———2 (73.6 ypg)—————-12 (102.8 ypg)

Pass defense————-20 (174.92 ypg)———— 7 (172.92 ypg)

5. The game will come down to turnovers: I have long believed that turnover margin—the number of turnovers your defenses creates minus the number of turnovers your offenses commits—is the most important stat in football. Alabama, for example, has created 24 turnovers (9 fumbles, 15 interceptions) while committing 15 (9 fumbles, 6 interceptions). That plus-9 margin ranks No. 21 in the country.

Florida, however, is ranked No. 1 with a turnover margin of plus 21. The Gators have forced 32 turnovers (9 fumbles, 23 interceptions) while committing only 11 (8 fumbles, 3 interceptions). Florida was the last team in the country to have a turnover this season. The three interceptions (2 by Tebow) for Florida this season is the lowest total for any team in Division I-A.

The X-Factors:

Everybody knows that two of the best punt returners in college football will be in this game. Florida’s Brandon James averages 14.67 and is one of six players in the country to return two punts for touchdowns. Another of the six with two punt returns for touchdowns is Javier Arenas, who averages 14.66 per return. How many touches will each get during the course of the game?

Here are two final stats that intrigue me: Florida has blocked eight kicks (5 punts, 2 field goals, 1 extra point) this season. Head coach Urban Meyer coaches the special teams and he is fanatical about it. Since Meyer got to Florida in 2005 his teams have blocked 45 kicks.

Alabama leads the nation in non-offensive touchdowns with eight. The Crimson Tide has returned four interceptions for touchdowns. Arenas has returned punts of 87 and 80 yards for touchdowns. Alabama has returned a block punt and a fumble for touchdown. Florida is second in the nation in this category with seven non-offensive touchdowns (5 interceptions, 2 punt returns).

I talked to nomercypercy yesterday and he mentioned the fact that Florida hasn't had to come from behind all year, like mentioned in #3. While Bama's minutes trailing isn't very telling, we had close games come down to the wire. The LSU game experience will do nothing but help us in the SECC, IMO.
He's got a mistake in there in time that each team has trailed. Florida trailed for a full week after the Ole Miss game. :lol:
Here are two final stats that intrigue me: Florida has blocked eight kicks (5 punts, 2 field goals, 1 extra point) this season. Head coach Urban Meyer coaches the special teams and he is fanatical about it. Since Meyer got to Florida in 2005 his teams have blocked 45 kicks.

Knowing, Florida is going to come after Fitz, I wouldn't be surprised, in the least, we fake a punt or kick this weekend.
Well, Florida has been in a position where they had to come from behind in the Ole Miss game but unfortunately we had a broken pass coverage right after we took the lead late. Alabama definitely has the advantage in a close game as they have proven they can win in that situation.
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