Alabama Football: 3 Keys for Tide to beat Florida Gators

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama football
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports /

3 keys for Alabama football to beat Florida

1. Protect Bryce Young at all costs

This is a key for a few reasons. The obvious situation for Alabama football is that they only have one proven quarterback on the roster. If Young goes down, fans should be very concerned.

However, this isn’t only about health. Bryce Young needs a reliable pocket on Saturday. He’s avoided some sacks, but that was against worse opponents. This will be his biggest test so far as a starter, and it’s in a hostile environment.

Alabama has made changes to the offensive line this year, but nothing has completely worked. There have been penalties and missed assignments. Young has been forced to scramble and make plays by himself. You can’t ask him to do that in this game. He needs to know that if he stays in the pocket, he won’t get his bell rung.

Alabama football has plenty of upperclassmen on the offensive line. Evan Neal is one of the best linemen in college football. Chris Owens and Emil Ekiyor were both contributors last year. Now, the Tide have to find the best first unit and rely on those upperclassmen. Whether Owens is playing center or tackle, he needs to play better. If he is out of the starting lineup, his replacements need to communicate to avoid missed assignments on the road.

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Alabama is favored against Florida, but that doesn’t guarantee them a win. They’ll have to do these three things to leave Gainesville undefeated.