Alabama Football: Saban predicted Gators game a week ago


Nick Saban knew what would happen to Alabama Football against the Florida Gators. And he called it a week before Saturday’s kickoff. After the Alabama Crimson Tide mucked around against FCS foe, Mercer; Saban said his players had to perform better against the Gators or “they gonna get shook.”

It was Alabama Football doing the shaking early, rushing out to a 21-3 lead. Midway through the second quarter, a 26-yard touchdown run by Malik Davis gave the Gators hope. After a missed PAT, the score was 21-9. Neither team backed down in the second half, but it was the Gators that played with greater intensity for much of the final 30 minutes.

Make no mistake the Crimson Tide showed plenty of grit. The Ben Hill Griffin crowd tried its best to make the Tide crumble. After the Gators cut the lead to 21-16, a gutsy Tide drive of 75 yards pushed the lead to 28-16. From that point on, in the game’s last 20 minutes, almost everything was a slog for the Crimson Tide.

The Gators responded with an 11 play, 99-yard drive to again cut the Tide lead to five points. The improved Alabama football defense of 2021 suddenly looked vulnerable. After the game Nick Saban said,

"What concerned me most is we could not maintain our intensity, especially on defense. We had a lot of mental errors."

Included in those mental errors were too many missed tackles and blown assignments. But take nothing away from the Gators, they pounded the Tide. The Gators rushed for 258 yards (compared to 91 for the Crimson Tide.) Florida running backs and QB Emory Jones gashed the Tide. Malik Davis rushed for a 9.6 yards average; Nay’Quan Wright averaged 8.3 yards.

In the second half, the Gators out-rushed the Tide 156 yards to 61. The Gators were 4-for-5 on third downs in the second half. The Tide was 4-for-7. For the entire game, Florida QB, Emory Jones produced 261 yards passing and running.

Dan Mullen should be credited for his offensive game plan. No doubt he worked on it for nine months. Mullen’s play-calling and schemes made it tough on the Tide defense to make pre-snap adjustments in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Alabama Football battled its way to Victory

Through it all, the Crimson Tide kept battling. A mark of great teams is they find a way to win. The Alabama Crimson Tide is not yet a great team. After three weeks of college football, how good Florida is, remains an unanswered question; while Miami has shown it is far from elite. The Crimson Tide must improve. There is no reason to doubt it will.

The offensive line will continue to improve. So will Bryce Young. So will an Alabama football defense, that will not again want to hear Nick Saban say the Tide offense saved them.

dark. Next. Why the Tide dominates the SEC East

Hats off to the Tide for a big SEC road win. Next up for the Crimson Tide is Southern Miss, followed by Ole Miss.