Next: The Boys from Old Florida

The Tide takes it’s second road trip of the year this week to take on the Florida Gators.

Here’s a few thoughts to get the week rolling:

** Statistically, these teams appear to mirror each other. The Tide ranks first in the conference in total defense and the Gators rank second. Florida ranks first in total offense and the Tide is second.

** To take the first point even further, the Gators have 1,847 yards of total offense and Bama has 1,824.

** Florida and Alabama rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in time of possession with just over 31 minutes of ball control per game.

** Starting quarterbacks AJ McCarron and John Brantley rank fifth and sixth, respectively in yards passing per game and each QB has thrown for four touchdowns and two interceptions. Both quarterbacks are operating well in game manager mode with their training wheels still on (or in in Brantley’s case, put back on).

** Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss appears to have pulled the reins in on Brantley. Although Brantley is completing over 63 percent of his passes, his top wide receiver has hauled in seven passes in four games.

** Chris Rainey leads the Gators with 214 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Rainey has also rushed for 411 yards, while Jeff Demps has added 320 yards rushing.

** Alabama’s leading receiver is Marquis Maze with 20 catches for 226 yards and Trent Richardson has caught nine passes for 121 yards and one score. Richardson has rushed for 441 yards and backup Eddie Lacy has added 365 yards.

** McCarron has completing 66.3 percent of his passes for 779 yards and four scores.

** As you can see, both teams are not only racking up similar yardage, they are also doing it in similar fashion: two running backs carrying the load rushing and receiving.

** Defensively, the Gators are only allowing their opponents to convert on third downs 21.15 percent of the time. That ranks first in the conference. Alabama has only allowed opponents to convert a reasonable 30.43 percent of the time.

** The Gators lead the league in sacks with nine and the Tide ranks ninth with five (including one against Arkansas).

In real life, though, Alabama appears to have played a tougher schedule, but not by much. Games against Penn State and Arkansas give Bama the edge over the Gators schedule of Florida Atlantic, UAB, Tennessee and Kentucky.

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