- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 10, 2009


A. Tim Tebow vs. Alabama defense - The single-wing sledgehammer has spent his entire career pounding off-tackle for positive yardage in between Florida’s home run shots. The Heisman Trophy and a chance to cement arguably the greatest career in college football history will be on the line when the Florida senior faces a stacked Alabama defense featuring three All-Americans.

B. Mark Ingram vs. Florida’s linebackers - If the Florida defense, anchored by All-American middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, has a weakness, it’s somewhat of a soft spot against the run. The Crimson Tide will pound that sore spot relentlessly for 60 minutes. Ingram has played his best in big games, averaging 178 yards against Alabama’s four ranked opponents this season.

C. Urban Meyer vs. Nick Saban - The man seeking his third title in four seasons faces the highest-paid and arguably most meticulous master of his craft in the college game. It’s Meyer’s offensive innovation vs. Saban’s defensive genius in a collision of new-school spread vs. old-school assignment discipline and toughness.

D. Greg McElroy vs. Florida’s defensive backs - Alabama’s struggling junior quarterback will have his hands full against a Florida secondary that ranks first in the nation in pass efficiency defense. With a nickel package boasting five seasoned pro prospects, the Gators have recorded 15 interceptions and allowed only four touchdown passes.

Our take — If both teams play their usual games, Tebow and Ingram will do what they always do. Tebow struggles with the deep ball, but he works beautifully underneath while mixing in punishing 4- and 6-yard runs. Ingram will answer Tebow in the Heisman showdown by pounding out yet another 100-yard-plus performance.

Saban will outwork, outprepare and generally outflank Meyer, just as he did in the same game last year with exponentially less talent. But neither the work of Ingram nor Saban is likely enough to offset the massive advantage Florida’s secondary has over McElroy and an almost nonexistent Alabama passing game.


“Is that your ‘A’ game?”

- Kentucky coach John Calipari to John Wall after the nation’s top freshman scored 27 points in his first college exhibition game

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