56.4 F
Mobile
49.1 F
Huntsville
49.9 F
Birmingham
60.3 F
Montgomery

Last look: Alabama vs. Mercer

Mercer is in the rearview mirror now, and Alabama now has its sights set on Florida.

After an impressive performance against the Miami Hurricanes in week one, the Tide got a tune-up game to prepare for Florida. Nick Saban was a little disappointed in his team’s intensity in practice leading up to the game against Mercer and noticed a lack of focus in his team.

The Crimson Tide looked good in their 48-14 victory, but there were times when fans could see what Saban was referring to with sloppy play.

On facing Florida next week, and the way practice needs to change, Saban said, “Well, they will understand this week because they are going to play a really good Florida team. So, if they don’t wake up and shake themselves, they’ll get shook.”

This was a message to his team — not the fans or the reporter asking — ahead of facing the 11th-ranked Florida Gators.

A top 15 matchup is coming, and the Tide need to practice much differently this week than they did last week. Yet, if there are any guarantees in football at all, it is that Bama will be prepared for the task at hand each week.

Alabama will be preparing for a more athletic quarterback than Miami had with two dual-threat signal-callers, Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson, who both lead the team in rushing, which is scary for opposing defenses.

Alabama will need to load the box a little more this game than they have earlier in the season. They can successfully do this because of an athletic secondary that will be on the lookout for play-action passes.

If the game against Mercer showed anything about the Tide, it showed that prepared or not, they have the top talent in all of college football. However, this week they will need to prepare with focus and drive to walk into one of the most hostile environments in the Southeast.

Alabama will travel to the Swamp in Gainesville to play the 11th ranked Gators this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Hayden Crigler is a contributing college football and college basketball writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him through email: hayden@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter: @hayden_crigler.