Five Hours 'til Kickoff - Bama-UF Quarter-by-Quarter Prediction

Alabama and Florida kickoff at 7:00 P.M. Central Time at The Swamp in Gainesville, Florida.  That's a mere five hours away.  What do we do until then (other than yard work and other stuff I need to be doing rather than watching Arkansas-Texas A&M)?

We don't predict the score.  We predict how each quarter will play out.  Are we 100% accurate? Close. We've never been wrong -- because this is our first time doing this.

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Don't be shocked if some of these predictions come true. Don't be surprised if not one single thing we say occurs. We're all friends here and I can admit when I'm wrong.  Or at least I think I can. I'll let you know when it happens.

1st Quarter

-Alabama starts the game with the ball after winning the toss and electing to receive. 'Bama starts at the 20 after a touchback on the opening kickoff.  The pro-Gator crowd is nuts.  The noise visibly rattles A.J. McCarron and Florida's defense is flying all over the place. After Trent Richardson is stuffed for a 1-yard loss on 3rd-and-3, 'Bama is forced into a 3-and-out.

-Florida's offense comes out on their first play from scrimmage and completes a 32-yard pass to mid-field. BUT THERE'S A FLAAAAAAAAG!!!!! Holding on Florida.  'Bama's D settles in and forces UF into a 3-and-out as well.

-The first quarter is owned by both defenses.  The only points come on a Jeremy Shelley 41-yard field goal for Alabama that was set up by a 36-yard punt return by Marquis Maze.

End of 1st Quarter - Alabama 3 Florida 0

2nd Quarter

-Florida Quarterback John Brantley makes his first crucial error with 8:24 left in the first half when he holds on to the ball too long in the pocket and is rocked by Courtney Upshaw. 'Tide linebacker Jerrell Harris scoops up the fumble and rumbles 56 yards to the end zone to give Alabama the 10-0 lead.

-After a McCarron interception deep in Alabama territory, Florida runs three plays and gains four yards.  Muschamp decides to try a field goal to get points on the board and cut the Alabama lead down to one possession.  With Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis not able to play, the Gators have to send out true Freshman Brad Phillips to try a 31-yard field goal. With 1:08 remaining in the half, Phillips nails it and the Gators are on the board.

-Alabama gets the ball back with a minute remaining until halftime, but Saban decides to run the ball for two plays and allow the half to end since the 'Tide offense has yet to look settled.  No need to try something stupid and make a big mistake on the road.

End of 2nd Quarter - Alabama 10 Florida 3


-Verne and Gary send it down to Tracy Wolfson for the halftime interview with Nick Saban.  Here's what will be said:

Tracy: COOOOOOOOAAAAAACH, A.J. McCarron looks a little rattled.  Any plans to bring in Phillip Sims?

Saban: [looking deep into the soul of the television viewer] Probably not.


3rd Quarter

-After both teams drive to near midfield on their opening drives, the game is looking to become a battle of field position.  Both Florida and Alabama have 4th-and-short opportunities, but decide to play close to the vest and punt.

-Neither team scores as the game continues to be a defensive battle.

End of 3rd Quarter - Alabama 10 Florida 3

4th Quarter

-Alabama's defense picked off a Brantley pass at their own 46-yard line with 10:42 to play in the game. The offensive line for the 'Tide must have decided they'd seen enough of the Gators defense because Alabama completely takes over.  After Trent Richardson runs through gaping holes on two straight plays to get down to the Gator 33-yard line, Alabama pulled out a bag of trickery.  Trent Richardson lines up in the Wildcat formation. On the snap he gives the ball to Marquis Maze who is in motion toward the offensive right. Maze appears to turn up field ready to turn on the burners toward the end zone. At the last minute, however, Maze rears back on the run and laces a pass to a wide open Trent Richardson in the middle of the field that he catches at the 9-yard line and walks into the end zone.  Richardson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when he started making a typing, texting, and dialing motion with his fingers and holding up three fingers as if he wanted someone to vote for him on Dancing With the Stars or American Idol. Definitely the most awkward celebration in the history of football.

-'Bama's D stands strong the remainder of the game and Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy take over on offense.  Alabama ices the game after a 12-play, 67-yard drive that is capped by Trent Richardson's 4-yard touchdown run with 3:34 to play.  The drive lasts just under five minutes.

FINAL SCORE - Alabama 24 Florida 3

NOTE: Nick Saban suspends Trent Richardson for next week's homecoming game against Vandy for his DWTS/American Idol end zone celebration.  No players are allowed to discuss it publicly.

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