Paschall: Florida Gators plan to challenge Bama front

Paschall: Florida Gators plan to challenge Bama front

September 29th, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports

Florida's senior tailback tandem of Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps have not developed into 6-foot-2, 210-pounders during the first month of the season, but they have been used for yards up the middle under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

Last week:


Willie Mack Garzas........5

Pasquali is 81-19 overall (81.0 percent) this season.


Fresno St. 36, Ole Miss 31

Virginia Tech 23, Clemson 22

Miami 55, Bethune-Cookman 6

Maryland 52, Towson 7

Virginia 38, Idaho 9

Fla. International 29, Duke 23

N. Carolina 34, E. Carolina 25

Boston Coll. 20, W. Forest 17

Oklahoma 49, Ball State 14

Wisconsin 27, Nebraska 24

Stanford 45, UCLA 18

Boise State 56, Nevada 16

Texas 42, Iowa State 21

Michigan 31, Minnesota 13

Ohio St. 17, Michigan St. 10

Notre Dame 30, Purdue 20

MTSU 28, Memphis 19

The Gators host Alabama and its unrelenting defense Saturday night, and first-year head coach Will Muschamp will not abandon trying to attack the Crimson Tide up front. The 5-9, 180-pound Rainey leads Florida with 411 rushing yards and 214 receiving yards, while the 5-8, 188-pound Demps has rushed for 320 yards and 9.4 yards a carry.

"The perimeter run game has been really good, but we've also run the ball well inside," Muschamp said Wednesday. "That's something we're committed to doing regardless the size of our backs. If you do one thing too much, then these defenses - they watch film, too, and they're going to hold the edges if you don't run the ball inside."

Alabama held the Gators to 88 rushing yards during its 32-13 win in the 2009 SEC championship and 79 in last season's 31-6 romp in Tuscaloosa.

"I think they're significantly different," Tide coach Nick Saban said. "There is not the zone-read option type of basis for what they do. They're more pro-style in terms of they run a lot of sweeps and some direct runs with these guys that they do a good job with.

"The drop-back passing game is certainly a lot different in style in terms of what they've done in the past, so to me there are not many similarities."

Pasquali's Pix:

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M: Does this thing count in the SEC West standings or not? Aggies 33, Razorbacks 28.

Mississippi State at Georgia: Two teams trying to escape the middle of the SEC. East Bulldogs 27, West Bulldogs 16.

Kentucky at LSU: League officials are considering implementing a mercy rule for this one, and they're eyeing next month's Bama-Ole Miss game as well. Tigers 42, Wildcats 7.

Buffalo at Tennessee: With the defensive fronts of Georgia, LSU, Alabama and South Carolina next in line, the Vols better get all their running game kinks out. Vols 45, Bulls 14.

Georgia Tech at N.C. State: Things are going so well for the Yellow Jackets these days that even Chan Gailey is undefeated. Jackets 28, Wolfpack 20.

Auburn at South Carolina: We're entering October, and Gamecocks defensive lineman Melvin Ingram has three times more touchdowns than receiver Alshon Jeffery. Gamecocks 27, Tigers 25.

The Citadel at UTC: Russ Huesman has to be the greatest 14-12 coach in FCS history. Mocs 34, Bulldogs 19.

Alabama at Florida: The Crimson Tide could become the first team since the SEC's last expansion to defeat Florida in three consecutive years. Crimson Tide 16, Gators 13.