- If anyone saw Saban's interview on ESPN, he said the short week hurt the defensive game preparation and that the team had little to no intensity going into the game, which he couldn't understand. I hate to say it, but I think we probably have helped contribute to the lack of intensity. Of course winning 36-0 last year, combined with having Ingram on the cover of SI and Auburn losing four of their last six games (especially in dominating fashion to LSU) gave our players a false sense of security. They've probably been hearing about how great they are and how much better they are than Auburn and it almost really cost us today. I know we make a difference with our support, but maybe it would have helped the team if so many of us weren't so blase about the game. I'm not referring to anyone on here as much as I'm thinking of a couple of my friends who've been very vocal about how badly Alabama would beat Auburn today. I think this mindset might have permeated the team today because the intensity level was not what it should have been from start to finish.
- Eryk Anders looked terrible a couple times (especially against the first reverse that went for a touchdown...if he'd stayed home he could have strung that play out for at most a minimal gain). I know Auburn's offense is tricky, but hey, there's NO NEED for an edge player to chase a wide sweep to the opposite side. He really needed to play more disciplined on this and a couple other plays.
- On the onside kick, I was screaming at the funky huddle and trickery before the kickoff. It was different from how they'd kicked off before and it was obvious something was up. Our guys weren't ready for that and I was shocked.
- I don't know if it was cover two or three, but Mark Barron absolutely bit and fell asleep on Auburn's third quarter touchdown pass. Arenas was hugging the flat and Barron let the receiver streak right past him. In either cover two or three, he can't let that happen.
- Did anyone notice how much we were hurt by either our players or the football hitting the line judge? That happened a couple times in important third down situations and I found myself screaming, "Get out of the F'ing way!"
As for Florida...
- A telling sign of our chances in this game will be how well Florida gets a push on Mt. Cody and our other interior linemen. Last year, after the Mi'ssippi game, in which Cody was injured, LSU and Florida both ran the ball effectively against our defense. Next Saturday we should have a very good idea of how well our defense will do based purely on what happens in the middle of the field at the line of scrimmage. If Florida gets a good push on Cody, we will probably not win the game.
- Can we blow up Florida's option fake shovel pass play? I'm talking about the one where Tebow starts down the line like it's an option. His eyes are on the pitch man behind him, meanwhile either Hernandez or Demps slide in front and then catch the shovel pass. I think Florida burns somebody almost every game with this play and I'd really like to see someone read it, jump it, and blow up the receiver.
- I think it's imperative that we DRILL Tim Tebow every zone or option play. I'm not talking about running up and giving him a little push, I'm talking about treating him like a running back because Florida uses him like a running back. When he runs the zone option, I think it would be worth a chance to have the first man through tackle Tebow. Against Florida, it's better for someone else to carry the ball IMO. I know teams are often told to make the Quarterback keep the ball on certain plays, but I think Florida benefits greatly from this because Tebow is such a great runner. Why not try to take him out of the game.
- When tackling Tebow, it's best to hit him low. Teams have had success this season tackling him around the ankles in the open field. In the open field, we should do the same.
- I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but we have struggled offensively when he try to run first. Today, we tried to pound the ball on Auburn and they had 8 in the box most of the game. They shut our run down for the most part, so I think we will need a gameplan similar to what we used against LSU if we are going to move the ball on Florida.
- Finally, I don't know if our players looked past Auburn or just assumed they would win and didn't give Gus Malzahn's offense enough credit. I don't know if Auburn really exposed us or not (I don't think so because there were some very BASIC fundamental defensive errors on two of Auburn's long touchdowns and some huge reaction errors on Auburn's onside kick recovery). Anyway, I know this: Florida has had their time. They've won two championships in three years. They've dominated the conference. They beat us last year and ruined our season. They are probably responsible for the Sugar Bowl against Utah.
Beat them. It will take a tremendous game. They've got NFL talent at every level of their defense. Their offensive line is good. Their quarterback is legendary. Their skill players are faster than gnats. But WE ARE ALABAMA. WE owe these guys something. Win. This is the game we've wanted since we lost in 2008. We got our rematch. Now let's win it.