TUSCALOOSA AL - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
No. 7 Florida rolled into October 4-0 and on a collision course with No. 1 and defending national champion Alabama in Tuscaloosa. At the time, many felt the matchup could be a preview of the SEC Championship game in December, though few forecast the curb stomping the Gators were in for against the Crimson Tide.
Alabama opened the game with a 10 play, 68-yard drive culminating in a 28-yard field goal before John Brantley led the Gators right back down the field with a 12 play, 74-yard drive of their own deep inside the Alabama red zone. Tim Burton misfired on a 4th and goal jump pass, however, and was picked off by Nico Johnson in the end zone to thwart the Florida threat. It was all Alabama from there.
The Crimson Tide rolled back down the field on the Gators, picking up yardage in chunks. The first quarter ended with Alabama still only up 3-0, but that was about to change. After hitting wide receiver Darius Hanks for a third time on the drive to pull Alabama down to the Florida 6, Greg McElroy handed of to Heisman winner Mark Ingram, who stormed into the end zone for an Alabama touchdown to put the Tide up 10-0.
After a three-and-out by Florida, Alabama marched down the field again. Setting up in Florida territory, Alabama stayed on the ground exclusively, riding Ingram, McElroy and Trent Richardson down to the Florida 1 before Mark Ingram finished off the drive with his second touchdown of the quarter on third down. Alabama was firmly in control, 17-0.
Brantley was intercepted on the ensuing Florida drive by Dre Kirkpatrick who returned the pick to the Florida 27. Quickly, Alabama was in the end zone for a third time in the frame on a 19-yard pass from Marquis Maze to Michael Williams, and safely ahead of the Gators 24-0. Florida did manage to salvage three off the foot of Chas Henry late in the half, but the writing was already on the wall.
In the second half, Florida got another field goal off the foot of Henry on its first drive, but it was all down hill from there for the Gator offense. On Florida's next drive, Brantley was picked off for a second time, this time by C.J. Mosley who housed the pick on a 35-yard return for a tocuchdown. Brantley followed that debacle up with a fumble on the Alabama one yard line on the ensuing drive, and the third quarter ended with the Tide pummeling the Gators 31-6, a score Alabama would end up holding on to win by after an uneventful fourth quarter.
Brantley finished 16-31 for 202 yards and two picks. Jeff Demps led Florida with 47 yards on 11 carries and Deonte Thompson caught three balls for 60 yards to lead the Gators in receiving. Florida was out rushed by Alabama by a margin of 170-79, though the Gators did out gain the Tide 281-273.
This loss sent Florida on a tailspin. The Gators lost their next two and needed overtime to beat eventual 6-6 Georgia in Jacksonville.
"We got beat by a good team. We just didn't play very well"-Urban Meyer.
"There is no associated link for this, but, Sweet Jesus, Addazio has to be fired. This is two years of his leadership and the Gators still can't convert inside the red zone. Did he really think the same stuff that worked against Kentucky would work against Alabama? Not only that, in those two years, the offensive line play has suffered. I'm not saying Addazio is a bad coach, just an awful offensive coordinator. He can go back to being the line coach and Urban Meyer or Scot Loeffler can be coordinator and call the plays. I get that the players have to execute, but this is college football, not the NFL. Coaches also have to execute."-Alligator Army.