In virtually every game involving teams who think they have a national championship shot, the home crowd starts yelling, “We want Bama.”
Include Ohio State players and coach Urban Meyer in that mix.
“I guess I’m a little biased but I think we’d wipe the field with both (Alabama and Florida State)” wide receiver Evan Spencer said. The son of former Ohio State and NFL player and coach Tim Spencer added, “That’s just my bias speaking.”
Meyer took a different approach to making it known that he thinks the Buckeyes deserve a chance. He voted the Buckeyes No. 2 on his USA Today coaches’ ballot (one of the polls used in the BCS formula) — behind Alabama but ahead of Florida State.
Meyer’s justification? “I’ve had us (No.) 2 all year. I just think we’re playing like one of the top teams in the country right now.”
Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison, the team’s leading tackler with 49, is out for the final three games, becoming the team’s 10th player to sustain a season-ending injury. Mike Taylor will move to middle linebacker and freshman Jarrad Davis will start at outside linebacker. Morrison has torn knee meniscus.
Florida also likely will be without offensive tackle D.J. Humphries against the Gamecocks. Humphries sprained his right knee two weeks ago and is doubtful.
WAIT FOR IT
Alabama’s Nick Saban doesn’t want his players to be in a celebratory mood this week.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide’s coach prefers them to focus on what it felt like to physically dominant in the second half against LSU and that is how he wants Alabama to play.
“You cannot take things for granted,” Saban said. “There can’t be any kind of relief syndrome that, ‘We got by that game.’ I think the most important thing — and I think this last game sort of showed that — the team we want to be is the team we were in the second half, an aggressive team that’s trying to control the line of scrimmage. Not a team playing with a lot of anxiety that’s worried about making mistakes and errors. We made a lot of mental errors in the first half of the game.
“You’ve got to be aggressive and you’ve got to play to win. You can’t play to keep from getting beat.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Consecutive victories by Alabama of 20 or more points.
HE SAID IT
“I’m not sure, but (Todd Gurley is) probably the most physical back in the league. … We’ve played so many good ones, and there are still some left down the road, but I don’t know if there isn’t a more physical back than him. … When you go from playing the most inexperienced QB in the league, to playing the most experienced QB in the league, that is going to be the issue. We cannot give up the kind of rushing yards we did Saturday (against Tennessee) and expect for that to hold up because of the QB we’re playing. We’ve got to find some way to slow Gurley down and not give up that kind of rushing yards.” — Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.