- Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense (9.8 points per game); FSU is fourth (13.1). The Crimson Tide rank fifth nationally in total defense, the Seminoles seventh.
“You’ve got to really study both teams to find an Achilles’ heel; you can’t even go into special teams and find a weakness,” said Phil Savage, the color analyst for Alabama football radio broadcasts and a former NFL scout and general manager. “They are complete teams in all three phases, and that’s unusual in college ball.”
It is no accident that there is a resemblance: Jimbo Fisher, the Seminoles’ coach, worked for Nick Saban, Alabama’s coach, for five years at LSU, including the 2003 BCS championship season.
“Nick Saban has the blueprint, and Florida State is working off that blueprint,” said David Norrie, a color analyst for ESPN’s college radio broadcasts. “Alabama tests your will in the trenches; that’s been their calling card the last four years. But, you look at Florida State, their offensive line took over the game against Miami.”
Offensive tackle Tyler Moore, who started six games, will miss the rest of the season following a scooter accident. Moore is the ninth Florida player — including five starters — lost for the season. Coach Will Muschamp said that Moore, a sophomore who transferred from Nebraska, crashed while driving home from practice Tuesday night and had surgery to repair a compound fracture in his right elbow. It’s unclear how long he will be sidelined. Without him, Max Garcia will move from left guard to left tackle Saturday against Vanderbilt. Either Kyle Koehne or Ian Silberman will start at left guard. It will be Florida’s sixth starting combination on the line in nine games.
THEY SAID IT
“They’re really good players. They’re kids that the other kids like to know are out there with them in the battle.” — Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on the return to the lineup of cornerback Mike Hilton, running back Jeff Scott and defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (Grayson High).
“We just feel like we’re a big freight train, and once we get started, it’s hard to stop us.” — Auburn running back Tre Mason, now the league’s No. 3 rusher with 921 yards and a league-best 13 touchdowns.
BY THE NUMBERS
62-29 Florida has been outscored 62-29 in the first quarter, 41-13 in its four losses.
14 Rank that Florida holds among SEC teams (meaning last) in penalties (62), total yards in penalties (497) and penalties per game (7.8).