Five Alabama players to watch against Dan Mullen's program
The Gators are set to square off against top-ranked Alabama in the Swamp this weekend in one of the most highly-anticipated games of the season.
Whenever the No. 1 team comes to town, it's a big deal, and with this being the first conference game for both schools, it is a chance to get started off on the right foot.
Alabama lost a lot of production on both sides of the ball after last year, but the Crimson Tide just seems to reload on a regular basis and this season doesn’t seem to be any different.
Here are five Alabama players UF will need to keep in check if they are going to pull off the upset in front of what should be a fired-up crowd of 90,000-plus.
Quarterback Bryce Young
Whenever you talk about an elite team, you have to start with the quarterback.
Young is a first-year starter for the Crimson Tide, but he is off to a fast start. The talented signal caller has completed 70.8 percent of his passes on the season for 571 yards, seven touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception.
Sitting behind an offensive line that could very well be one of the best in the country has certainly helped the young QB, as both teams in their first two games haven’t been able to pressure Young on a consistent basis. If the Gators can apply pressure, I think you could see Young, a player who has been extremely poised for someone of his age and experience, get a bit flustered.
Florida is going to need to force turnovers to win this game, and pressuring a young QB is one of the best ways to do that.
Running Back Brian Robinson
The latest in a long line of talented running backs to come through Tuscaloosa, Robinson has waited his turn and is now the guy running the show.
He will split time with a couple of others, but make no mistake: Robinson is the leader there. He has carried the ball 22 times on the season for 130 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers are good for an impressive 5.9 yards per carry.
Brian is a very patient runner and someone who is extremely hard to bring down on first contact. The Gators are going to have to tackle well and in numbers if they are going to be able to slow down Robinson.
Linebacker Henry To'o To'o
The Tennessee transfer was one of the most highly sought-after players in the transfer portal after last season and is already showing everyone exactly why.
To’o To’o is the signal caller for the Crimson Tide defense, even after only being there for a few months. He shows impressive sideline-to-sideline range and has racked up 13 tackles so far this year, which is good enough for the team lead.
Henry is very familiar with the Gators, having started for the Volunteers last year, and will look to make the lives of the UF quarterbacks and running backs very hard on Saturday.
Outside Linebacker Will Anderson
The preseason first-team All-American had a huge first game for the Tide but saw his second outing cut short due to an injury.
I add Anderson into this group because I have seen Nick Saban say that he has been encouraged by Will’s recovery this week, saying, "If he continues to make improvements throughout the week, he could certainly play in the game.”
Anderson is one of the best pass rushers in the country, and should he play, will certainly be a handful for the Florida offensive line. Anderson has 12 tackles, including two for loss and a sack, in about a game and a half of action this season.
Wide Receiver John Metchie III
Metchie is the leading returning receiver for the Tide and looks to be Bryce Young’s favorite target to this point in the season. He leads the team in receptions with 11 and is second on the team in yards with 146. He has a touchdown to his name as well.
Metchie runs great routes, has good hands and can make things happen after the catch. He also works primarily out of the slot, a position that Florida has had trouble finding quality coverage from. I expect Young to look to Metchie early and test whoever is at STAR for Florida.