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Most recent 12 results returned for keyword: DeQuan Menzie (Search this on MAP)

https://plus.google.com/111930435165704337357 Detroit Lions FanPage : #FanPages  Matt Veldman, DeQuan Menzie and Chaz Schilens, three players fighting somewhat long odds ...
#FanPages  Matt Veldman, DeQuan Menzie and Chaz Schilens, three players fighting somewhat long odds to make the #DetroitLions’ 53-man roster, have all had at least a taste of #NFL life.
Trio of prospects fight for future with Lions
Matt Veldman, DeQuan Menzie and Chaz Schilens, three players fighting somewhat long odds to make the Lions' 53-man roster, have all had at least a taste of NFL life.
1 year ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/111930435165704337357 Detroit Lions FanPage : #FanPages  The #DetroitLions have claimed defensive back DeQuan Menzie off waivers from the #KansasCityChiefs...
#FanPages  The #DetroitLions have claimed defensive back DeQuan Menzie off waivers from the #KansasCityChiefs.

Kansas City drafted Menzie last year in the fifth round and he didn't play as a rookie because of a hip injury. #NFL  
Lions claim banged-up DB DeQuan Menzie from Chiefs
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Lions have claimed defensive back DeQuan Menzie off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs.
1 year ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/113946597416322212011 Chris Katje : Detroit Lions Smart to Add CB DeQuan Menzie
Detroit Lions Smart to Add CB DeQuan Menzie
Detroit Lions Strengthen Secondary With Versatile DeQuan Menzie of Alabama

The Detroit Lions have strengthened their secondary with the waiver pick-up of DeQuan Menzie. With secondary being one of the team’s major 2012 weaknesses, the team has put a lot of attention on that area and is hoping for success in 2013. Menzie was a fifth round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the [...]


1 year ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/100240787712014098774 Rob Secl : DeQuan Menzie
DeQuan Menzie
Who is DeQuan Menzie | Star No Star | Is DeQuan Menzie Celebrity | Vote
Who is DeQuan Menzie. Is DeQuan Menzie celebrity. who Is Star DeQuan Menzie and who is real celebrity, find out at Star No Star.
1 year ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/117027839158169477416 Chiefs Nation : Kansas City Chiefs: A Scott Pioli has rebuilt the Chiefs by deftly selecting productive, hard-working...
Kansas City Chiefs: A
Scott Pioli has rebuilt the Chiefs by deftly selecting productive, hard-working players in every stage of the draft. This year, Pioli appeared to deviate from the philosophy when he selected Dontari Poe in the first round, despite questions about his productivity at Memphis. However, it's impossible to find 346-pound defenders with this combination of size, strength and athleticism, so it's a worthwhile gamble with the unique upside. Jeff Allen, Donald Stephenson and Devon Wylie are classic "hard hat and lunch pail" guys with the potential to fill key roles as rookies. Cyrus Gray and DeQuan Menzie are promising Day 3 picks. Bottom line: This looks like another stellar class that should keep the team in contention in this division for the foreseeable future.
AFC West draft grades: Chiefs clean up again; Broncos gamble
No division was more tightly packed in 2011 than the AFC West, so a few impact draft picks could make all the difference in 2012. Chad Reuter grades each team's draft class, praising the Chiefs' haul....
2 years ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/117027839158169477416 Chiefs Nation : 14. Kansas City Chiefs: They've lacked a roadblock on their defensive line for some time, so we loved...
14. Kansas City Chiefs: They've lacked a roadblock on their defensive line for some time, so we loved the choice of athletic 346-pound NT Dontari Poe 11th overall, especially given the ability to groom him under the watch of coach Romeo Crennel. GM Scott Pioli also upgraded his offensive line and made a nice grab by getting Alabama DB DeQuan Menzie in the fifth. Sexy? No. QB prospect? No. But this is a sneaky good roster.
Ranking NFL teams' 2012 drafts 1-32
History suggests drafts can't be fairly graded for three years, but Steelers top list of first impressions as we assess each team's rookies.
2 years ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/117027839158169477416 Chiefs Nation : Kansas City Chiefs -- DeQuan Menzie, DB, Alabama (146th pick overall) -- A favorite sleeper pick of ...
Kansas City Chiefs -- DeQuan Menzie, DB, Alabama (146th pick overall) -- A favorite sleeper pick of our buddy Greg Cosell, Menzie is a cornerback/safety potential tweener at the next level, and an interesting nickel player with Brandon Flowers and Stanford Routt holding things down on the edges.
Jonathan Massaquoi, George Iloka, DeQuan Menzie among best fifth-round value picks
New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese is fond of saying that beyond the third round is when personnel guys start really earning their paychecks, and quite a few people in front offices around th...
2 years ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/117027839158169477416 Chiefs Nation : "At 146, one of my favorite players in the draft, DeQuan Menzie went to Kansas City. Don't care whether...
"At 146, one of my favorite players in the draft, DeQuan Menzie went to Kansas City. Don't care whether they play him at Corner (where he played at Alabama) or kick him inside to Safety, where I happen to like him... He's a football player! He'll play all special teams. And he will compete for a starting job, trust me. That's the kind of competitiveness this kid has."
Mike Mayock Loves Menzie
Your best source for quality Kansas City Chiefs news, rumors, analysis, stats and scores from the fan perspective.
2 years ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/105422518504626031462 Bryant Tutterow : My 2012 NFL Draft Board for the Indianapolis Colts... (No more than 3 players per projected round) ...
My 2012 NFL Draft Board for the Indianapolis Colts... (No more than 3 players per projected round)

Round 1, Pick 1 (1)
Andrew Luck QB Stanford --

Round 2, Pick 2 (34) --
Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama
Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
Mike Adams OT Ohio State

Round 3, Pick 1 (64)
Billy Winn DE Boise St.
Tyrone Crawford DE Boise St.
Mike Martin DT Michigan --

Round 4, Pick 2 (97)
Brandon Taylor SS LSU --
Alameda Ta'amu DT Washington
Greg Childs WR Arkansas

Round 5, Pick 1 (136)
Tommy Streeter WR Miami FL
DeQuan Menzie CB Alabama
Tank Carder ILB TCU
--

Round 5, Pick 35 (170) (Compensatory selection)
Jeff Fuller WR Texas A&M
Braylon Broughton OLB TCU --
Davin Meggett RB Maryland

Round 6, Pick 36 (206) (Compensatory selection)
Chase Ford TE Miami FL
James Hanna TE Oklahoma --

Round 7, Pick 1 (208)
Adam Gettis OG Iowa
Garrett Celek TE Michigan St. --

Round 7, Pick 7 (214) (From Jaguars through Jets) --
Carson Wiggs K Purdue
Devon Wylie WR Fresno St.


Round 7, Pick 46 (253) (Compensatory selection)
Joe Holland OLB Purdue
Brandon Bolden RB Mississippi
Chris Owusu WR Stanford
2 years ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/112743712661939840576 Beth Silverberg : TOP 200 Draftees 1. QB Andrew Luck-Stanford 2. QB Robert Griffin III-Baylor 3. RB Trent Richardson-Alabama...
TOP 200 Draftees
1. QB Andrew Luck-Stanford
2. QB Robert Griffin III-Baylor
3. RB Trent Richardson-Alabama
4. OT Matt Kalil-USC
5. CB Morris Claiborne-LSU
6. DE Quinton Coples-UNC
7. OG David DeCastro-Stanford
8. WR Michael Floyd-Notre Dame
9. WR Justin Blackmon-Oklahoma State
10. DT Fletcher Cox-Mississippi State
11. DT Michael Brockers-LSU
12. ILB Courtney Upshaw-Alabama
13. OLB Zach Brown-UNC
14. DE Nick Perry-USC
15. OT Bobby Massie-Ole Miss
16. OG Cordy Glenn-UGA
17. OT Riley Reiff-Iowa
18. DT Devon Still-Penn State
19. CB Dre Kirkpatrick-Alabama
20. SAF Mark Barron-Alabama
21. ILB Dont’a Hightower-Alabama
22. WR Kendall Wright-Baylor
23. DT Dontari Poe-Memphis
24. CB Janoris Jenkins-North Alabama
25. DE Andre Branch-Clemson
26. OC Peter Konz-Wisconsin
27. CB Casey Hayward-Vanderbilt
28. WR Reuben Randle-LSU
29. OG Amini Silatolu-Midwestern State
30. RB Lamar Miller-Miami
31. OLB Melvin Ingram-South Carolina
32. OT Jonathan Martin-Stanford
33. CB Leonard Johnson-Iowa State
34. QB Ryan Tannehill-Texas A&M
35. SAF George Iloka-Boise State
36. WR Mohammed Sanu-Rutgers
37. TE Dwayne Allen-Clemson
38. DE Ronnell Lewis-Oklahoma
39. TE Coby Fleener-Stanford
40. OT Tom Compton-South Dakota
41. WR Brian Quick-Appalachian State
42. OT Mike Adams-Ohio State
43. ILB Luke Kuechly-Boston College
44. OG Kevin Zeitler-Wisconsin
45. QB Brandon Weeden-Oklahoma State
46. CB Josh Robinson-UCF
47. TE Orson Charles-UGA
48. WR Alshon Jeffrey-South Carolina
49. OLB Bruce Irvin-West Virginia
50. RB Chris Polk-Washington
51. RB Doug Martin-Boise State
52. DE Cam Johnson-UVA
53. CB Jayron Housley-Virginia Tech
54. WR Dwight Jones-UNC
55. DE Vinny Curry-Marshall
56. DT Brandon Thompson-Clemson
57. DT Jerel Worthy-Michigan State
58. OG Ryan Miller-Colorado
59. CB Stephon Gilmore-South Carolina
60. DE Whitney Mercilus-Illinois
61. DT Billy Winn-Boise State
62. DE Chandler Jones-Syracuse
63. OT Matt McCants-UAB
64. DE Shea McClellin-Boise State
65. RB David Wilson-Virginia Tech
66. DT Alameda Ta’amu-Washington
67. CB Chase Minnifield-UVA
68. OLB Lavonte David-Nebraska
69. CB Alfonzo Dennard-Nebraska
70. QB Kirk Cousins-Michigan State
71. RB Isaiah Pead-Cincinnati
72. CB Trumaine Johnson-Montana
73. RB Bernard Pierce-Temple
74. OLB Travis Lewis-Oklahoma
75. CB Jamell Fleming-Oklahoma
76. WR Jarius Wright-Arkansas
77. OG Brandon Washington-Miami
78. ILB Terrell Manning-NC State
79. TE Ladarius Green-UL-Lafayette
80. OG Brandon Brooks-Miami (OH)
81. SAF Markelle Martin-Oklahoma State
82. QB BJ Coleman-UT-Chattanooga
83. WR Jeff Fuller-Texas A&M
84. OT James Brown-Troy
85. OLB Sean Spence-Miami
86. TE Michael Egnew-Missouri
87. WR Joe Adams-Arkansas
88. OLB Kyle Wilber-Wake Forest
89. CB Brandon Boykin-UGA
90. WR Juron Criner-Arizona
91. OT Kelechi Osemele-Iowa State
92. OLB Bobby Wagner-Utah State
93. ILB Audie Cole-NC State
94. OT Jeff Allen-Illinois
95. WR Devon Wylie-Freson State
96. DT Mike Martin-Michigan
97. ILB James-Micheal Johnson-Nevada
98. SAF Winston Guy-Kentucky
99. QB Brock Osweiler-Arizona State
100. OC Ben Jones-UGA
101. RB Dan Herron-Ohio State
102. WR Marvin McNutt-Iowa
103. OT Andrew Datko-FSU
104. DE Jonathan Massaquoi-Troy
105. QB Russell Wilson-Wisconsin
106. WR Tommy Streeter-Miami
107. OT Mitchell Schwartz-California
108. OLB Keenan Robinson-Texas
109. OG Lucas Nix-Pittsburgh
110. WR Stephen Hill-Georgia Tech
111. DeQuan Menzie-Alabama
112. WR Marvin Jones-Cal
113. DT Josh Chapman-Alabama
114. SAF Duke Ihenacho-San Jose St
115. RB Vick Ballard-Mississippi St
116. TE George Bryan-NC State
117. OT Zebrie Sanders-FSU
118. WR Ryan Broyles-Oklahoma
119. TE Kevin Kroger-Michigan
120. DT Jared Crick-Nebraska
121. OC David Molk-Michigan
122. SAF Trenton Robinson-Michigan St
123. DE Frank Alexander-Oklahoma
124. ILB Mychal Kendicks-California
125. DT Akiem Hicks-Regina
126. CB Shaun Prater-Iowa
127. SAF Aaron Henry-Wisconsin
128. OLB Miles Burris-San Diego St
129. DT DaJohn Harris-USC
130. OG Wayne Tribue-Temple
131. CB Ryan Steed-Furman
132. OLB Vontaze Burfict-Arizona St
133. OC Mike Brewster-Ohio State
134. QB Ryan Lindley-San Diego State
135. RB Terrance Ganaway-Baylor
136. WR T.Y. Hilton-FIU
137. TE Rhett Ellison-USC
138. OT Donald Stephenson-Oklahoma
139. DE Trevor Guyton-California
140. WR Dale Moss-South Dakota St
141. SAF Corey Mosley-UVA
142. CB Donnie Fletcher-Boston College
143. ILB Shawn Loiseau-Merrimack
144. DT Jaye Harris-Florida
145. DE Olivier Vernon-Miami
146. SAF Delano Howell-Stanford
147. DT Kendall Reyes-Uconn
148. CB Micah Pellerin-Hampton
149. DE Adrian Hamilton-Prairie View A&M
150. DE Jake Bequette-Arkansas
151. WR Chris Givens-Wake Forest
152. OT Markus Zusevics-Iowa
153. OLB Brandon Lindsey-Pittsburgh
154. CB Coryell Judie-Texas A&M
155. WR Jermaine Kearse-Washington
156. SAF Harrison Smith-Notre Dame
157. CB Justin Bethel-Presbyterian
158. RB LaMichael James-Oregon
159. WR DeVier Posey-Ohio State
160. OT Levy Adcock-Oklahoma State
161. OLB Darius Fleming-Notre Dame
162. DE Malik Jackson-Tennessee
163. DT Kheeston Randall-Texas
164. OLB Brandon Marshall-Nevada
165. OLB Tank Carder-TCU
166. DT Marcus Fortson-Miami
167. ILB Korey Williams-Southern Miss
168. CB Cliff Harris-Oregon
169. CB Buddy Jackson-Pittsburgh
170. P Drew Butler-UGA
171. DE Ryan Davis-Bethune Cookman
172. SAF Tramain Thomas-Arkansas
173. CB Josh Norman-Coastal Carolina
174. QB Case Keenum-Houston
175. RB Robert Turbin-Utah State
176. WR Jordan White-Western Michigan
177. TE Chase Ford-Miami
178. OT James Carmon-Mississippi St
179. OG Joe Looney-Wake Forest
180. OC Quenton Saulsberry-Mississippi St
181. DE Julian Miller-West Virginia
182. DT Micanor Regis-Miami
183. OT Nate Potter-Boise State
184. RB Cyrus Gray-Texas A&M
185. QB Nick Foles-Arizona
186. SAF Antonio Allen-South Carolina
187. ILB Chris Marve-Vanderbilt
188. OLB Nigel Bradham-FSU
189. DE Jack Crawford-Penn State
190. CB Keith Tandy-West Virginia
191. OLB Josh Kaddu-Oregon
192. WR AJ Jenkins-Illinois
193. DT Dominique Hamilton-Missouri
194. CB Dwight Bentley-UL-Lafatyette
195. ILB Jerry Franklin-Arkansas
196. WR Greg Childs–Arkansas
197. SAF Lance Mitchell-Oregon State
198. OG Derek Dennis-Temple
199. OT Brandon Mosley-Auburn
200. WR Nick Toon-Wisconsin
2 years ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/105861834426438025261 Michael Richardson : TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- If the Miami Dolphins had signed injured quarterback Drew Brees in 2006, instead...
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- If the Miami Dolphins had signed injured quarterback Drew Brees in 2006, instead of crippled veteran Daunte Culpepper, Alabama coach Nick Saban might still be coaching in the NFL.

If the Dolphins' doctors had only signed off on Brees, who was coming back from an injured right shoulder, Saban might have been competing for Super Bowl victories the past five seasons, instead of guiding the Crimson Tide to two of the past three BCS national championships.

Saban, 60, said this week he has no interest in returning to the NFL, where he had a 15-17 record in two seasons with the Dolphins (2005 and '06). Last month, Saban signed a two-year contract extension at Alabama, which will pay him $5.6 million a year through the 2019 season.

"I learned about myself by going to the NFL," Saban said. "Why do I have to go do it again?"

After guiding the Crimson Tide to a 21-0 victory over LSU in the Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans, Saban received other job offers. There were overtures from a couple of NFL teams and a few other colleges. But in the end, Saban realized he already has the job he wants.

"I had my chances and I've had chances since," Saban said. "I think you have to know yourself well enough to know that if I'm happy doing what I'm doing now, why do I need something else? Before as a coach, even when I was at LSU, I went all those years and it was always work hard to get the next opportunity."

Enduring two mediocre seasons in the NFL made Saban realize that his best opportunity was coaching in college, and there are few better jobs than Alabama, where football and winning always seem to matter more.

Saban is set to begin his sixth season as Alabama's coach, which is his longest stop in what had been a vagabond career. He never stayed longer than five seasons at any of his previous 12 coaching stops, from working as an assistant at schools such as Kent State, West Virginia and Ohio State to being the head coach at Toledo, Michigan State and LSU.

"I was always going to be a head coach in the NFL someday -- that was, like, the next thing," Saban said. "When I left LSU after building a pretty good team and program there, I thought that was it. I loved [Dolphins owner] Wayne Huizenga. He's one of the best people in the world and was great to us. I'm indebted to him forever. But it wasn't the same."

Along with not having complete control of his team's roster and personnel, Saban also realized that he couldn't simply outwork everyone else in the NFL. In college football, Saban is known as a tireless recruiter and detail-oriented CEO, which is a big reason why the Tide have a 48-6 record over the past four seasons. Saban demands a lot from his assistant coaches and everyone else associated with the Alabama program.

"I loved coaching the NFL players," Saban said. "Everybody thinks it's the NFL players who are hard to get along with. I loved the NFL players and it was never a problem. It's just the rules of parity in that league make it difficult to create any advantage for yourself. I always thought my advantage was I was willing to outwork everybody to get better. That was a hard thing. I missed college players and I missed helping guys develop personally, academically and athletically."

With Saban having already won three BCS national championships at two schools -- he guided LSU to a national title in 2003 -- it might seem there's little left for him to accomplish. Alabama has already erected a statue of him on campus. Regardless of how many games or titles Saban wins, he'll probably never equal the stature of legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who won 232 games and six national titles in 25 seasons as the Crimson Tide's coach from 1958 to 1982.

Saban insists that's not why he's still coaching.

"To me, as a coach, and I think that's why I like college coaching, it's not just about winning games," Saban said. "I'm not saying I don't want to win every game and win championships, but from a job standpoint it's a great profession because you have a great opportunity to affect young people and help them be successful. If you go out and talk to anybody that's an athlete, almost every one of them will tell you about some coach they had somewhere that had a huge impact on their lives. That's kind of why I do this."

The tail end of Saban's coaching career -- he said he'll coach as long as he still likes being around his players -- might be more about writing his legacy than padding his already impressive résumé.

"It's not about when am I going to be able to enjoy it, or are the expectations going to be greater next year?" Saban said. "I understand all of that, and I know all the love I get around here is conditional on one thing, and that's winning the game. I understand all of that. But if I didn't get positive self-gratification from helping kids and helping them graduate from school, being better people and being all they can be as football players, I wouldn't do this.

"It wouldn't be worth it to me. It wouldn't be worth the time, the sacrifice, and the family sacrifices I've had to make over the years with my own kids and wife. It's just not worth it. You can go make all the money in the world, but when you die, they bury it with you. There is no legacy to it. There won't be something they remember you for or talk about."

Saban's immediate future involves rebuilding the Crimson Tide, who must replace All-American tailback Trent Richardson and most of their playmakers on defense. Five of Alabama's top eight linebackers must be replaced, along with starting cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie and All-American safety Mark Barron.

Alabama faced a similar rebuilding job when it tried to defend its BCS national championship in 2010. The Crimson Tide finished 10-3.

"I thought our 2010 team was one of the most talented teams we've ever had," Saban said. "We did have to replace nine starters on defense and our punter and kicker and all of that. But when you looked at the whole body of players, it was a talented team. We really didn't have all the right ingredients to be all we could be."

Alabama brings back what could be the country's best offensive line, and quarterback AJ McCarron should be more comfortable in his second season as a starter.

"That year [2010] was probably the most horrible year we went through," linebacker Nico Johnson said. "We can never get complacent. As soon as last season was over, we tried to establish the belief that we can never be satisfied. We have to stay hungry."

No one at Alabama understands that more than Saban.

"We're going to get everybody's best shot, and you have to be ready for that," Saban said. "Being like everybody else isn't good enough."

Mark Schlabach covers college sports for ESPN
2 years ago - Via Mobile - View -
https://plus.google.com/110153059294921654285 McDaniel Jeremiah : News Schedules Rosters Tickets Gators vs. Tide: 10 Things to Keep an Eye on Friday September 30...


News

Schedules

Rosters

Tickets



Gators vs. Tide: 10 Things to Keep an Eye on
Friday September 30, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – This is a game that has been circled on the calendar by fans of both schools since the schedule came out.

It’s Florida-Alabama. What else can you ask for, right? Well, how about an 8 p.m. kickoff at The Swamp and a national television audience on CBS.

This one has the ingredients to be one of those special SEC regular-season games that people talk about the rest of the season. There’s the added storyline of it being the first head-to-head meeting between Gators coach Will Muschamp and his mentor, Alabama’s Nick Saban, since Muschamp replaced Urban Meyer at Florida.

Both coaches have shown tremendous respect toward one another this week as they talked about the matchup between two teams ranked in the top 12 – Alabama ranked third and Florida 12th.

“Both programs – the tradition speaks for itself as far as the championships and the tradition and the history of the two programs,” Muschamp said.

“This is the biggest challenge we’ve had all year which also makes it the greatest opportunity for our team in terms of playing a really good Florida team that has played extremely well in the first four games,’’ Saban said.

This is the Crimson Tide’s first visit to Gainesville in five years, a 28-13 Florida victory on the way to the Gators’ second national championship. They met again in the SEC championship game in 2008, and Florida won 31-20 on the way to its third national championship.

Alabama, in Saban’s third season, returned the favor in the 2009 SEC championship game as the Crimson Tide beat the Gators, 32-13, before knocking off a Texas team with Muschamp as defensive coordinator in the national title game.

A year ago in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide rolled 31-6 as four Florida turnovers proved too much to overcome, snapping the Gators’ 24-game regular-season winning streak.

Can the Gators avoid similar mistakes and provide Muschamp with a signature victory five games into his UF career? Or will Saban have the final word on Saturday night against his former pupil?

To help you get ready for kickoff, here are 10 things to keep an eye on in Saturday’s game:

THE QUARTERBACKS

Florida fans want to see Gators quarterback John Brantley unleashed in offensive coordinator Charlie Weis’ pro-style offense. Alabama fans are still wondering how good of a passer first-year starter A.J. McCarron is under pressure.

Much of the talk leading up to the game has been on the running backs, but Brantley or McCarron could end up being the difference in the game, especially if forced to make plays in the passing game. The one with the fewer mistakes is the one who will likely be on the winning side.

BALL SECURITY

Despite the lopsided score in Florida’s loss to the Crimson Tide last year, the Gators actually outgained Alabama 281 yards to 273. However, an interception in the end zone on a jump pass by Trey Burton on Florida’s opening drive set the tone for what kind of night it was going to be for Florida.

Brantley later tossed two interceptions and Alabama’s defense and running game did the rest, preventing the Gators from ever recovering from the early miscues. Both defenses preach winning the turnover battle, so if the game is close, look for the winning team to seize the momentum with a turnover at a critical juncture.

FLORIDA’S CONFIDENCE LEVEL

Alabama was picked to contend for the national title before the season started. Most pundits pegged Florida as the third-best team in the SEC East.

However, with the first month of the season out of the way, the Gators have earned some respect by looking good in four consecutive wins, including a pair of victories over SEC East foes Tennessee and Kentucky. Now we get to see the Gators face their toughest opponent yet and it will be interesting to watch how a team loaded with underclassmen responds.

Both Muschamp and Weis sounded confident in the Gators’ approach during practice this week.

“The last thing we're doing is hoping to win,” Weis said Thursday night on the Gator Hotline show. “There's a difference between hoping to win and expecting to win. And I promise you, we expect to win. We're not hoping.’’

DEFENSIVE LINE PLAY

Muschamp has said what makes the SEC such a tough league is the play up front. He repeatedly refers to the SEC as a line-of-scrimmage league. That means this is a line-of-scrimmage game considering the talent in the trenches.

On Florida’s side, defensive linemen Jaye Howard, Dominique Easley, Sharrif Floyd and Ronald Powell will be counted on to make big plays. For Alabama, the stars up front are Jesse Williams, Josh Chapman, Damion Square and Courtney Upshaw, who plays a hybrid linebacker/defensive end position like Powell.

Both offensive lines have played well up to this point, so making noise up front could be difficult for both teams.

HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE

Make no mistake, when all things are considered this is a good game for the Gators to play at home. They are a young team looking to hit their next growth spurt.

The victory over Tennessee was a hurdle cleared, but Alabama is an entirely different challenge. If the Gators can defeat the Crimson Tide, they will take a huge leap across the bridge from where they were at the end of last season to where Muschamp wants to lead them.

Playing at home in front of 90,000 rabid fans is a plus for any young team.

RUNNING LANES

The winner of this game will have to develop a strong rushing attack. Neither Brantley nor McCarron have proven they can win with their arm alone, so look for both teams to try and establish the run early.

The Gators will try to do it with an assortment of backs, mixing in speedsters Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey with Burton and others. Meanwhile, Alabama’s Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy offer a nice blend of power and speed that makes them as dangerous a combo as any in the country.

Finding room to run likely won’t be easy for either team. Alabama is surrendering just 1.8 yards per carry, and Florida is allowing just 2.1 yards per rush.

INJURY FACTOR

Florida enters expecting all its key players to be available except for junior cornerback Jeremy Brown, who has not played this season due to a slow recovery from a preseason knee injury.

Meanwhile, Saban said Thursday that the Crimson Tide will likely be without starting inside linebacker C.J. Mosley because of an elbow injury.

“C.J. is the perfect kind of guy to have for this kind of game … because he can run,’’ Saban said on his weekly radio show.

If Mosley can’t play, the trio of Jerrell Harris, Nico Johnson and Trey DePriest will be counted on for more snaps.

SPREADING IT AROUND

When Brantley does drop back to pass, look for him to try and get everyone involved to keep Alabama’s defense as off balance as possible. That means using the middle of the field and tight ends Jordan Reed, Gerald Christian and A.C. Leonard. That could also keep the ball away from Alabama’s excellent cornerbacks – DeQuan Menzie and Dre Kirkpatrick.

Christian had a 45-yard touchdown reception last week against Kentucky that helped the Gators offense wake up in a rout over the Wildcats. Alabama also uses a pro-style attack, but with Richardson and Lacy offering more size than Demps and Rainey, it’s imperative for Florida to use the entire field to open up as much space for its playmakers as possible.

GAME ADJUSTMENTS

Which coaching staff will make the best adjustments during the game? With so much familiarity between Muschamp and Saban and others on each staff, there will be some serious chess matches going on.

With Saban considered one of the premiere defensive minds in football and Weis perhaps the game’s top offensive play caller, watching how the game unfolds could be a good study for a future coaching clinic.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Both teams rely regularly on special teams to make big plays. The Gators have blocked two punts in four games and kickoff return Andre Debose, second in the SEC a season ago, is expected back after missing the Kentucky game.

Alabama punt returner Marquis Maze is averaging 16.8 yards a return, including an 83-yarder against Arkansas last week. If this game comes down to a field goal like some expect, Florida’s Caleb Sturgis is 11-for-11 on the season and Alabama’s Jeremy Shelley is 7-for-9.

GATOR GAMEBOX

No. 3 Alabama at No. 12 Florida

Kickoff: Saturday, 8 p.m. (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)

Records: Alabama 4-0 (1-0 SEC); Florida 4-0 (2-0)

TV/Internet: CBS/CBSSports.com

Radio: Gator IMG Sports Network (click here for affiliates); XM Channel 99

Game notes: Florida; Alabama

Bottom line: Alabama jumped on Florida early a year ago to run away with a 31-6 win. Look for Florida to play much better in this one, which I expect to be a defensive battle that could come down to the final minutes.


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