Florida vs. Alabama. In The Swamp. At 8 p.m. this Saturday. You should probably get excited. Here are five Crimson Tide players that could hurt Florida on Saturday.
RB Eddie Lacy
If you don't know about Trent Richardson by now, I can't help you. But Lacy might be the better of the two Alabama back this year: Richardson's a little smaller and faster, but Lacy's averaging more yards per carry (8.90 to 6.58) and more yards per reception (17.20 to 13.44) than the more established Tide workhorse. Oh, and Lacy's averaging 9.8 yards per touch in 2011, a colossal number for a running back; Percy Harvin, for reference, averaged 11.9 yards touch in 2008, but had 40 catches to fuel that.
WR/KR/PR Marquis Maze
Maze hasn't quite broken out as a receiver for the Tide, what with their deep passing game still struggling, but he could change an outcome with a punt return, like he did against Arkansas. Florida's kick coverage has been mostly good so far this year.
LB Dont'a Hightower
In addition to having a terrifying 6'4", 260-pound physique and a fantastic football name, Hightower has the most tackles (25) and tackles for loss (4.5) of any Alabama defender. Gators fans ought to hope he doesn't get a chance to line up Jeff Demps or Chris Rainey for a big shot.
CB Dee Milliner
Dre Kirkpatrick is the better of Alabama's two starting cornerbacks, but Milliner isn't far behind, and has the sort of skills that mark him as a future NFL player. If he can shut down whichever Florida wide receiver Kirkpatrick doesn't, Nick Saban and Kirby Smart will be able to load the box and attack Florida's running game with run blitzes.
Vlachos is a senior, has been a starter for the Tide at center for three years now, and could well come in for All-American honors at season's end. And yet: He might be the most vulnerable of Alabama's offensive linemen, if only because he will have to deal with the speed of Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd, the bulk of Omar Hunter, the all-around skill of Jaye Howard, and the threat of blitzes up the middle. That's a lot for even the best center to handle.
Who else are worried about, Gators fans?
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