Atmosphere at The Swamp Nearly Causes Upset
Alabama narrowly escaped Gainesville with a 31-29 victory over Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators. Defensively, Alabama played probably their worst game since allowing 647 total yards at Ole Miss last season, giving up 258 total rushing yards on Saturday afternoon.
While the story of this matchup will certainly be Alabama struggling to make a stop, the crowd in Gainesville made it very difficult on the Alabama offense as well. In uncharacteristic fashion, Alabama took a staggering 11 penalties for 75 yards, with seven of them being false starts and one of them being a delay of game, which obviously was a result of the loud crowd.
"One of the things that was an issue for us is we like to go on clap and the center couldn't hear the clap. So we had to go on silent and when we went on silent we got a couple penalties because we weren't all on the same page. That's what happened on the one yard line with all the noise. But for the most part, the guys did a pretty good job," said coach Saban in his postgame interview.
With regards to the one yard line, coach Saban is referring to a play late in the fourth quarter where Alabama lined up to go for it from the one yard line on 4th and goal to put the game away, but took a false start penalty that resulted in a field goal attempt to put the Tide up by eight and keep Florida in the game.
In his first road SEC start, Bryce Young appeared to be rattled at times in his first real test in an extremely tough environment. He performed well enough to give Alabama a chance to win, however, going 22-for-35 for 233 yards and three touchdowns along with zero turnovers.
"Crazy atmosphere. Those fans were really loud. We knew it was gonna be a hostile environment coming in and it lived up to it for sure. There was a lot we had to deal with. So it was tough but I'm super proud of us as a unit for overcoming it," said Young in his postgame press conference.
While it was certainly not Alabama's strongest performance, a wake-up call in a win is undoubtedly better than a loss. The Tide will have a chance to tune things up next week on both sides of the ball against Southern Miss before they host Ole Miss the following week in what should be another great matchup.