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Wednesday September 28, 2011 Weis' playbook will be wide open in matchup against Crimson Tide's sturdy defense

Updated: 11:44am, September 28

The Florida-Alabama game is rich with subplots, none bigger than the familiarity factor between Gators head coach Will Muschamp and Alabama’s Nick Saban, who Muschamp considers his primary coaching mentor.

Gators offensive coordinator Charlie Weis

Another interesting storyline is how one of the game’s top offensive minds – Gators offensive coordinator Charlie Weis – will fare against one of the game’s top defensive minds in Saban.

Weis is known for his ability to spread the ball around and find holes in defenses where others have been unable. Saban’s teams are known for their ability to adjust to whatever the offense is doing and prevent major damage where others have failed.

Much of the discussion around Florida’s offense in the first four games of the season has focused on the play of running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. The tailbacks account for 55 percent of Florida’s total offense, most of the yardage coming on runs off the edge and short passes turned into big plays.

Some have viewed Weis’ play-calling thus far as conservative.

Weis said that’s not really the case.

“Sometimes when you're playing football, you have to realize that punting isn't necessarily a bad thing,” Weis said Tuesday. “We want to score a touchdown every time we get the ball. But you want to make sure you make good decisions where you don't make that critical mistake and give one to them.’’

With Alabama’s defense ranked second in the nation and Florida’s fifth, many pundits are expecting a close defensive battle on Saturday night at The Swamp.

Weis has maintained all season that he takes what the defense gives him when play-calling, thus so many opportunities for Rainey and Demps in the short passing game. The Crimson Tide have great speed on the edges defensive, which could negate some of those opportunities.

Weis is game planning for those situations and more against a defense that is as talented as any the Gators will face this season.

“You guys have been writing about holding things back,’’ Weis said. “Well, you won’t have to worry about that this week. They're going to get the kitchen sink.’’

Weis said that could mean a number of things, including more passes downfield from quarterback John Brantley, more use of the tight ends, more runs from bigger backs Trey Burton and Mike Gillislee, and yes, more Rainey and Demps.

“We have to wait and see how they play the game [defensively],” Weis said. “You can't just do the same thing each week. You have to have a plan where if they stop this, you have another way of getting to the same means to an end.

“You just have to see how it goes. You go into the game and you have to have to plan and tweak. You have to have a plan ready to go depending on what they end up doing.”

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