fifth-ranked Gator football team suffered a 31-3 defeat to 15th-ranked Alabama on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson
Tide improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while Florida (4-1/2-1 SEC)
fell from the ranks of the unbeaten. Head coach Urban Meyer's personal 20-game winning streak at Utah
also came to an end.
Alabama senior quarterback Brodie Croyle was 14-for-17 for
283 yards and three touchdowns, including an 87-yard scoring toss to Tyrone Prothro on UA's first offensive
play just 3:33 into the game. That pass was the longest allowed from scrimmage
by the Gators this season.
next series, junior Chris Leak (Charlotte, N.C.)
was intercepted for the first time all season, ending a stretch of 117
consecutive passes without a pick. That streak matched Wayne Peace (1981) for
the third-longest in school history. The Tide's Chris Harris caught the
deflected pass and returned it 14 yards down to the Gators' two-yard line. Three
plays later, junior Tim Castille carried the ball
into the end zone from one yard out and the extra point gave the hosts a 14-0
added three more points on a 22-yard field goal by Jamie Christensen with 5:52
remaining in the quarter for a 17-3 advantage.
only points of the afternoon came with 7:32 remaining in the second frame on a
37-yard field goal by junior Chris Hetland (Leesburg, Ga.), who is now a perfect 6-for-6 on the season.
The scoring was set up by a 42-yard completion from Leak to senior Dallas Baker (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.)
to the 23-yard line. Baker matched a career-best with six receptions and
his 115 yards were a career-high.
Following the kickoff that rolled out of bounds, Alabama countered on its next play with a
65-yard hook-up between Croyle and Keith Brown to
build a 24-3 lead that it took into the locker room.
The Crimson Tide finalized the scoring on its initial drive of the third
quarter, when Croyle found Prothro
for a 15-yard touchdown to complete a seven-play, 80-yard march.
Alabama had the edge in total offense, 407-326, and became the
first team to hold Florida without a touchdown
State on Oct. 1, 1992.
Tide running back Kenneth Darby gained 101 yards on 15 carries, while Prothro had five receptions for 134 yards and two
touchdowns before leaving with a season-ending leg injury.
Gators, junior running back DeShawn Wynn (Cincinnati, Ohio)
was limited to 47 yards on 12 carries and Leak finished 16-for-37 with 187
yards and was sacked four times. Junior Chad Jackson (Hoover,
a game-high eight catches for 50 yards. Junior linebacker Earl Everett (Webster,
Fla.) ran a reverse 32 yards
on a fake punt to pick up a first down for the Gators late in the first
Florida will host Mississippi
State (2-3/0-3 SEC) in
its Homecoming Game next Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The game will be
televised on Jefferson-Pilot Sports beginning at 12:30 p.m.