September 28, 2006

Notebook: Gators present a challenge

Going into the 2005 season, Florida head coach Urban Meyer and his highly touted spread option offense were the talk of the SEC. That is until the Crimson Tide defense shut them down in the fifth game of the season.

Plenty of time has passed since then and the Gators appear to be fitting more easily into Meyer's complex offensive system. Tide defensive coordinator Joe Kines believes that this year, the Alabama defense may have a tougher time controlling the versatile Gator attack.

"It's probably the hottest offense in the country right now," Kines said. "They're leading the conference in passing, they're high in all categories. If there's a better system out there, you'll be hard pressed to find it. I've never seen a system that incorporates all parts of football. The power, the zone, the option then come back and throw the play action, the empty, four wides, five wides. There's not a type of offense that you don't get."

The ability of the Gator offense to attack in a variety of ways has made preparation this week more challenging than any of the Tide's previous opponents this season.

"It's quite a challenge first just to get in broken down and then it's a challenge to explain it to our players," Kines said.

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