NCAA College Football Week Five Predictions: Alabama vs. Florida

This Saturday’s NCAA College Football game between the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0) and #7 Florida Gators (4-0) is being billed as a “clash of the titans” and why not. Not only does this match-up of undefeated teams have implications for the SEC conference but could determine who will be playing for the National Title in Glendale, Arizona. The game is being played in Tuscaloosa, and Vegas has placed the Tide as -8 point favorites.

Alabama is coming-off a heart-pounding win over Arkansas 24-20, the winning margin a 1-yard Mark Ingram touchdown run. Ingram had a big game with 157 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Heisman winning running back and the ‘Bama defense were the keys to victories and may be so again this coming week. Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense, and its offense has been scoring at just under 40 points a game.

Florida, meanwhile, has not been tested in any of their games, scoring a combined 79 points in their last two games against Kentucky and Tennessee. The Gators feature a balanced attack with quarterback John Brantley running the show, finally stepping out of the giant Tim Tebow shadow. Brantley has passed for 700 yards and 6 touchdowns with Deonte Thompson his favorite target. Jeffrey Demps has provided a dynamic running attack but Trey Burton has been a real spark plug. Burton has lined-up everywhere, running back, quarterback, tight end, and broke Tebow’s school record by scoring 6 touchdowns last week. The Tide will need to account for the freshman star.

The Gator defense has played well, limiting opponents to 14.3 points per game, but Kentucky was able to move the ball last week and they will be tested by the Tide offensive machine that features not only Ingram but running back Trent Richardson, receiver Julio Jones, and under-rated quarterback Greg McElroy.

These two teams have been dominant programs in recent years and both are riding long regular-season winning streaks coming into this Saturday’s match-up. Alabama has won 28 straight games while Florida has won 24 consecutive. They also have met in the SEC title game in consecutive years, with both teams splitting.

Playing at home, Alabama would seem to have the edge but look for Florida to keep the game close. The Gators will beat the Vegas spread but the Crimson Tide keep their winning streak alive and win at home.

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