Former Florida Football Players share thoughts on Alabama game and more

Sep 15, 2021 | 0 comments

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Inside the Gators asked these 15 former Florida players to share their thoughts on this coming weekend's game against Alabama. What does Florida need to do to win the game, their thoughts on Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson as well as a score prediction.

  • Tight End Ben Troupe

What Florida has to do to win is score and get an extra possession every quarter. Yes, they can realistically do that because Todd Grantham can force quarterback Bryce Young  into some mistakes. For the quarterbacks, I prefer Emory Jones to start and AR15 to come in and create that spark. Leak/Tebow 2.0. I am okay with whomever Dan Mullen starts because he sees them every day at practice. Alabama can be beaten if we can take a punch and give one. I think UF has the players, scheme, and toughness to pull this off.

Prediction: UF 38-35 in a great game. Now let's see.

  • Long snapper Drew Ferris

Florida needs to control the clock and play defense. I think Anthony Richardson should play if healthy. 

Prediction: 42-35 Florida

  • Linebacker Mike Nattiel

I think it’s a great match-up if we can run the ball well and keep the chains moving. Keep our defense fresh by the offense controlling the tempo of the game and not turning the ball over. Special teams can play a part in this game with field position. I prefer Anthony Richardson because I think he sees the field better and can make plays with his legs.

Prediction: 31-28 Florida

  • Anonymous former offensive lineman

I think if Florida can win if they get in a rhythm in the passing game, mix in some effective runs, with six-plus explosive runs and five-plus explosive passes. I like Emory Jones to start but mix in more AR-15 than before and move to him more full-time if the offense is better with him out there.

Prediction: 44-41 Gators

  • Defensive Tackle Ed Chester

Of course, we can realistically win. Are there big odds of it? No. Like most big games: If we can eliminate turnovers and not give up big chunk yards in the passing game, it will give us the best chance to win. As for the quarterbacks, I'm okay with whoever Dan Mullen chooses.  

Prediction: No score predictions from me.

  • Defensive Lineman Cameron Davis

I must admit I haven't been this excited about Gator football since I played there in the 90s. I anticipate the game being compared to a heavyweight fight; I'm more concerned about how we respond after taking a punch. Will we fight or do we still have to learn how to do that? I want this team to answer questions like that on Saturday. We have two good quarterbacks and I love what each of them brings to the table. 

Whatever happens after this game on Saturday, if we have the right attitude moving forward and continue to improve we will have an opportunity to not just make it to the SEC Championship Game… But OWN IT! 

Prediction: Gators by 3

  • Fullback Chris Bilkie

We have to play disciplined, mistake-free ball and be able to run the ball to open up the pass. I like the two-quarterback system Dan Mullen is running. Both have made some excellent plays and we need to keep pushing the offense and I’m not sure AR is ready to do that on his own, but he’s too good to sit on the bench.

Prediction: 28-24 Florida

  • Receiver Frankie Hammond

They have to play clean football. No turnovers, penalties, and limit mistakes. As for the quarterbacks, I don’t have a preference. Either is more than suitable to get us a win.

Prediction: 27-24 Florida

  • Defensive Lineman Javier Estopinan

Can they win? Anything is possible. What we have to do to win is sound play overall, better play at the quarterback position, better play at the linebacker position, and pressure their quarterback. As for the preference at quarterback, I'm not in the meeting room and I don’t know how much of the playbook is open right now, so it's hard to say. Emory Jones hasn’t made the best decisions in the world, but again don’t know how much of the playbook he is managing vs Anthony Richardson. Whichever quarterback Dan Mullen goes with, I’ll be okay. I think this game will be much more telling to make an ultimate decision at the quarterback position.

Prediction: No prediction on the score

  • Receiver Jacquez Green

For Florida to win they have to control the clock with the run game, find a way to pressure Alabama's young quarterback, and create big plays on offense. For the quarterbacks, anything that happened prior to this game didn’t matter. In those first two games, we had way more talent than those teams. The way they play this week will help determine who the quarterback is long-term.

Prediction: Bama 38 UF 21

  • Receiver Chad Jackson

I’m worried about our defense. They're going to have to create turnovers and stops on third downs. I like Anthony Richardson.

Prediction: 27-23 Gators

  • Defensive Lineman Earl Okine

Just my thoughts, but we can definitely win if the defense plays like I think they can, and the offense will be dynamic because they will finally open up the playbook. I like both quarterbacks, but I really like AR, simply because he’s a Gainesville guy and a very special player.

Prediction: No score prediction, hopefully just a W

  • Linebacker Scott Peek

I’m biased, but we’re UF, we always have a chance to win. It’s tough to tell what kind of team Bama is at this point in the season, but it’s safe to assume they are one of, if not, the most talented team in the country. To come out of this game with a win we need to get the run game going early, get off the field on third down, and play disciplined, mistake-free football (no dumb penalties, no blown assignments, no turnovers, and minimize explosive plays). The fans need to do their part and make sure the stadium is rocking.

I’m indifferent as to who Mullen sends out there. Mullen has forgotten more about football than I’ve ever known so I don’t second guess personnel decisions/play calling. I’m just excited to have two talented guys because it’s a long season. That said, I’m excited to see Anthony Richardson a year or so from now – I think he has the potential to be a generational-type talent and might be the most gifted athlete I’ve seen at the quarterback position to ever come through UF.

Prediction: 34 – 28 Gators, book it and print the shirts

  • Linebacker DJ Powell

Alabama is good at getting their best players in space, so we must play our assignments and make open-field tackles. I personally feel like Mullen knows best when it comes to the quarterback situation. We have to master the two quarterback system right now until one proves to be the true starter

Prediction: I'd like to be surprised by the score, not disappointed

  • Fullback Eric Rutledge

I think we have to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. If we can run the football we can win. I’d like to see both quarterbacks play well. I think this will be a game in which Mullen goes with the hot hand. That’s been Richardson in the first 2 games.

Prediction: 41-38 Gators!

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