Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's Red Zone Was Dead Zone; Florida Doesn't Cash in on Scoring Chances in Loss at No. 1 Alabama

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's Red Zone Was Dead Zone; Florida Doesn't Cash in on Scoring Chances in Loss at No. 1 Alabama

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

Florida's offense has certainly not been perfect this season, but the Gators had consistently done one thing well in their first four games: Score when they got in the red zone.

That didn't happen against Alabama on Saturday night and it's one of the main reasons why the Gators left Tuscaloosa, Ala., with another embarrassing loss to the Crimson Tide.

Florida scored one field goal on four red-zone trips in its 31-6 loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Gators committed two turnovers - including an end-zone interception - and turned the ball over on downs, which effectively took away any chance of avenging last December's loss to the Crimson Tide in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game.

"It was awful," UF coach Urban Meyer said. "I don't know if we would've beat them because they were pretty good [Saturday], but we just self-destructed. Turnovers and red-zone inefficiency, that wasn't good."

Florida had scored on its 15 previous trips into the red zone entering the Alabama game, including 14 touchdowns, and had scored on 16-of-19 red zone penetrations this season. But the Gators got just one field goal on Saturday - a 21-yard field goal by Chas Henry in the third quarter.

Florida turned the ball over on its first red-zone trip when freshman quarterback Trey Burton tried to hit tight end Jordan Reed on a jump pass on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Reed was held up at the line of scrimmage and Burton threw the pass before Reed could clear the coverage.

Henry's field goal capped UF's second red-zone penetration. The Gators drove to the Alabama 1-yard line in the third quarter and a touchdown would have cut the Crimson Tide's lead to 31-13, but the Gators turned the ball over on downs.

Quarterback John Brantley had his foot stepped on by an offensive lineman and he stumbled as he tried to hand the ball off to running back Emmanuel Moody. The ball bounced off Moody's stomach and Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw outwrestled Brantley for the ball.

Florida drove to the Auburn 19 early in the fourth quarter but couldn't convert on fourth-and-8. Brantley scrambled away from pressure and tried to get the first down but was hammered by safety Mark Barron 1 yard shy of the marker.

"We moved the ball up and down the field," center Mike Pouncey said. "It was just when we tried to make plays we turned the ball over. When you turn the ball over, you can't win the game, especially against a great team like that.

"It was frustrating because we were down on the 1 a couple times, and we didn't get [any] points and we turned the ball over both times. We have to go back and just evaluate what we did wrong and go from there."

Brantley, who completed 16-of-31 passes for 202 yards and two interceptions, said the loss belongs to the offense because of the four turnovers and poor work in the red zone. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.