Looking to avenge their six-point defeat in the SEC Championship Game last season, the Gators head into this weekend’s primetime matchup with Alabama as heavy underdogs.
Although both teams hold a 2-0 record to start the season, it’s not a surprise that the Crimson Tide are two-touchdown favorites with an offense averaging 46 points per game.
To counter the Tide’s big-play offense with Bryce Young at the helm, the Gators defensive front looks to terrorize the Heisman hopeful. A player who is familiar with facing Alabama is transfer defensive lineman Daquan Newkirk, who holds the top position in the AP Poll.
The #Gators defensive line entered the season as a reconstructed unit looking to find its footing. After two weeks to gel, Florida’s group upfront is confident as they take on Alabama.
— Brandon Carroll (@itsbcarroll) September 15, 2021
Newkirk and the Gators are checking oil
The redshirt senior didn’t participate when the two teams faced off in the SEC Championship last season. However, he has had multiple battles with the Crimson Tide while at state rival, Auburn.
But now as a Gator, Newkirk says he intends to continue to share with teammates any nuggets he has learned over the years when attacking Alabama’s offense.
He followed that by saying the Gators defensive front seven hasn’t yet played to their full potential despite producing eight sacks through two games.
When facing Coach Nick Saban, Newkirk mentioned one of the reasons the Alabama program has sustained success over the years.
When asked about all the hype heading into Saturday’s game, Newkirk made an incredible remark that the two programs recognize how formidable they are and checking each other’s oil.
Expect Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham to continue rotating fresh legs on the defensive line to disrupt Alabama’s juggernaut of an offense.
Sold out at Ben Hill Griffin
A completely packed out stadium of 90,000 screaming Gator faithful, may play a huge part early to slow down the visiting Tide.
An environment where Newkirk is familiar with after coming into a fiery atmosphere as an Auburn Tiger in 2019.
With only a few starts under his belt, Newkirk says he expects the ecstatic fans in the Swamp to have a sizeable impact in causing mistakes by Young, who has thrown zero interceptions.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida Gators kick off Saturday’s primetime matchup at 3:30 p.m.