Gators say they won’t buckle under the pressure of facing top-ranked Tide

Saturday’s clash is one of just two top-25 matchups in the country this week
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:55 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -There is a fine line between having respect for one’s opponent and being awestruck. It’s a delicate balance the No. 11 Gators must be mindful of in order to pull an upset on Saturday against No. 1 Alabama.

As conference openers go, it’s pretty significant. Florida is 2-0, coming off wins over Florida Atlantic and South Florida. Alabama has routed Miami and Mercer.

Both rosters are decorated with some of the nation’s top recruits. In fact, Gator senior running back Dameon Pierce chose Florida over Alabama, but still maintains a healthy respect for Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban that borders on affection.

“That’s like one of the Gods of college football, bro,” said Pierce to reporters this week. “It’s like whoa, he’s talking to me, and I’m 16 years old, there’s people who would die to have the relationship with coach Saban that I have. Man, I ain’t even going to lie. Coach Saban is cooler than a fan, man.”

“It’s going to be a loud environment, for sure,” said junior wide receiver Jacob Copeland. “It was loud for the first game, so we’re playing Bama now, we’ve got Nick here.”

Meanwhile, junior outside linebacker Brenton Cox won’t over-hype the matchup.

“We’re just trying to get over the hump, we’re a good team and they’re a good team,” said Cox. “So if we were to win I don’t think it would be a shocker, if they were to win it wouldn’t be a shocker. Of course we’re ready. The big question is are they ready?”

The college football world will find out soon enough. Saturday’s clash is one of just two top-25 matchups in the country this week.

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