Florida fans have had this one circled since the Tide's 31-6 beat-down last season. UF (4-0, 2-0 SEC) is counting on home field. On the personal side, Florida coach Will Muschamp faces his mentor and former boss, Alabama's Nick Saban. Tide starting LB C.J. Mosley (elbow) will miss the game, Saban said. A pair of UF starters, DT Dominique Easley (ankle) and DE Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), reportedly were injured this week in practice but are expected to play.
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The most fascinating pawns on this chess table may be Saban vs. UF offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Florida's downfield passing game hasn't been expansive. Nobody expects Alabama (4-0, 1-0), with Division I-A's No. 3 rushing defense (45.8 yards per game) led by LB Courtney Upshaw, to allow RBs Chris Rainey, left, and Jeff Demps to run wild without the threat of a passing game. Alabama has the personnel to limit UF's ground game. That's where TEs Gerald Christian and Jordan Reed may come in. The Tide most likely will throw both man and zone coverages at QB John Brantley to force him to go downfield to receivers who so far haven't been impressive. But Weis' use of tight ends is legendary, and he admitted he plans to "throw the kitchen sink" at the Tide.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
No. 12 Florida vs. No. 3 Alabama, 8 p.m., Ch. 10, 1250-AM