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Florida Gators look forward to challenge at No. 1 Alabama

record-setter: Freshman Trey Burton, scoring one of his UF-record six touchdowns against Kentucky, is fifth nationally in scoring. Up next: an SEC title game rematch against Alabama.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

record-setter: Freshman Trey Burton, scoring one of his UF-record six touchdowns against Kentucky, is fifth nationally in scoring. Up next: an SEC title game rematch against Alabama.

GAINESVILLE — Less than an hour had passed since the Gators' 48-14 win over Kentucky, but the Gators had already turned their thoughts toward Alabama.

No. 7 Florida (4-0) plays at No. 1 Alabama (4-0) at 8 p.m. Saturday (Ch. 10).

The Gators are coming off their best performance of the season, and they said it's critical to continue to improve this week.

"We've just got to go out and prepare the same way we did last week," senior C Mike Pouncey said. "We had our best week of practice last week, so we've got to go out and do the same thing. They've got a great team, we've got one, too, and it'll be a great game on Saturday."

It will be a rematch of the 2008 (UF win) and 2009 (Alabama win) SEC title games. It is the eighth rematch of an SEC Championship Game in the immediate next season and the fifth in a regular-season SEC game. The team that won the title game is 3-4 in the rematch.

"I've not watched them on tape," UF coach Urban Meyer said. … "Our guys will practice really hard. There's one way to try to compete at a road stadium, and that's go as hard as you can on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think our guys will be anxious. You want to make sure you get healthy. That's going to be a real physical game up there."

Alabama is coming off a come-from-behind win at Arkansas.

"We're looking forward to the challenge," QB John Brantley said. "We're all starting to learn how to get prepared for games, and I think that's what we're going to do this week."

INJURY WOES: Junior RB Jeff Demps' injured left foot was being reexamined Sunday. Demps said last week that he was injured when he stepped on the foot of an offensive lineman. "We're hoping it's just a sprained foot," Meyer said. Also, at some point Saturday, every starting offensive lineman was injured, most notably Carl Johnson's right ankle and Xavier Nixon's left leg. Pouncey said "it's just little nicks." DT Dominique Easley (foot), NT Brandon Antwine (shoulder) and NT Lawrence Marsh (severely cut elbow) are expected to return.

NOTABLE: The Gators lead the nation with 12 interceptions, followed by Nebraska with 10. … Freshman Trey Burton, who set a school record with six touchdowns against Kentucky, is No. 5 nationally in scoring (12 points per game) and leads the SEC. His performance was one shy of the national freshman record of seven, set by Marshall Faulk of San Diego State in 1991 vs. Pacific. Burton is the first freshman since 2005 (Steve Slaton of West Virginia vs. Louisville) to score six touchdowns in a game. … Brantley went 156 pass attempts without an interception until giving up one in the first half. He opened the season with an active streak of 96.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

Florida Gators look forward to challenge at No. 1 Alabama 09/26/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 26, 2010 9:36pm]
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