Steeldogs Face Divisional Rival Florida
Birmingham, Ala. - The Alabama Steeldogs face one of their most difficult opponents this season when they square off against Southern Division rival Florida at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla. this Saturday.
While the Steeldogs (5-3) and Firecats (5-3) both enter Saturday's game with identical records, each team has traveled different roads in the first half of the 2007 season.
The Steeldogs are an unbeaten 4-0 at home, but have gone 1-3 on the road. Florida, on the other hand, has struggled at Germain Arena in 2007. The Firecats are 2-2 at home and 3-1 on the road.
Florida boasts one of the most experienced and talented squads in the af2, with ten players having played three or more years in the league.
"They are an extremely deep team," Steeldogs Head Coach Ron Selesky said. "They have a lot of experience across the field and they're not easily surprised."
The Firecats are led on offense by quarterback Chris Wallace and on defense by DB Levy Brown. Wallace is ranked seventh in the af2 with a quarterback rating of 116.9. He's thrown for 2,117 yards and 48 touchdowns. Brown is the top defensive back in the af2, ranking first in the league for total tackles (66.5) and interceptions (7).
Alabama will try to counter Florida's weapons with its talented group of receivers and an improving defense that forced ten stops against Cincinnati last week.
The Steeldogs' receivers, including Bradly Chavez, Jon Olinger, Markeith Cooper and the newly-added veteran Herman Bell, have become one of the most dangerous groups in the league. The latter three receivers each have over 500 yards this season and are averaging at least 10 yards per catch.
"I'm really pleased with how our receivers have been playing," Selesky said. "They're running good routes and getting open."
Alabama is led defensively by lineman Eric Scott, who is tied for sixth in the league in sacks (6.5) and fifth in the league in tackles for loss (8.5). Scott has 4.5 sacks in his last two games alone, forcing many teams to pay extra attention to him on the line.
"Eric is a force to be reckoned with," Selesky said. "He's done a great job getting good penetration and continues to get better every week."
Florida has a 6-3 lead in the all-time series against the Steeldogs. The last time the two teams met in 2006, the Firecats dominated Alabama 60-27 at the BJCC. The Steeldogs are 2-3 all-time at Germain Arena and have not won there since 2003. The last time the Steeldogs defeated the Firecats was May 14, 2004.
The Steeldogs kick off against Florida at 6:30 p.m. (CST) this Saturday at the Germain Arena in Estero, Fla. The game can be heard live on the Alabama Steeldogs' Flagship radio station WSPZ 690 "The Animal" with veteran broadcaster Matt Coulter calling the action. Fans can also tune in online to www.themightyx.com to listen to the broadcast.
Af2 partner B2 Networks will be broadcasting the game, with live video and audio, through their website, www.b2livetv.com. Fans can pay a $6 fee to watch the video broadcast.
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