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    Florida senior strong safety Ahmad Black points out a receiver during the second half of the Gators' 38-14 win against the South Florida Bulls on Saturday, September 11, 2010.

Florida Gators Can Learn
From Black And Past Teams

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Written by Ryan Randall, September 28, 2014, 8 Comments,
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December 5, 2009, SEC Championship Game: Florida v.s. Alabama.

The Gators entered the game with a 22-game winning streak. The victory would have put them in the third National Championship game in four years. However, the Gators would lose to the Tide 32-13.

For former Florida Gators safety Ahmad Black, the disappointment of the loss was felt by everyone involved with the program. However, the loss provided a teaching tool the current Gators can apply coming off a big loss to the same program September 20.

“Just like you mess up and you have to play the next play, you have to play the next game,” Black said.

While playing at Florida from 2007-2010, Black was part of the 2008 National Championship team. He also was as a 2010 AP Second-team All-American and the 2011 Outback Bowl Most Valuable Player. During Black’s career, Florida had some the most aggressive and stout defenses in school history, allowing an average of 18 points per game and holding opponents to single digits 15 times.

The 2014 Gators defense is a far cry from those championship teams, but Black said some of the issues can be fixed. The former captain looks for more variety schematically, noting opponents picking up on the repetitive nature on some of the defensive calls.

Black also said he would like to see better communication from the defense, as well as more grit late in games.

“I thought towards the end of the [Alabama] game [they] were just running through tackles,” he said. “It was like we were giving up or something. I know they weren’t giving up, but they’ve got to have that fourth quarter toughness to finish that game.”

Along with toughness, the Gators will need to have more players step up, according to Black. The safety said during Florida’s championship seasons, the team’s ability to have multiple playmakers contribute at different points of the season was key to their success.

Saturday’s games were indicative of the unpredictability of the SEC East this season. Georgia defeated Tennessee in a close contest, while Missouri’s upset over South Carolina gave them the top spot in the division. Even with the loss to Alabama, the Gators are number two in the East, and have a chance to improve upon that record with games against two SEC East opponents in the next three weeks.

Despite the loss to Alabama and the mounting questions surrounding the future of program, Black places an importance on the personnel to remain focused on the games ahead. While the team may have played below expectations, the current Gators are not in this season alone and will need to move past the 2014 loss to Alabama the same way they did in 2009.

“That’s the school I attended, that’s my alumni if they go 0-10 or 10-0,” Black said. “It’s still tough to watch, but they’ve still got all the former players behind them, so don’t think it’s just them because we’ve been there, we know what it’s like.”

Ryan Randall

About Ryan Randall

From Melbourne, Florida, Ryan has lived in Florida since he was three, becoming a sports fan around that age.. His passion for journalism rivals his love of sports. Shortly out of high school he covered prep and community sports for his hometown paper in Brevard Country, before moving to Gainesville, where he covered the Gators in the pros as well as prep sports for a few publications. A Telecommunications major at UF, Ryan now interns at Gator Country and ecstatic to showcase his talents for the publication. When not working on stories, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, music, as well as art. Follow Ryan at @_RyanRandall_

  1. snowprintSeptember 28, 2014, 6:28 pm

    I’m kind of confused. Did I miss the undefeated season Florida had? The writer says Florida had a 22 game win streak. Wouldn’t that mean there was an undefeated season included in that? That’s news to me.

    • trippo7September 28, 2014, 7:22 pm

      Perhaps if you didn’t read every single article looking for a way to be contrary this obviously and silly mistake would have never happened.

      2008 Gator Football Season:
      - Gators lose 4th game of the season to Ole Miss.
      - Gators then win 10 in a row including the SEC CG and National Title game. (Remember that’s 10 wins in a row it will be important later)

      2009 Gator Football Season:
      - Gators start the season 12-0 and ranked number 1 going into SEC CG
      - Gators lose badly to Alabama in SEC CG and the winning streak then stops at 22.

      Now pay attention because I know this part is difficult. My second graders constantly have trouble when adding two digit numbers in which there is no regrouping, but here goes:
      10 in a row to close out the 2008 season and 12 in a row to start the 2009 season makes the math 10 + 12 = 22. So as you can see no undefeated seasons needed to be had in order to have a 22 game winning streak. Good effort, though. Find another way to be contrary. I am sure you can do it.

    • Andrew Spivey
      Andrew SpiveySeptember 28, 2014, 8:04 pm

      HaHa I needed you for a math teach back in the day.

    • Andrew Spivey
      Andrew SpiveySeptember 28, 2014, 8:03 pm

      Florida didn’t lose a game between Ole Miss and the SEC Championship game against Alabama.

  2. scooterpSeptember 28, 2014, 7:16 pm

    They were 12-0 heading into rematch with Alabama for SECC….and they ripped off 10 straight in ’08 after Ole Miss loss. There you go, 22 straight. C’mon Snowball try and keep up

    • trippo7September 28, 2014, 7:25 pm

      Glad I wasn’t the only one to point this out haha. Snowprint is completely ridiculous. Wish the fake one would come back.

  3. ryanrandallSeptember 28, 2014, 7:26 pm

    Thanks for checking out the story, everyone and I appreciate you keeping me on my toes, Snow.

  4. swampieSeptember 28, 2014, 8:34 pm

    Nice read, the loss of a big DE who’s in the pros for the 12-0 Gators heading into the SEC Championship game was a killer, along with uncharacteristic drops in the Game, stinking Notre Dame somehow made it to the National Championship game, they were mauled by Bama. Am sure that 2009 Florida team would have destroyed the Irish had they bot past Bama. Too many WRs drinking it up with the WR coach who was headed for LSU.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/25_blackahmad_100911_1035_tcasey-150x150.jpg Ryan Randall FeatureFootball ,,
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December 5, 2009, SEC Championship Game: Florida v.s. Alabama.

The Gators entered the game with a 22-game winning streak. The victory would have put them in the third National Championship game in four years. However, the Gators would lose to the Tide 32-13.

For former Florida Gators safety Ahmad Black, the disappointment of the loss was felt by everyone involved with the program. However, the loss provided a teaching tool the current Gators can apply coming off a big loss to the same program September 20.

“Just like you mess up and you have to play the next play, you have to play the next game,” Black said.

While playing at Florida from 2007-2010, Black was part of the 2008 National Championship team. He also was as a 2010 AP Second-team All-American and the 2011 Outback Bowl Most Valuable Player. During Black’s career, Florida had some the most aggressive and stout defenses in school history, allowing an average of 18 points per game and holding opponents to single digits 15 times.

The 2014 Gators defense is a far cry from those championship teams, but Black said some of the issues can be fixed. The former captain looks for more variety schematically, noting opponents picking up on the repetitive nature on some of the defensive calls.

Black also said he would like to see better communication from the defense, as well as more grit late in games.

“I thought towards the end of the [Alabama] game [they] were just running through tackles,” he said. “It was like we were giving up or something. I know they weren’t giving up, but they’ve got to have that fourth quarter toughness to finish that game.”

Along with toughness, the Gators will need to have more players step up, according to Black. The safety said during Florida’s championship seasons, the team’s ability to have multiple playmakers contribute at different points of the season was key to their success.

Saturday’s games were indicative of the unpredictability of the SEC East this season. Georgia defeated Tennessee in a close contest, while Missouri’s upset over South Carolina gave them the top spot in the division. Even with the loss to Alabama, the Gators are number two in the East, and have a chance to improve upon that record with games against two SEC East opponents in the next three weeks.

Despite the loss to Alabama and the mounting questions surrounding the future of program, Black places an importance on the personnel to remain focused on the games ahead. While the team may have played below expectations, the current Gators are not in this season alone and will need to move past the 2014 loss to Alabama the same way they did in 2009.

“That’s the school I attended, that’s my alumni if they go 0-10 or 10-0,” Black said. “It’s still tough to watch, but they’ve still got all the former players behind them, so don’t think it’s just them because we’ve been there, we know what it’s like.”

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