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Saturday, January 3, 2009
Utah's rout of Alabama has Gators shaking their heads

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Florida players couldn't believe Utah handled Alabama so easily in Friday's Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The Utes jumped out to a 21-0 lead and won 31-17. There was nothing flukey about it, either. Utah set the tone from the outset and beat up on the Tide physically.

"I was shocked at that game," Florida linebacker Ryan Stamper said. "Being in the SEC, you want the SEC teams to win. And if they don't win, you don't want them to lose in a big-time game like that. You'd think they would have been more ready to play."

Florida cornerback Joe Haden was like a lot of the Alabama players. He took the Utes for granted.

"I thought they were going to murder Utah," Haden said. "I hadn't watched Utah at all, and I knew Alabama was a really good team. I talked to coach (Urban Meyer) this morning, and he said, 'Did you see Utah?' I said, 'Yeah, I don't know how they did that.'

"They were just picking them apart, spreading them out and throwing the ball everywhere. Once they got up 21-0, I stopped watching the game."