Game Preview – UF vs. Alabama (SEC Championship)

By on November 29, 2016. Posted in , , , , .

Upset-Minded Gators Try to Knock-off Top-Ranked Alabama for SEC Title

Despite a loss to in-state rival Florida State last Saturday, the Florida Gators can still claim a conference championship when they meet top-ranked Alabama on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta.  Kick-off for the title game between the Gators and Crimson Tide is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at the Georgia Dome with coverage of the game airing nationally on CBS.

The Baltimore Gator Club will host its weekly watch party for the game and cheer on the Gators against the Tide.  So come on out and join the other Charm City Gators for the SEC Championship game.

Florida (8-3, 6-2 SEC) returns to Atlanta for a second consecutive year under head coach Jim McElwain, making back-to-back appearances in the conference title game for the first time since 2008 and 2009.  UF won the SEC East despite playing only three conference home games at the Swamp and then winning at LSU after Hurricane Matthew forced the initial contest to be rescheduled and moved to Baton Rouge.

The Gator defense has been the driving force behind the Orange and Blue’s success this season as the unit ranks sixth nationally, and sits behind only Alabama in the SEC, in total defense.  The Florida D has given up an average of less than 300 yards per game this year while surrendering only 14.2 points per contest.

Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC) is back in Atlanta as the champion of the SEC West for the third straight year and the fourth time in the last five seasons.  The Crimson Tide has run the table once again with marquee road wins coming at Tennessee and LSU in addition to claiming an early season neutral-site victory against a now resurgent USC team.

For as good at the Gator defense has been, the Tide squad has one-upped them.  Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense, yielding just 11.4 points per game.  In addition, the Crimson Tide has found a rhythm on offense under the direction of freshman Jalen Hurts.  The first-year QB has stuck his name in consideration for the Heisman Trophy after completing 66% of his passes during the regular season and throwing 20 touchdowns.  He has also rushed for 840 yards and accounted for 12 more scores on the ground.

Saturday’s contest is a rematch of last year’s SEC Championship game which the Crimson Tide won 29-15 and will mark the ninth time that Florida and Alabama have been in the title contest.  The teams have previously split the eight prior meetings with the SEC crown on the line, but Alabama leads the all-time series, 25-14, and has won eight of the last ten meetings with the Gators.