Alabama 29, Florida 15, First Thoughts: Tide simply too much for Gators

Florida hung tough for awhile in the 24th SEC Championship Game, but Alabama eventually pulled away and fought off the Gators’ upset bid. Here’s how it happened:

It was over when… Jacob Coker hit ArDarious Stewart for a 32 yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter to make it 22-7 and it was clear Florida had no answers.

Play of the game… Despite the Gators’ woes on offense, Florida actually had the lead late in the first half thanks to an 85 yard punt return touchdown by Antonio Callaway. But Coker lofted a bomb to Calvin Ridley, who fought off two Gator defensive backs to snatch it for a 55 yard gain. That put the ball on the Florida 3 yard line, and two plays later, Alabama took the lead for good on a short touchdown run by Derrick Henry.

Game ball goes to… Coker. The FSU transfer didn’t have the best statistical game, but he made all the plays when he had to and didn’t make mistakes.

Stat of the game… 180. The Gators finished the game with a measly 180 yards of total offense, including just 15 on the ground. Hard to beat top five teams with a stat like that.

What to be proud of… Not much, other than the fact that the Gators kept fighting until the clock hit zero. CJ Worton outmuscling two Alabama defenders to come down with a Hail Mary embodies this team’s grit.

What to work on… Pretty much everything. Florida’s offensive line had a miserable game, (see the Gators’ rushing total stat again) Treon Harris was awful as usual, and even the defense had a bad game, allowing 437 yards of total offense to an Alabama offense that came into the game ranked 57th in the country. Oh, and Alabama also blocked a punt and a field goal. Not exactly a performance to remember.

Bottom line: Alabama was simply the better team, and there’s nothing Florida could have done about it. Without Callaway’s punt return TD and Worton pulling down a Hail Mary, this might have been the ugliest SEC Championship Game of all time, and even with those plays, the Gators’ performance isn’t exactly worthy of gold stars. But perspective is key here. At least Florida got to the SEC Championship Game, something they couldn’t do throughout Will Muschamp’s tenure. And if Jim McElwain could get the Gators there in his first season despite using a glorified running back for over half of it, imagine what he can do with an actual quarterback.

Scoring recap:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
FLORIDA 0 7 0 8 15
ALABAMA 2 10 10 7 29

Scoring plays:

Team Time Play FLA ALA
ALABAMA 1st 9:05 Safety; blocked punt out the back of the end zone 0 2
FLORIDA 2nd 11:53 A. Callaway 85 yd punt return (PAT GOOD) 7 2
ALABAMA  2nd 5:45 A. Griffith 28 yd FG 7 5
ALABAMA 2nd 2:26  D. Henry 2 yd run (PAT GOOD) 7 12
ALABAMA  3rd 8:04 A. Griffith 30 yd FG 7 15
ALABAMA 3rd 2:49 A. Stewart 32 yd pass from J. Coker (PAT GOOD) 7 22
ALABAMA 4th 8:50 R. Mullaney 9 yd pass from J. Coker (PAT GOOD) 7 29
FLORIDA 4th 5:02  C. Worton 46 yd pass from T. Harris (T. Harris run for 2 pt) 15 29

4 thoughts on “Alabama 29, Florida 15, First Thoughts: Tide simply too much for Gators

  1. Six years running…will UF ever field a decent quarterback again or is Tim Tebow the last one UF will ever have? Nerxt year looks just as bleak. Luke Del Rio, who couldn’t get on the field at Oregon State despite being the heir apparent, but letting a redshirt freshman, who never plated a down, run him off. This happened after being run off from Alabama, not exactly a quarterback factory with Blake Sims, McCarron, etc. Harris returns. Then there is the cheater, Will Grier, who won’t even be allowed on the field until mid season. How is that going to help whoever UF trots out if he is expected to give way to a guy who who hasn’t played a down in a year and is a screw up? Then there i, as of now, an unknown freshman who is expected to start?
    The more things change, the more they remain the same. UF is still one of the worst offenses in college football, back in their usual spot in triple digits. This happened despite yet another offensive coach being hired specifically to change that problem. No need to get excited about some hot shot recruit, Gainesville, since Tebow left, is the place where four and five star quarterbacks go to die. Brantley, Driskel, Brissett, Harris, and Grier have all been either busts or have yet to live up to the hype. The only saving grace is that the SEC East has become a basket case of mediocre teams. How else do you explain UF winning the division? It’s so bad that UF will probably be the division favorite next year, even if they lose the bowl game to end the season with three straight losses, with one of them being demolished at home by your arch rival and the other being demolished in the SEC Championship game. As for recruiting, does it matter? UF has had plenty of highly rated recruits, even on offense. The skill positions are filled with four and five stars, yet nothing changes. How long does McElwain have to change the narrative?

    1. Seeing as how everybody who does mot hate the program knows Muschamp left him a decimated Oline and miniscule QB depth, then he probably had a while.

      And may in point you to Baker Mayfield

Comments are closed.