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on 12/02/2016

Crimson Tide Football:

For the second straight year, Alabama will face what appears to be an overmatched Florida squad in Atlanta. 

But just like last year, Alabama would be wise to not count their chicken's before they hatch, because the Gator defense is strong enough to keep Florida in any game it plays.

The Gators rank 6th in total defense, and unlike Auburn a week ago, the strength isn’t contained to simply one unit.


It’s hard to tell what will be harder for Florida to overcome Saturday when it faces Alabama in the SEC Championship Game

A.-An injured-player list 19 names long. 
B.-The Gators Offense that ranks 114th in the country. 

Despite a roster decimated by injuries, Florida has so much raw talent on hand that, thanks to solid coaching on the defensive side of the ball, no team can count on dominating the Gators, not even teams with offenses as high-powered as Alabama’s.

There is a lot of familiarity between these two teams, thanks mostly to Florida hiring former Alabama OC
Jim McElwain as their HC, who subsequently attracted former Bama staffers Doug Nussmeier, Geoff Collins and Chris Rumph.

If this looks like a non-competitive game from 30 feet up, it probably should. The SEC East was a minefield of mediocrity all year long, and Florida just managed to survive it. 

How the Gators got by LSU is anyone’s guess – it likely had to do with the utter disrespect LSU showed Florida during the rescheduling process. 

That kind of animosity isn’t present this week, as Florida and Alabama have sounded like the Mutual Admiration Society in media interviews.

What this comes down to, simply, is how Alabama’s secondary will handle Florida’s receivers, and whether Austin Appleby can get hot enough to make something of those matchups, especially if Marlon Humphrey is out. 


If Alabama struggles to stop the pass, it might open up the run just enough for Florida to make some noise. As such, it’s critical for Alabama’s front seven to get immediate and severe pressure on Appleby, who tends to wilt in the face of it.

If Alabama allows Florida to cultivate any kind of offensive balance, however, this could turn into a long day. Alabama should win regardless, but Florida is not Florida International. 


This is a talented program with a lot of team speed and a good coaching staff.

The end result is that Alabama will have a hard time surprising Florida, and with the Gators’ defense being as tough as any in the nation, expect this one to be close at least until the 4th quarter.

Look for a close game early on, with Alabama slowly building a lead and Florida being ill-prepared to answer scoring drives.


Alabama will need to force Florida to make mistakes in order to avoid a low-scoring stalemate.

Alabama 27
Florida 7


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