Since the SEC started a Championship game years ago, no two teams have made it there more, or faced off against each other more than Alabama and Florida. On Saturday afternoon, they met again, and again Alabama dominated Florida the whole game. Alabama has now won the SEC Championship for the 3rd year in a row and will look to win their 2nd consecutive National Championship this year as well. Alabama has been the most dominating force in college football since the 2016 season started. Against Florida Saturday afternoon, they showed why they are undefeated and ranked number 1 in the country.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide (13-0) now almost certainly moves on to the College Football Playoff. The four-team field will be announced on Sunday. This will be their 3rd year in a row heading back to the playoffs and will most likely play a Washington team, who won the Pac 12 Championship on Friday night. It was the first time Florida had allowed over 50 points in a game since 1996, but Florida turned the ball over the whole game. They threw 2 interceptions in the first half alone, and 1 was returned for a touchdown. Alabama boasts the number 1 defense in the country, who allow under 70 yards rushing a game.
The game got off to a strange start, as Florida marched down the field on the opening drive for a touchdown, to take an early 7-0 lead. Alabama's offense failed to gain positive yards in the first quarter, finishing the quarter with -7 yards. However, a pair of interceptions, including a pick-six by Minkah Fitzpatrick, and a blocked punt for a touchdown, gave the Tide a 16-9 lead going to the second quarter. Florida picked up two points by blocking an extra point and returning it for a score. However, in the second half, Alabama took over in true Crimson Tide fashion and never looked back. The Florida offense struggled all night and it was tough for them not having their starting quarterback, who is out for the season.
The 54-16 win is Alabama's fifth win by 38 or more points on the season (USC, Tennessee, Kent State, Mississippi State and Florida). It was also the second time this season that Alabama scored in all three phases of the game (Tennessee). When the offense looked bad in the first quarter, the defense and special teams picked them up to lead to 16 points. Eventually, Alabama's offense found its stride and wore down the Florida defense with the rushing attack, finishing with 234 yards on the ground. Alabama's defense did exactly what it's done all season, which is create turnovers and points, while dominating the opponent's efforts in the running game. Florida finished the game with more turnovers (three) than rushing yards (0).