SEC Championship: Alabama (12-0) vs. Florida (8-3) Game Preview
Check out the SEC Championship: Alabama vs. Florida fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 3
Game Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Bowl and Conference Implications
Alabama is almost certainly in the College Football Playoff no matter what. Florida will go to the Sugar Bowl with a win, but would most likely the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl or Outback Bowl.
What Does Each Team Need To Do?
Alabama, score early.
Florida’s offense is trying hard, and it has a little bit of power at times, but what it doesn’t have is a downfield passing game. It came up with one whopper of a bomb to help get by LSU, but that was about it for the game, and that’s been about it for the second half of the season.
QB Austin Appleby was brilliant against South Carolina a few weeks ago – hitting 17-of-21 passes for 201 yards and two scores – but nine of the team’s 14 touchdown passes came in the first four games. There’s no running against the Crimson Tide front seven – it’s No. 1 in the nation allowing 69 yards per game – so if Appleby isn’t on and sharp, forget about it.
Defensively, the NFL Gator secondary has to hold down the NFL Alabama wide receivers. Do that, hope for the banged up rest of the defense to hold on for dear life against the run, and keep the score low.
This can’t get into a shootout in any way, with the Gators needing to use the fantastic punting game to keep the field tilted. Florida showed that it could still rise up and come up with something special defensively, despite keeping it all together with thoughts and prayers. The Florida offense, at best, is going to score 20 points – it’s up to the defense somehow keep the Crimson Tide offense under wraps.
Alabama doesn’t have to take the slightest risk whatsoever.
The defense will hold its own forcing three-and-out after three-and-out, and there’s no concern whatsoever of getting hit with a Chad Kelly-Ole Miss-like performance with lots of crazy big plays.
Don’t get worried if the first half is a fight – Florida got to the SEC Championship for a reason – but put a few first quarter scores on the board, and this thing is over.
Unlike last season, when the team appeared to be wearing down as the season went on, only to perk back up again with a few weeks off to get ready for the College Football Playoff, Alabama is playing better and better as the year is going on. Run, keep running, let Jalen Hurts take off for a few third down conversions here and there, and eventually, the running game will start to open up.
What’s Going To Happen?
Alabama will struggle on the first few drives as a jacked up, nothing-to-lose Gator team comes out roaring. Florida will convert a third down play – something it didn’t do in 12 tries against Florida State – and it’ll give its fans some hopes of a miracle, and then the Crimson Tide defense will rise up and slam down the SEC title.
Forget about the Gators doing anything interesting in the second half.
Last year, Florida didn’t have a prayer, but still managed to make it a battle in a 29-15 SEC title game loss. This time around, nope.
The ridiculous array of injuries and problems will showcase the lack of depth in a big way as Alabama wears down the Gators on the way to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as the College Football Playoff No. 1 seed.
SEC Championship: Alabama vs. Florida Prediction
Alabama 31, Florida 9
Alabama -24, o/u: 40.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Mitt Romney – 1: Rudy Giuliani … 2
Must See Rating: 5: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 1: CMA Country Christmas … 3.5