Five bold Alabama vs. Florida predictions from the Campus Insiders team for Saturday’s SEC Championship Game between the Crimson Tide and Gators.
Alabama scores in all three phases of the game. Florida’s offense is less than good, so you can pretty much pencil in a pick-six or scoop-and-score for the Tide. Florida’s defense is good enough to hold Alabama to at least one red zone field goal early on. And said defense will be so gassed midway through the third quarter – hamstrung by an ineffective and inefficient offense – that Jalen Hurts will carve it up like a turkey. Expect the second half of this game to look a lot like Florida-Tennessee, where a winded defense couldn’t stop the big play.
This isn’t a great spot for Florida. Even in some lean SEC East years, I will never take away anything from a team that claims a division crown, though. However, it’s hard to imagine the offense doing anything of significance against this Crimson Tide defense. But I do envision the Gators being able to hang around for a bit because of their own defense. Keep an eye on cornerbacks Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson, who have combined for seven interceptions in ‘16. Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts is already so good, but he still has a lot of room to grow as a true freshman. Tabor and Wilson will force him into a few turnovers in the title game on Saturday. But can the UF offense turn them into points? The Gators will have to if they want to have any chance at an upset.
Austin Appleby will get knocked out of this game. It’s probably the last thing Florida fans want to hear, but the Gators’ offensive line is banged up and young. Alabama’s front seven will wreak havoc and live in Florida’s backfield. So, someone — whether it’s Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen, etc. — will lay a big hit on Appleby, and Jim McElwain will be forced to burn a redshirt for either Feleipe Franks or Kyle Trask because Luke Del Rio is still out with a shoulder injury. It won’t matter, though, in the short term. Alabama is going to destroy Florida and win yet another SEC title.
Florida scores an offensive touchdown. I know, it sounds crazy, but the Gators will find a way to get the ball in the end zone. They have absolutely nothing to lose, and Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier absolutely have to show fans they can produce touchdowns. Look for the whole playbook – not sure how big it actually is – to be thrown at Alabama. Even more bold? It’s going to come in the first quarter, just to give Florida fans enough hope before the Crimson Tide completely rip their hearts out.
Nick Saban smiles after Alabama wins the game by 35 points and says he is actually content with where his team is at this point of the season and, although winning championships is awesome, the important thing is that everyone has fun. He then asks for Jim McElwain and the Gators to come to the podium and share the trophy with them because “they are champions as well” and no one should leave the Georgia Dome without being told that they are special because, in today’s society, comforting words are hard to find. Saban will then present each player on both teams a small plaque that he had made that has a mirror on it, and inscribed above the mirror is the phrase “When Looking In This Mirror, You Are Looking At Someone Special.” He then pats Verne Lundquist on the back and tells him that he is secretly retiring after this season to spend more time doing what he truly loves: crocheting.
Seriously though, a defensive player (Jonathan Allen?) will win the MVP for the first time since Tyrann Mathieu in 2011 when LSU beat Georgia 42-10.