VIDEO: Florida Throttled In Atlanta, Alabama Crimson Tide Crush Gators 54-16
By Scott Carter, FloridaGators.com // December 3, 2016
ABOVE VIDEO: No. 1-ranked Alabama (13-0) overcame an early deficit to win its 25th consecutive game and sixth in a row against the Gators, 54-16, in front of 74,362.
ATLANTA (FLORIDA GATORS) – The final Southeastern Conference Championship Game at the Georgia Dome couldn’t end soon enough for the Gators.
No. 1-ranked Alabama (13-0) overcame an early deficit to win its 25th consecutive game and sixth in a row against the Gators, 54-16, in front of 74,362.
Here is a closer look at the Florida-Alabama game:
WHAT IT MEANS: Florida’s bid to upset No. 1-ranked Alabama and snap the Crimson Tide’s 24-game winning streak started with a 10-play, 64-yard scoring drive that concluded with Austin Appleby’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Callaway. The Gators’ lead quickly began to fade as Appleby tossed three first-half interceptions and Alabama took control to defeat Florida for the second consecutive season for the SEC title.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Appleby went 6-for-7 for 67 yards and a touchdown pass on Florida’s opening drive. By halftime, he was 17-for-26 for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Only problem is that he also had three interceptions, one returned by Minkah Fitzpatrick 44 yards for a touchdown and all three leading to points for the Crimson Tide. Florida never recovered from the Tide’s 17 points off turnovers.
STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Gators had not allowed an opponent to score 50 or more points since their 62-24 loss to Nebraska in the 1995 national championship game. Prior to Saturday, Alabama’s season-high point total was a 52-6 win to open the season against Southern Cal.
SUBPLOT: The Gators entered as a 24-point underdog and few gave them a chance to keep it close against the Crimson Tide. It was close at the end of a wild first quarter in which Alabama led 16-9. However, turnovers and mistakes on special teams proved costly as Alabama outscored Florida 38-7 the rest of the way.
UP NEXT: The Gators will find out their bowl destination on Sunday. Following Saturday’s loss, the most likely scenario is the Gators returning to Tampa for the first time in six years to play in the Outback Bowl. Florida’s last appearance in the Outback Bowl was the final game of Urban Meyer’s tenure at UF, a victory over Joe Paterno and Penn State.