Alabama Picks Up Win And Looks For More

Dale Zanine/ USA Today Sports

ATLANTA, Ga.— It was pretty much domination from the beginning for the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Florida Gators in this year’s edition of the SEC Championship Game. 29-15 is the final, but the final score doesn’t tell the whole story.

The Gators were only able to run for 15 total yards on 21 attempts, Saturday inside the Georgia Dome. The time of possession wasn’t even close, with Alabama controlling the football for about 44 minutes, as compared to the Gators 16:31.

The Florida points came from an 85 yard punt return touchdown by Antonio Callaway and a fourth quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Treon Harris to CJ Worton.

Again, Alabama completely dominated the Gators. Senior center Ryan Kelly says it is because of the team first mindset they have.

“It’s just all of us doing our job,” Kelly said. “When the offensive line needs do it the most, we step up to the occasion. defense did a hell of a job tonight and you’ve got (running back) Derrick Henry back there toting the rock. It’s awesome. In any aspect, it shouldn’t matter what defense they run. As long as we do our job, we’re going to be fine. I cannot say enough about this team.”

Florida’s defense did play Alabama tough in this game. The Crimson Tide were held to 166 rushing yards and 180 passing. They were averaging over 200 yards per game.

Heisman Trophy front runner Derrick Henry had to grind out his 135 yards on the ground, with 32 carries. He had high praise for the Gator defense.

“I think it’s the best defense that we faced,” Henry said. “They’re very physical, very disruptive, very fast on the defensive line. Athletic linebackers who are very physical and try to knock you out and good secondary. So I think it’s the best defense that we’ve faced all year.”

For the second straight year, the Crimson Tide have won the conference with a first year starting quarterback. Jacob Coker is the man this year, after getting beat out for the job by then senior Blake Simms.

After the game, Coker shared a moment with his parents/family. When he was asked about it the past year and what that moment with the family meant, he got emotional.

“I was over there with my mom and parents (voice crackling),” Coker said “They’ve done so much for me growing up. I just want to raise my kids, like they raised me. They did everything they could to make my life what it is. When I was going through stuff, they were going through stuff. My parents and family have been awesome.”

As is usually the case with Alabama after games like this, they try to keep the moment from getting too big. Some players even through out the “just another game” talk when describing the SEC Championship win, because they’re focused on completing the task of winning a national title.

It has been three years, sine the Crimson Tide won their last title. Senior cornerback Cyrus Jones was on that team in 2012 that beat Notre Dame.

He admits that it is tough to say the SEC Championship is just another game. But, there’s still work to be done for this program.

“Around here you get jobs for winning national championships,” Jones said. “SEC Championship is great, our goal is not complete. We haven’t reached it yet. We won the SEC Championship last year, but I’m sure we won’t forget that feeling walking off the Superdome Field. If we win the SEC Championship this year and then go out in the first round of the playoffs this year again. What does it really mean? Nothing. We did the same thing we did last year. We’re still going to go back to the drawing board, go back to practice, stay hungry and just try to complete our mission.”

We now know that Alabama is in the College Football Playoff and very likely the Oklahoma Sooners will be there as well. We will find out the entire field on Sunday at noon eastern.

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