2009 SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – (Atlanta, GA) – No. 1 Florida Gators v. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide

By Adam Silverstein
December 5, 2009

Location: Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA [Capacity: 71,228]
Time: 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Weather Forecast: N/A

TV: CBS / CBSHD
Online: CBSSports.com
Sirius: 123; XM: 144

No. 1 Florida Gators No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Nick Saban
Record: 12-0 (8-0) Record: 12-0 (8-0)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC West
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -5.5, O/U 41
Head-to-Head Stats: Gainesville Sun

KEEP AN EYE ON…
– Florida’s 2009 senior class…the winningest group in Southeastern Conference history with a 47-6 overall record. The seniors will be playing in their third SEC Championship game in the Georgia Dome in four years.
– Senior quarterback Tim Tebow and Alabama running back Mark Ingram…who will both be making their respective cases for the 2009 Heisman Trophy. Considered two of the main competitors for the award, Tebow and Ingram each have a chance, through their play, to make an argument that they should win the trophy.
– Junior defensive end Justin Trattou…who along with redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Jaye Howard will be filling in for suspended junior starting DE Carlos Dunlap.
– Junior cornerback Joe Haden and wide receiver Julio Jones…who will face off in what could potentially be the match-up of the game between one of the best CBs and one of the best WRs in the nation.
– Head coach Urban Meyer…who is 2-0 in the SEC Championship and a combined 5-1 with Florida in championship or bowl games.
– Kick returners Brandon James and Javier Arenas…who each have a chance to make a difference in the game on special teams. James will be going up against one of the worst coverage units in college football while Arenas, one of the best returners in 2009, will be going up against the best punt coverage in the nation (13 total yards allowed). In 11 of 12 games, Florida have allowed zero punt return yards.
– Experienced players…the Gators feature 19 starters and 44 players who saw action in the 2008 SEC Championship, while the Crimson Tide return 10 starters and 36 players of their own from the game.

STREAKS:
– The Gators are in the middle of the longest winning streak in school history with 22 consecutive victories. They also hold the longest active winning streak in the NCAA and the best in the nation in the last 15 years. 21 of Florida’s 22 wins have been by a double digit margin. The team is also 12-0 for the second time in school history, the first time solely in the regular season.
– Florida and Alabama meet in the SEC Championship for the second year in a row and seventh time since the game was instituted in 1992. The Gators are 4-2 in these games and 6-4 overall in the last 10 meetings. Alabama leads the all-time series 20-14.
– For the first time in SEC Championship history, both division leaders are undefeated.
– Florida has the most SEC Championship game wins and appearances by any team.
– The Gators lead the SEC in total offense (451.3), rushing offense (236.7) and third-down efficiency (.500). They also come in No. 2 in scoring offense (36.5). Florida’s offense is the only unit in the nation that has posted at least 2,800 rushing yards and 2,575 passing yards on the season.
– On defense, the Gators have only surrendered 11 touchdowns (nine from scrimmage) all season (both totals fewest in the nation). The unit has only allowed 14 field goals for a total of 118 points (9.8 per game) – tops in the nation. The defense is also No. 1 in total defense (233.1 yards per game) and pass defense (143.2 yards per game).
– The Gators have not thrown an interception in over a month (Oct. 24); however, the defense has recorded 13 interceptions over the past six weeks – most in the nation.
– Florida’s defense has held nine of its 12 opponents under 100 yards rushing. The secondary has held four opponents under 100 yards passing and forced six to complete fewer than 50 percent of their pass attempts.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide preview after the jump!

2009 SEC CHAMPIONSHIP Preview
No. 1 Florida Gators vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide

No. 1 Florida Gators (12-0) vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0) sounds like an ideal match-up for the BCS National Championship; instead, the two Southeastern Conference behemoths will go head-to-head in the 2009 SEC Championship game emanating from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA, on Saturday at 4 p.m. The SEC East and SEC West division winners will square off in the conference finale for the second time in as many seasons with the winner undoubtedly advancing to Pasadena, CA, to play for the National Championship.

One would be hard pressed to find two more evenly matched teams in all of college football. Sporting two of the best head coaches in the game in Urban Meyer and Nick Saban, two Heisman Trophy contenders in senior quarterback Tim Tebow and running back Mark Ingram and the top two defenses in the country, the Gators and Crimson Tide are expected by many to produce the biggest, most important and potentially best SEC Championship in the game’s 18-year history. In that time, Florida and Alabama have met six times for the conference title with the prior owning a 4-2 record in those contests. That includes last year’s game when the Gators scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to topple the Crimson Tide 31-20. Considering the last three national titles have all been won by that season’s SEC champion, more could not be on the line Saturday.

While both teams come into the game with strong pedigrees, each is dealing with injuries to – and absences of – key players. Starting junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap was suspended for the game by Meyer after being arrested for DUI on Tuesday and redshirt junior linebacker A.J. Jones is out with a sprained knee suffered two weeks ago. Also injured for the Gators are redshirt junior transfer Emmanuel Moody (ankle), sophomore cornerback Janoris Jenkins (hip), senior defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (shoulder) and redshirt junior defensive tackles Brandon Antwine (shoulder) and Terron Sanders (rib) – though all are listed as probable and will play. Similarly for the Tide, Ingram (hip pointer), RB Terry Grant (hip pointer) and LB Cory Reamer (hamstring) are all dinged up but will see the field.

OGGOA will be with you before, during (via twitter) and after the game with full coverage of the 2009 SEC Championship. A post-game story will be up shortly after the game.

2 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Looks like the Corso curse will live on. Guess he didn’t learn his lesson from last year.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    Good job Bama. I am beyond deflated at this point but our defense really let us down tonight, you guys really earned it and I appreciate the class at the end of the game and taking the knee.

    Good luck in the NCG as you definitely humbled the Gator nation. I didn’t want to see it this way but every dog has their day and I guess 2 NC’s in 3 years is our day.

    UF looked flat and never mentally into the game. No adjustments were made. We looked confused and sloppy. Penalties killed us as most were called against us and little for us. We walked out there expecting the trophy to be handed to us and never played. The D giving up big plays and not being able to stop Bama really threw us off our run control offense which Bama was able to run on us

    Tebow, good luck and thanks for the best 4 years of my Gator life.

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