Quick hits: No. 2 Alabama squashes No. 18 Florida Gators 29-15 in SEC Championship

By Adam Silverstein
December 5, 2015

No. 18 Florida Gators (10-3) football saw its offense fall to greater depths on Saturday as the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) pulled away late with a 29-15 victory to win the 2015 SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

Though UF once again avoided its first shutout since 1988, that was about the only positive to take away from the affair as the Gators offense continued to struggle and their defense simply got worn down after being on the field for three-quarters of the game.

Major offensive issues: There are so many different ways to quantify how poorly Florida’s offense played Saturday. The Gators went 0-for-11 on third down, registered just seven first downs (to 23 for the Tide), ran drastically fewer plays than their opponent (84-45), totaled just 180 yards (110 combined on three plays) and were outpossessed 43:29-16:31.

When sophomore wide receiver C.J. Worton hauled in a tremendous 46-yard touchdown reception late in the second half, it was Florida’s first offensive touchdown in 114:58 of game time and first one in 139:24 of regulation.

He is (still) Antonio: The Gators did put together a couple of big plays in the first half but none was more important than an electric 85-yard punt return touchdown scored by who else but freshman wide receiver Antonio Callaway. The score was the longest punt return touchdown in SEC Championship Game history and actually put Florida ahead of Alabama 7-2 in the early going. On the prior offensive series, Callaway hauled in a 46-yard reception for UF’s longest offensive play of the day. The Gators actually drove deep into Crimson Tide territory on that series but did not come away with any points after seeing a field goal blocked.

Good defense not enough: Even though Florida’s defense was nails through more than two quarters and even registered an important fumble (forced by redshirt junior linebacker Jarrad Davis, recovered by senior safety Marcus Maye), it simply got worn down as Alabama’s offense won the possession battle nearly three-to-one. The Gators’ secondary also got burned for two late Crimson Tide touchdowns, proving that even a solid unit like that is vulnerable when exhausted.

Everything else: Coming soon.

Former player reactions:



  1. SW FL Joe says:

    That went way better than I expected. At least with Mac, I know we will be back in ATL.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    This was really sad. I will take credit for predicting the 10 win season we have had, but I failed miserably thinking that Harris was the answer last year after a couple of good outings. He is HORRIBLE. Thank goodness Franks is coming in and maybe even Jacob Eason. It was totally disgusting to watch a journeyman QB like Coker today lay in a couple of passes right in the hands in double coverage, and watch over and over and over and over and… Harris missing WIDE OPEN receivers.

    Other than QB position, the Gators, actually completely outplayed Bama today. Henry gained a lot, yes, but only because he had an unbelievable number of attempts, because Harris kept missing every receiver and Taylor couldn’t make a gain larger than 2 yards or so.

    I think/hope that Grier is embarassed/sad that his failure cost this team so much. While they had 10 wins, if he hadn’t had the PED issue, this team could possibly be 13-0 at this point, exceeding even my expectations.

    What a shame, but so many good days ahead, and I am sure recruits see what I do that Coach Mac is all about class and winning and they are responding with early playing time if they give the effort. Going in the right direction, but definitely not there yet.

    Please get us a real QB Coach Mac, I know you are working on it, and maybe Franks will be the answer, but I am so sick and tired of watching other teams that have minimal good qualities outplay simply because they have a QB that is more accurate than ours. There is no reason we should have such bad QBs for almost a decade

  3. Michael Jones says:

    Not sure what Noah Brindise is smoking.

    CJ Worton is badass. Should’ve been playing more this year. . unless he’s been injured.

    Davis #40 is just a savage beast. Guarantee you that dude’s a future 1st rounder and All-pro linebacker.

    Our defense will knock your —- in the dirt. Knock you silly. Knock your into next week. Love the way they play.

    QB situation is just sad. I guess the whole “Treon’s HS competition” theory was a bunch of BS.

    I’m ready for next season.

    Go Gators!!

    • Fatback says:

      Brindise is correct. For all his offensive prowess McElwain’s offenses have done less with Harris at the helm than Muschamps. I hate to say it but it’s true. Now I think big picture McElwain has done a much better job, primarily thru motivation…but why he sticks with Harris instead of trying something different is beyond me. What could it possibly hurt? And with your back against the wall why not some trickery, perhaps some creativity? There was none. Don’t think we can anoint Mac just yet. Spurrier would’ve had some tricks up his sleeve.

      • KB says:

        You have to take into account that Harris was playing in the Roper’s spread offense last year which is not exactly comparing apples to apples. You rarely saw guys getting open and the offenses looked routinely mismatched over the course of 4 years under Champ’s regime. I think you can make a clear distinction with what we have seen so far with coach Mac in comparison to what we saw for 4 years under Muschamp. I will agree Mac has more work to do and should not be anointed anything yet but I will give credit when credit is due. Speaking of Muschamp I can’t think of another guy coming off of a top 10 coaching job debacle, then going on to be a DC for a team whose performance was arguably worse than the year before, and then goes on to get another HC job in that same conference 1 year removed from that debacle. Only in the SEC I guess where that good ol’boy networking is easily accepted and so rarely challenged. Congrats Champ on failing upwards and wish you much success except against UF where I hope they score 50 on your team every time they cross paths.

      • Dave Massey says:

        How do you figure Brindise is right? Florida played 5 teams that are currently ranked in the top 25 poll plus beat a 9-3 Georgia team who is not ranked. Don’t understand how they can have an 8-5 team ranked and not a 9-3 team. I don’t see how that is lower competion than last year. The big difference is that Florida didn’t lose to the lower competion teams which is what Dumpchump’s coaching accomplished for us. We lost to three good teams this year. Anyway Brindise wants to cut it 10-3 against that schedule equates to a better team this year. Not to mention we did win the East Division of the SEC by two games.

        And Worton has been injured this year. And I wouldn’t start annointing him as the second coming based on one catch in one game.

  4. 1974Gator says:

    What I saw was an O line and special teams blocking line that was sub par and cost us dearly. The Bama D line and special teams rush was wearing us out. When your offense cannot maintain possession for extended periods of time and score points the defense cannot stay fresh. When our O line is competitive we will become the Beast of the East once again.

  5. Mac_supporter says:

    I know it really doesn’t matter now, but for the sake of conversation, does anyone think we would have been more competitive if Treon was the one who transferred and Driskell was the QB who took over?

    Also Adam, has Whorton been hurt? Where has he been all year?

    And if Treon says after the game that Alabama’s defense was hard to figure out, then uhh what was the problem?

    • 1974Gator says:

      Letting Jacoby Brissett get away was the big QB mistake that was made.

    • senuod says:

      We need to get 100% off of the Driskel question. I don’t understand how quickly people forget what the last two years with Muschamp and Driskel were like. Muschamp ruined Driskel for UF. It’s as simple as that. Driskel would not have made the difference this year. He lost confidence in himself and the team lost confidence in him as well. As much as Treon has regressed since the LSU game, it still didn’t feel as horrible as the offense under Muschamp and Driskel.

      He seems to be doing well at Louisiana Tech, which is great…but let’s leave him there and wish for his continued success after college.

  6. KB says:

    Iron sharpens iron so does one person sharpen another. One aspect of Treon’s play that has not been taken into account is the fact he had no other QB on the roster to push him after Grier’s suspension. I think the Treon we saw at the beginning of the year as opposed to the end of the year had undoubtedly regressed. It was clear Will in QB play is ahead of Treon but they seemed to be friends and pushed each others play early on. I believe not having Will around had a big impact on him and there is no telling if Will was practicing and helping Treon if his play would have improved based on some of his limitations as opposed to what Mac wants to do in the offense. Recruit and build depth at all positions and UF will be perennial contenders for Championships. The expectations for what I had for the new coach he has delivered upon so far. He can see & knows what is needed for this team to be where it needs to be in the future. Mac just needs to close in recruiting and build upon what he has shown so far given a chance that he and this staff can do especially with a roster not yet fully stocked with his recruited players.

  7. Mike The Red says:

    That went better than expected. Treon seems to have regressed. I also wonder if Grier’s abscence hurt him.

    The future is bright. I think Kelvin should return for his senior year. He is not a first rounder now but could be with another year. We have a shot at a NC next year.

  8. Rob says:

    I hate to be blunt but he just sucked!

  9. Ejlgator says:

    There has been a lot of focus on the terrible QB play from Treon Harris, and for good reason. What I find most troubling though, is the play calling. On most plays/drives I find myself yelling at full volume in response to the play calling. Treon will come and go, future star QB may potentially come and go – but if Nussmeier continues to call games in this manner we will never score enough points to win, regardless of who’s under center.

    I understand that a better QB makes better throws and hits some of the flagrantly open wide receivers. what I dont understand is why we continue to call games as if we have a QB that can make those throws. Why do we go 2 quarters without giving KT the ball? Where are some trick plays? Wildcat? Read option? Anything else? Why are we incapable of making adjustments, of getting creative, of scrapping he game plan when its not working and just trying something different?!

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