The No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will puts its undefeated season record and 24 game win streak on the line Saturday, as it goes head-to-head against the No. 15 ranked Florida Gators in the SEC Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Crimson Tide (12-0) and Gators (8-3) will meet inside the Georgia Dome for the second year in a row, and for the ninth time in SEC Championship history. Alabama (11) and Florida (12) lead the conference in SEC Championship appearances, with the Tide making its third consecutive trip to Atlanta.
The Tide enters the game with one of the most dominant defenses in program history. The defense currently leads the country in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, defensive touchdowns, offensive touchdowns allowed, first downs allowed per game, 3-and-out rate and opponents QBR. Senior defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who has seven sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss this season, leads the defensive unit that has not allowed a touchdown since Oct. 22 against Texas A&M.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Tide is one of the best. Jalen Hurd has engineered an offense that has averaged 245 rushing yards and 233 passing yards per game this season, while averaging just under 40 points a game.
But the Tide will face a defense unlike any other they have seen this year. The Gators arent far behind the Crimson Tide in defensive production. Florida leads the SEC and is third in the nation in pass defense and pass efficiency defense, and is giving up just over 14 points a game on the season.
With its starting quarterback Luke Del Rio hurt, Florida will turn to Purdue transfer Austin Appleby, who in seven games this year has thrown for six touchdowns and 964 yards. The Purdue transfer leads a unit that has averaged 297 yards of offense in his five starts under center this season, and averaged only 18 points a contest.
The Tide has won five in a row against the Gators, and with it predicted as the No. 1 overall seed in College Football Playoff, the Tide is a heavy favorite in this one. According to OddShark, the Tide is currently a three touchdown favorite over the Gators.
The game is scheduled for a 4:10 p.m. EST kickoff on CBS with Verne Lundquist doing play-by-play, Gary Danielson providing the color and Allie LaForce working the sidelines.