Alabama vs.Florida

 
  Date: 12/5/2009  
  Score: 32-13  
  Alabama vs. Florida

ATLANTA, Ga. – Alabama regained its place atop the Southeastern Conference with an impressive, dominating 32-13 victory over Florida in the SEC Championship Game. The victory took Alabama to within one win from its first national championship since 1992.

Running back Mark Ingram rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Greg McElroy was 12 of 18 for 239 yards and a touchdown and No. 2 Alabama rekindled memories of Paul "Bear" Bryant with the convincing victory. With the win, Alabama (13-0) moved on to Pasadena for the BCS championship game. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and the Gators (12-1) were denied a shot at their third national title in four years, including their second consecutive

Tebow, who came back for his senior year in hopes of winning another title, was 20 of 35 for 247 yards but his last gasp was picked off in the end zone. Alabama held the ball for nearly 40 minutes and piled up 490 yards against a defense that was ranked No. 1 in the country, allowing less than 10 points and about 233 yards per game.

Alabama led all the way, establishing its will on the very first drive. In the second half, Alabama shut Florida down, making up for its loss in last year’s SEC title game. Trailing 19-13 at the half, Florida took the third-quarter kickoff and came up a yard short on Tebow’s third-and-7 pass to Riley Cooper. The Gators didn’t know it at the time, but it was over.

Ingram carried three straight times before McElroy went down the right sideline to Maze for a 28-yard pass. A costly penalty on Jermaine Cunningham for shoving McElroy in the back two steps after the quarterback threw the ball away set up a perfect throw and catch.

McElroy rolled to his right, stopped suddenly and lofted the pass in the other direction, the ball dropping over Colin Peek as he extended his arms to haul in a 17-yard touchdown. Ingram finished the drive with his third score early in the fourth, powering over from the 1 to cap an 88-yard drive; Alabama’s longest of the season.

Tebow, who came back for his senior year in hopes of winning another title, was 20 of 35 for 247 yards but his last gasp was picked off in the end zone. Ingram passed Bobby Humphrey for the school rushing record in a season (1,542 yards) and augmented his performance with a 69-yard reception on a screen pass.

McElroy was nearly flawless against Florida, with his legs as well as his arm. He hopped on one leg along the sideline to pick up a crucial first down, and he set up Ingram’s final touchdown with a bobbing, weaving run to just short of the end zone.