GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Brian Robinson came through for Alabama when it needed him most on Saturday.
The senior running back scored on a 3-yard run on fourth down in the third quarter to answer a Florida touchdown and shift momentum back in Alabama’s favor.
Later, when Alabama needed a first down to keep possession and run out the clock, Robinson plunged ahead for a 2-yard run to convert on third down.
Robinson, who finished with 75 yards rushing, was held in check for most of the game, as was the whole Alabama run game.
Alabama got the ball at the Florida 12 and couldn’t punch the ball in on three tries. The Crimson Tide turned to Robinson on the fourth-down play.
"B-Rob has proved it countless times, and not just in games, but in the offseason," Alabama quarterback Bryce Young said. "That's a product of what people don't always see on Saturday - work in the offseason and during the week. That's how you build trust with players and coaches."
The score gave Alabama a 28-16 lead with 4:33 to play in the third quarter.
“B-Rob did a great job for us today,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “He got a little banged up in the end. He bruised his ribs or something. But I thought he played really well and had some strong runs.”
With 3:10 left to play the game clock malfunctioned with Alabama in possession and time had to be kept on the field by the officials. The head umpire had to call out the time in the final two minutes, causing some slight problems with clock management.
“It certainly didn’t help any,” Saban said. “It’s nice to know when the clock is running and when the clock is not running. It complicated it a bit but our players did a good job of managing it.”
No fun against No. 1
The Last time Florida beat a No. 1 team at home – never. The Gators came as close as they ever have Saturday with the two-point loss to Alabama.
Florida played the No. 1 team 15 times in its history, including four at home. Florida lost to LSU in 1959, FSU in 1993, FSU in 1999, and Miami in 2002.
The last time Florida beat a No. 1 team was in the SEC title game in 2008, against Alabama. Alabama holds a 9-0 win streak against Florida.
Saturday’s loss gives Dan Mullen an 0-11 mark against Alabama, including 0-2 at Florida.
By the way, Alabama is tied with Miami for most wins against a No.1-ranked team (9). It’s last win against a top-ranked team was Clemson in the 2017 playoff semifinal in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama’s last loss to a No. 1 team was in the national title game for the 2018 season against Clemson (44-16).
Held in check, sort of
Florida entered Saturday with two dynamic running quarterbacks in Emory Jones and backup Anthony Richardson.
Jones came close to 100 yards in the first two games and had 80 against the Crimson Tide. Alabama gave up 245 total rushing yards after allowing 87 to Miami and 68 to Mercer.
Just two quarterbacks have rushed for 100 yards on Alabama in the Nick Saban era, Kyler Murray of Oklahoma in 2018 (109) and John Rhys Plumlee of Ole Miss in 2019 (109)
Good day for a road game
They call it The Swamp in Gainesville and the weather conditions were humid but bearable. Meanwhile in Tuscaloosa, it was real-life swamp conditions with intense flooding near downtown and around campus.
Temperatures in Gainesville were in the mid 80s with 70% humidity. Temperatures in Tuscaloosa were in the mid 70s but rain and flash flooding made it the perfect day for Alabama to be on the road.
The Ol’ Ball Coach in the house
Former Florida football coach Steve Spurrier was in attendance Saturday and greeted Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban before the game.
Spurrier won a national championship with Florida in 1996 and had Alabama’s number in the 1990s. He also got the best of Saban and the Crimson Tide when Spurrier was head coach at South Carolina in 2010.
Spurrier was 6-3 vs. Alabama as head coach of the Gators.
The announced attendance was 90,887. It’s the fifth largest crowd in Ben Hill Griffin stadium history. Largest since 2015 against Florida State.