An eventful first half of play has come to an end in the SEC Championship Game with the Alabama Crimson Tide leading the Gators 35 to 17.
Before the contest, Florida announced multiple inactives for tonight’s game, majorly affecting the depth in the secondary at the safety position.
Specifically, nine players would be unable to go: Shawn Davis, Rashad Torrence II, David Reese, Jeremiah Moon, Kahleil Jackson, Ethan Pouncey, Lamar Goods, Jaelin Humphries, and Lucas Alonso.
After tying the game up at seven on the first drive from scrimmage, the Florida offense went cold—kicking a field goal and punting on the next possession—while Alabama continued to roll as they have all season.
With Florida’s inability to create stops on the defensive end, the longer the second quarter went on, the more the game looked as if it would get further out of the Gators' grasps.
Following late heroics by Kadarius Toney on the final drive of the quarter, Kyle Trask punched in a one-yard run to pull within eleven. However, this occurred with too much time remaining for the high-powered Bama offensive attack.
Marching the football down the field quickly, the Tide were able to add another score with just six seconds remaining, pushing their lead back up to 18.
With a major focal point going into the matchup being the necessity to limit the Alabama offense's star power, Florida’s defense failed to execute in that regard.
Having Devonta Smith and Najee Harris combined for 254 yards and five touchdowns in the first half, the Gators' defense proved ineffective in slowing down the Crimson Tide’s big-play threats.
As Florida comes out of the half, they will be receiving the football, in a must score scenario to keep the game relatively close. From there, the Gators defense will be called upon to create stops if UF looks to climb back into this contest.