Published: Tue, December 06, 2016
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

No. 1 Alabama romps past Florida 54-16 in SEC title game

No. 1 Alabama romps past Florida 54-16 in SEC title game

He took over the starting job in Week 2 and gave the offense a dual threat, throwing for 2,454 yards and 21 touchdowns and running for 840 yards and 12 TDs.

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(AP Photo/John Bazemore). Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts walks off the field after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Florida, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Atlanta.

Now, this offensively challenged team must contend with the stingiest defense in the land.

Next up: a likely semifinal game at the Georgia Dome on December 31. The playoff squads won't be able to stop the Tide from making its second-half adjustments, but they can at least to get in the first punch. Nick Saban's annual maniacal search for pigskin perfection has rolled over better teams and worse teams this campaign, but make no mistake, the Tide have rolled over all and it seemed to become stronger as the season progressed. "We had four or five games left in the season, we had a really good team, we were in the playoffs, won a game in the playoffs, lost in the second round".

"I want to be careful about using the word 'tide, '" he said with a smile, "but I think you understand".

Despite having a non-conference schedule ranked 127 out of 128, Pac-12 champion Washington earned its way into the mix.

Even by the lofty standards of Nick Saban - one of the greatest college football coaches to ever walk the sidelines - this is absurd.

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"Appreciate that", Petersen said to Saban. "I'm not thinking about it", Saban insisted. "We've done it successfully and we've done it unsuccessfully (in 2014), so I'm not sure we have the formula exactly right". "So that's something that they should think about, how important that is, what they are willing to do to do it". A field goal was set up by another pick - one of three thrown by Florida quarterback Austin Appleby in the first half. "We had to persevere, overcome some hard times". They drove the ball, and we had the great goal line stand, and that was a great goal line stand.

At that point, because of Alabama's superior depth and athleticism, Florida second-year coach Jim McElwain knew any miracles weren't forthcoming. He also broke the school's single-season records for yards passing and touchdown passes. Scarbrough scored on a 2-yard run to climax the drive and scored from a yard out in the fourth at the end of a 91-yard march.

The Crimson Tide pounded Florida's defensive line to the tune of 234 rushing yards, 174 of which came in the second half. Alabama had zero first downs and a net of minus-7 yards in offense in the first quarter.

Ohio State, the consensus No. 2 team in the nation, can't match the Tide's depth or its ferocious defense.

"We just try to go out and do what we do best", said receiver ArDarius Stewart, who finished with three receptions for 42 yards.

NO. 7 OKLAHOMA 38, NO. 11 OKLAHOMA STATE 20: At Norman, Okla., Baker Mayfield passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns, and Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State in matchup that decided the Big 12 title and likely guaranteed the Sooners a trip to the Sugar Bowl.

Alabama would be the 12th team to win two straight AP championships. Anthony Julmisse returned a kick to near midfield and fumbled. He completed 22 of 31 passes for a Big Ten championship game-record 384 yards and four touchdowns in the win over Wisconsin. His top target for the season, James Washington, caught two passes for 50 yards on eight targets. Sophomore running back Jordan Scarlett has rushed for 778 yards and six touchdowns, while junior cornerback Teez Tabor has a team-best four interceptions.

The other national semifinal involves two teams that have previous playoff experience - No. 2 Clemson, which won the Atlantic Coast Conference by edging then-No. The Alabama offensive analyst coached the Huskies from 2009-13, so was involved in recruiting some of the veterans. Had the Buffaloes not lost quarterback Sefo Liufau before the end of the first quarter perhaps that game would have ended differently.

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