The Florida Gators will limp into the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, December 5 against the Alabama Crimson Tide, and they'll be battered again in what will prove to be a lopsided contest.
On Saturday, the Gators were completely stifled by the Florida State Seminoles in a 27-2 defeat. The Gators offense is averaging just 13.75 points per game in its last four contests. There's plenty of reasons the offense is struggling, but like any football team that struggles to score points, the quarterback will shoulder much of the blame.
Florida signal-caller Treon Harris is getting his share of criticism. Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports talked about the sophomore's inability to read and react to during the team's loss to the Seminoles on Saturday night:
This is not a good look heading into a battle with Alabama.
The Crimson Tide pounded the Auburn Tigers 29-13 on Saturday behind a relentless rushing attack. Running back Derrick Henry ran the ball a school-record 46 times for 271 yards. Meanwhile, Alabama's defense continued its stellar play of late.
Over the last three games, Bama has allowed a combined 25 points to its opponents.
When you match that level of play on the defensive side of the ball against Florida's struggles to score, it's not hard to see which team will have the huge advantage.
In order for Florida to pull off the improbable win, they will first have to find a way to slow down Alabama's run game. That may not be the toughest task the Gators face. The strength of their team is the defense.
That said, even a defense as good as Florida's will break down if the offense is constantly going three-and-out with their possessions. Therein lies Florida's problem.
It's difficult to see Harris making enough plays to keep drives going. If he can have the game of his short collegiate career, he'll give the defense the blow it needs to keep the game close.
Without this improbable scenario, this game could get ugly at halftime. Look for Alabama to win by three touchdowns as it marches into the College Football Playoff as the first or second seed.