Florida running back Malik Davis, center, stretches the ball over the goal line to score a touchdown on a 26-yard run past Alabama defensive back Malachi Moore, left, and linebacker Chris Braswell, right, during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Alabama UF ends in a nail biter

The Alabama UF matchup saw two SEC giants battle it out in the swamp. Ultimately Alabama came out victorious over the Florida Gators.

How it went down

Alabama UF, a first-quarter tale

The first quarter went all but entirely in Alabama’s favor. The Crimson Tide had three drives in the first quarter and scored a touchdown on each.

All three touchdowns were courtesy of passes by Alabama’s sophomore quarterback, Bryce Young. The touchdowns went to Jase McClellan, Jahleel Billingsley, and Brian Robinson Jr.

The other three quarters

After the first quarter, the Gators defense stepped up their game and gave up zero points. Gators coach Dan Mullen said he told the players after the first quarter to “relax, do your job.”

Gators defensive back Trey Dean echoed that idea for the defense going forward.

The game came down to the final couple of minutes. Alabama entered the fourth quarter with a lead of 28-23. On the first drive of the quarter, Alabama settled for a field goal to go up 31-23.

Florida got the ball with 9:30 left in the game and Emory Jones and running back Malik Davis managed the game. Ending off the drive, running back Dameon Pierce scored a clutch 17-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 31-29.

That forced the Gators to go for a two-point conversion to tie the game. The Gators failed to convert. They could not get the ball back with enough time to score again.

End of game stats

Alabama UF was back and forth all game and on the stat sheet.

The Gators outgained the Crimson Tide 439 yards to 324. Alabama had the edge in the passing game 233 to 181 yards, but the Gators outran the Tide 258 yards to 91.

Florida’s Nay’Quan Wright attributes a lot of the running success to Mullen and the Gators offensive line. Wright performed well on the Gators’ 99-yard touchdown drive.

Florida’s Emory Jones had 261 all-purpose yards in Saturday’s game. Dan Mullen said he saw a lot of good from Jones, even on his interception.

Over 90,000 people were at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for the Alabama UF game. Gators defensive back Trey Dean talked about how that affected the game. He spoke about the fans forcing penalties by Alabama and giving the players an energy boost.

The Gators next face Tennessee. They beat in-state opponent Tennessee Tech 56-0.

About Jensen Young

Jensen Young is a journalism student at the University of Florida. He works as a sports writer for WRUF.com and is the voice of trendings on Wednesday mornings on the WRUF radio station.

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