As a part of SEC Championship Game week, we're taking a look at Alabama's and Florida's common opponents in alphabetical order. Now up: FIU.
|3rd Down Def.||7-17||4-15|
There's little point in parsing this one too much. It's just FIU after all, a Sun Belt Conference doormat that got blown out by Middle Tennessee State at one point this season. But, since Alabama and Florida both played the Golden Panthers, here we go.
Alabama got FIU in their second game of the season. The first, as you remember, was their romp over Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome. Alabama's dominance in that one didn't really come out in the 10 point final margin, but the Tide had a sizable lead in about everything that mattered. Bama could be forgiven for overlooking this one, and that's good because it's precisely what they did. FIU took a 14-13 lead in the second quarter, was only down six at halftime, but finally ran out of gas in the second half as Bama woke up and took over.
Florida, on the other hand, was getting FIU after finishing up its SEC schedule over South Carolina the previous week and seven days prior to the annual big rivalry tilt with FSU. As with the Gators' other cupcake games against Charleston Southern and Troy, they hit the gas early, put it away before halftime, and let the backups play the second half. The only real notable bit from this one is that Tim Tebow had a 55 yard touchdown run, his longest rush from scrimmage in his career.
There's not a whole lot else to say about this one as again, it's just FIU. If you're using a team that's currently 3-4 in Sun Belt play as a real measuring stick for the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country, I don't have much to say to you.
However for the sake of argument and this series, Florida had the much better game. The Gators never trailed, gave up only a token field goal right before the half, and got to see the game as a reward for a job well done in SEC play. Bama on the other hand was still working out early season kinks as every team has to, and they were also in a let down game scenario.
Better performance: Florida, easily.
See also: Arkansas.