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SEC Championship Game: Alabama and Florida's Common Opponents

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Let's take a look at the teams Alabama and Florida have faced mutually and what might be gleaned from those games.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators shared four common opponents with Alabama facing Georgia and Tennessee out of the SEC's Eastern Division while the Gators faced LSU and Ole Miss from the West.

Both teams went 3-1 in those games as Alabama lost to Ole Miss in September and Florida lost at LSU in October. Ironically, three of the four games for each teams were home games with Alabama facing Georgia in Athens and Florida traveling to Baton Rouge (and hosting Georgia as the "home" team in their annual matchup in Jacksonville).

It is also notable that all four of the shared opponents were among the better opponents faced by both teams. All four opponents finished above .500 in SEC play with Ole Miss finishing second in the West at 6-2 and the other teams finished 5-3 with Georgia and Tennessee sharing the runners-up honors in the East and LSU tied for third in the West.

But who fared better statistically in the four games in question? Let's go game by game below:

Georgia


Alabama in Athens

Florida in Jacksonville

Score 38-10 27-3
Rushing Yards Per Attempt 4.0 5.4
Passing Yards Per Attempt 11.9 8.2
Rushing Yards Against Per Attempt 5.1 3.1
Passing Yards Against Per Attempt 3.4 4.5
Turnover Margin 2 4
3rd Down Conversion % 8% 44%
3rd Down Conversion % Against 18% 17%
Red Zone Touchdown Conversion Rate 50% 50%
Red Zone Opponent Touchdown Conversion Rate 0% 0%


Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Both Alabama and Florida beat Georgia handily with biggest statistical differences being Alabama's extremely poor 8% third down conversion percentage and Florida having a two turnover greater margin. In the end though, both teams won convincingly and by similar margins.

LSU


Alabama in Tuscaloosa Florida in Baton Rouge
Score 30-16 28-35
Rushing Yards Per Attempt 4.6 1.8
Passing Yards Per Attempt 7.7 8.5
Rushing Yards Against Per Attempt 2.1 5.4
Passing Yards Against Per Attempt 6.7 10.6
Turnover Margin 0 1
3rd Down Conversion % 47% 38%
3rd Down Conversion % Against 27% 50%
Red Zone Touchdown Conversion Rate 50% 100%
Red Zone Opponent Touchdown Conversion Rate 100% 100%

The first game of Will Grier's suspension came at LSU and resulted in the first loss of Florida's season, but it was the Gators' running game that really struggled. In terms of yards per rush, it was Florida's worst output of the season with the next worst coming in at nearly three quarters of a yard more against Ole Miss. For Alabama's part, this was the game that took Leonard Fournette's Heisman campaign (and LSU's season for that matter) off the rails as the Tigers were held to their second lowest per rush yard output for the season.

Ole Miss


Alabama in Tuscaloosa Florida in Gainesville
Score 37-43 38-10
Rushing Yards Per Attempt 5.1 2.5
Passing Yards Per Attempt 4.9 9.3
Rushing Yards Against Per Attempt 2.9 2.1
Passing Yards Against Per Attempt 10.3 6.5
Turnover Margin -5 4
3rd Down Conversion % 55% 50%
3rd Down Conversion % Against 28% 36%
Red Zone Touchdown Conversion Rate 83% 60%
Red Zone Opponent Touchdown Conversion Rate 50% 33%


Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

In comparing these two games, the biggest standout (besides the Alabama loss to Ole Miss, of course) is the turnover margin. Florida controlled most of the yards per play categories, but the turnovers by Alabama against Ole Miss and by the Rebels against Florida directly led to points which helped play a role in the results.

Tennessee


Alabama in Tuscaloosa Florida in Gainesville
Score 19-14 28-27
Rushing Yards Per Attempt 2.8 3.9
Passing Yards Per Attempt 9.1 6.6
Rushing Yards Against Per Attempt 3.4 5.0
Passing Yards Against Per Attempt 7.8 8.7
Turnover Margin 0 0
3rd Down Conversion % 42% 20%
3rd Down Conversion % Against 54% 44%
Red Zone Touchdown Conversion Rate 40% 100%
Red Zone Opponent Touchdown Conversion Rate 67% 50%

Both teams were matched up closely by the Volunteers as none of these statistics stand out other than the pedestrian passing yards per attempt that Florida put up under Will Grier. Grier did end up with over 270 yards, but that came on 42 attempts.