ATLANTA – With a Heisman-worthy performance from Derrick Henry and another dose of dominating defense, No. 2 Alabama cruised into the four-team playoff with a 29-15 victory over No. 18 Florida in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday.
The Tide became the first team since Tennessee in 1998 to win two straight SEC titles.
"As tight as this group is and how hard we play together and how we have each other's backs, I'm real confident in this team," quarterback Jake Coker said. "I think we can do whatever we want to do, based on how we practice and prepare. It's going to be an exciting playoff."
Henry rushed for 189 bruising yards on a staggering 44 carries. He tied the SEC record for touchdowns in a season (23) and eclipsed Herschel Walker's 34-year-old conference mark for rushing yards in a year, pushing his total to 1,986 with at least one more game still to come.
The defense turned in quite a performance for coordinator Kirby Smart, who is expected to be named head coach at Georgia in the next few days. Smart avoided reporters after the game.