Dec. 5, 2009
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ATLANTA, Ga. - The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide won its 22nd Southeastern Conference Championship by beating No. 1 Florida, 32-13 with a balanced attack that gave the Tide its first league title since 1999. Alabama is now 13-0 on the season while the Gators fell to 12-1. It marked the first time in the history of the SEC Championship Game that both teams came in undefeated.
"Our entire team played great. Greg [McElroy] played great. Mark [Ingram] played great. Julio [Jones] played great," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "Really, most of the credit goes to our guys up front on the offensive line. This is a great win for our program."
Alabama amassed 490 yards of total offense against a Florida defense that had been limiting its opponents to an average of 230 yards per game this season.
Junior quarterback Greg McElroy, who threw for 239 yards and a touchdown on 12 completions, was named the game's most valuable player.
"It's been such an incredible season," McElroy said. "We started the season here (in the Georgia Dome) with a win and were able to win a championship today. I can't say enough about my offensive line, (and) we have the greatest coaching staff in the country. "
Sophomore running back Mark Ingram rushed for 113 yards on 28 carries including three rushing touchdowns. He is now the Tide's all-time single-season rushing leader with 1,542, surpassing Bobby Humphrey's 1986 record of 1,471 and becomes the first Alabama rusher to go over 1,500 yards in a season. His three touchdowns tied an SEC Championship Game record. Ingram also caught two passes for 76 yards.
Sophomore Marquis Maze led the Crimson Tide recievers with five catches for 96 yards.
Sophomore Mark Barron, junior Kareem Jackson and senior Rolando McClain led the Crimson Tide defense with seven, six and five tackles, respectively.
Alabama has now won an SEC title in every decade since winning the league's first title in 1933. The Tide's 22 championships ranks first in SEC history.