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Chomping at Bits: Florida embracing underdog role in SEC Championship Game

Though the Gators are widely expected to lose on Saturday, Jim McElwain wants Florida to believe that they can beat Alabama and that doing so wouldn't be an upset.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Florida embracing underdog role (again): The SEC Championship Game is being billed as arguably the most lopsided game this Championship Weekend. Jim McElwain wants the Gators believing that they can beat Alabama without it being an upset. (Graham Hall, Independent Florida Alligator)

Gators' defensive front will be key: For Florida to have a shot at upsetting Alabama, the Gators' defense will need to stop Derrick Henry and make the Tide's offense one dimensional. Florida is one of ten teams to not allow double-digit rushing touchdowns this season and only Tennessee and LSU have gained more than 200 yards on the ground against the Gators. (Josh Planos, Washington Post)

Jim McElwain credits Nick Saban with boosting his career: McElwain stated that he is in the position he is in - as head coach of the Florida Gators - because of Saban hiring him to be his offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2008. McElwain has great respect for Saban and calls him the "best ball coach of our era." (Robbie Andreu, Gainesville SunScott Carter, GatorZone)

"Well, I just want our guys to go out and play well. You know what, I want to make him proud, too. He took a flier on some guy from Montana that was out west and gave him an opportunity to coach in one of the greatest places in all of college football, in the best conference in the United States of America. For that opportunity, I just can't tell you how grateful I am and how lucky I am." - Jim McElwain on Nick Saban

Former Alabama QB, and current SEC Network commentator, Greg McElroy talks Jim McElwain: Turns out that dead fish analogy wasn't new. And it's even included pictures before. (Graham Hack, Independent Florida Alligator)

In case you wanted Gary Danielson's opinion on what Florida needs to do to stay in the game this weekend, it is this: Be themselves. Try to make it ugly. Let the defense make plays and try to create turnovers. (Chip Patterson, CBS Sports)

"I think the biggest mistake Florida could make in this game is trying to be something they're not. If they go into this game saying 'we need to open it up, we need to take risks, we need trick plays, we need to change our offense to become a zone read team,' I just don't see how in four days of practice you are going to change against the elite defense in college football, whose seen it all. You might take a close game, where Alabama could make a couple mistakes and Florida could steal this game, and turn it into a rout by trying to do too much. - Gary Danielson on Florida's game plan against Alabama

QB Kyle Trask excited to early enroll: Trask attended last weekend's game and will be taking an official visit next weekend. He sees getting a jump start on learning the playbook as one of the benefits to enrolling early. (Andrew Spivey, Gator Country)

Mark Herndon named to SEC Football Community Service Team: Herndon volunteers with Climb for Cancer and the Gator Move Program, which brings children with cancer to UF's campus to participate in student athlete led sports camp. He has also won the team's Gene Elleson Community Service Award the last two seasons. (GatorZone)

Former UF coach Billy Donovan enjoying NBA experience: And coaching against, and seeing, former Gator players.  (Shandel Richardson, Orlando Sentinel)

So, anyone going to the game and/or making the trip to Atlanta this weekend for the game? I know at least one of you (75) is attending the game itself. And, if you are, 75 South and skigator laid out some recommendations for your time in Atlanta in the comments of Wednesday's CAB. If you're not going, are you having a watch party or doing anything special to watch the championship game?

The comments are yours.