Maurkice Pouncey Got Physical

It was as hard of a fought game in the trenches as the Gators have had all season. The SEC Championship was a war and the Gators came out on top in large part due to the play of the offensive line. Alabama was allowing only 73 yards rushing per game in 2008. The Florida Gators almost doubled that on their way to 31 points in the victory. Center Maurkice Pouncey was a big reason why.

Pouncey had the unenviable task of facing Terrence Cody, the mammoth 6-5, 365 pound nose tackle for the Crimson Tide. Cody has already made several post season All-American lists. Saturday, he had three tackles, but otherwise was kept pretty quiet by Pouncey and his twin brother Mike in the middle of the offensive line.

"We played very physical and very hard," Maurkice said following the game. "He was a big dude to block and pretty strong and we got the job done."

Maurkice was all smiles after the game. It had been a rough two weeks with his father being in a terrible accident and hurt. Yet, winning championships was something that he and his brother signed on the dotted line for back in February of 2007.

"Words can't explain it, I am so happy right now, I am just glad we won," Maurkice said. "This is exactly why I came to the University of Florida."

Going against a number one and undefeated team like Alabama can take its toll on your psyche. Getting down by three points in the second half in front of a partial Crimson Tide crowd just adds to the anxiety of playing such a big game. The Gators had not come back from behind to win all season, yet with a whole quarter left to play, Maurkice said it was if the game hadn't even started and business as usual for this squad.

"We were very confident," he said. "We practiced hard all week and knew it was going to be a tough fighting game. We didn't put our heads down, because we knew we had to go out there and come back with a big win.

"Tebow came over and told us we had to win it right there when we went down. We went down the field and scored and then got the ball back and scored again. We all wanted the same thing as Tim. We all have the same heart, the passion as Tim and wanted to go out there and win that game."

Maurkice also knew that once the offense got that last lead, the defense would make their move in the game.

"Our defense is probably the best in the nation and they came out and played very hard and physical," he said.

The Gators again will have their toughest match up of the season. Oklahoma is known for their tough trench play and they will come in very hungry after several disappointing bowl finishes. The Gators are getting healthier and should be close to 100 percent when they square off against the Sooners for the National Championship in a month. Maurkice Pouncey and the offensive line will be ready as usual.

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