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The Gators celebrate winning the SEC Championship Saturday

Saturday December 2, 2000Gators defeat Auburn 28-6 to win the SEC crown

Atlanta,GA

The Gators celebrate winning the SEC Championship Saturday

The seventh ranked Florida Gators defeated the Auburn Tigers 28-6 to win the SEC Championship game Saturday in Atlanta. It was Florida's first SEC title since 1996.

Gator quarterback Rex Grossman threw four touchdowns and Earnest Graham rushed for a career-high 169 yards, an SEC Championship Game record. "The line picked up people and (fullback) Rod Frazier had a great game blocking," said Graham. "I just followed some holes, tried to run hard and some good things happened."

The Gators opportunistic defense forced three first half turnovers. Linebacker Mike Nattiel recovered two fumbles while Lito Sheppard cut short an Auburn threat with an interception of quarterback Ben Leard. Sheppard had two inteceptions in the game.

The Gators converted the three first half turnovers into 21 points with Grossman throwing two touchdown passes to Reche Caldwell and one to Jabar Gaffney. Grossman's other touchdown was lofted to Brian Haugabrook in the third quarter. Auburn managed just a pair of Damon Duval field goals.

Gator coach Steve Spurrier said going back to the Sugar Bowl is exciting, but the SEC title is special. "We've got the SEC championship for the year 2000," said Spurrier in his postgame radio interview. "It's in the history books and it's ours forever."

The Gators will play in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Tuesday January 2nd. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. eastern.

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