Alabama vs. Florida prediction and SEC Championship Game preview. Projecting who wins the SEC title game between the Crimson Tide and Gators.
Alabama vs. Florida Game Preview
When: Saturday, December 3 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
TV Broadcast: CBS
Alabama comes in undefeated and ranked No. 1 with a shot to win its third straight SEC title and defend its national championship from a year ago. The Tide are led by quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has played beyond his years as a freshman, and a defense that ranks as the best in the country.
The Gators defense isn’t backing down, though, as Florida has consistently shut down opponents this season. Florida is trying to pull off an upset in the last SEC Championship game in the Georgia Dome, as the game moves down the street to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium next season.
Alabama and Florida meet for the ninth time in the game’s history, with the series tied 4-4.
What To Know About Alabama
How good has Hurts been? An invite to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony very well could be in store for him. Don’t count out the skill of the rest of the offense, though, as Alabama is loaded at all positions. Damien Harris has become the man at the running back position, and the Tide will try to control the game with their rushing attack against a Florida defense that doesn’t give up much on the ground. Hurts will have to challenge the talented Gators secondary at some time, and that is when Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart, and O.J. Howard will make a difference.
For Alabama’s defense, it is simple: shut down the Gators on the ground and make Austin Appleby beat them with his arm. The Tide are excellent at taking the running game out of the equation for opponents, and then the defensive line with Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams pin their ears back and create ruckus.
What to Know About Florida
It is crucial that the Gators don’t fall behind early or else they will have to go away from their game plan of running the ball and quick passes – for proof, look no further than the game against FSU. Appleby has a nice arm, and the combination of Antonio Callaway and Tyrie Cleveland could have some success against the Alabama secondary, but Florida wants to set up the run. Running back Jordan Scarlett must be patient against a defensive front that does not give up hardly anything on the ground.
A lot of Florida’s focus will be on the backfield of Hurts and Harris, but they cannot forget about Howard at the tight end position. Possibly the most talented tight end in college football, he is hardly used but can make a big difference (see: last year’s national title game against Clemson) when targeted. Also important: keeping Hurts from extending drives with his legs.
Offense: Alabama. There are so many weapons on offense that the Tide can pick and choose who to go to each game.
Defense: Alabama. Before all of the injuries to the Gators’ defense, this would be a tossup.
Special Teams: Alabama. Eddy Piniero is a good kicker for Florida, but JK Scott makes all the difference with the field position battle for Alabama.
Coaching: Alabama. Nick Saban is driven by championships, and anything else is a failure in his mind.
Intangibles: Alabama. After hearing all offseason how they had too many question marks, the Tide want to defend their championship against the best of the best.
Matchup To Watch
Florida rushing attack vs. Alabama defense
If the Gators can’t get the ground game going early, it will be a long night of hearing “Roll Tide” in Atlanta.
Alabama vs. Florida Betting Odds
Spread: Alabama -22
Over/Under: Not available at time of publication.
Alabama vs. Florida Prediction
These two teams are meeting for the ninth time in SEC Championship history, including the last two, and this is the biggest mismatch of all of them. The Crimson Tide are locked and loaded, looking to earn another title in the program’s illustrious history. Florida will keep it close for a bit, but all of the injuries that the Gators have on both sides of the ball, as well as the talent of the Tide, will catch up to them. Alabama pulls away and shows why it should be the favorite to bring home the ultimate prize.
Alabama vs. Florida Score Prediction: Alabama 31, Florida 13