The SEC Championship is scheduled for Saturday night between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It feels weird to have it as a night game, as I’m used to the late afternoon start for this game, but don’t mind the late start in the evening hours. The Georgia Bulldogs and LSU Tigers met in the SEC Championship a season ago, as Alabama were closed out of the game in a rare year.
Alabama are back, though, and they look ready to reclaim their SEC crown. Not only the SEC crown, but the Crimson Tide have their eyes focused on the National Championship as well. Alabama has been much better than the rest of the FBS this season. Any team to beat Alabama at this point would be regarded as an upset.
That includes the Florida Gators, who come armed to Atlanta with one of the most prolific gunslingers in the country. Florida were doing a lot of looking ahead last week, though, and essentially took themselves out of the College Football Playoff with a loss against a bad LSU team. This isn’t the Tigers that won the National Championship with Joe Burrow. It’s an LSU team that struggled to win games.
They were able to take advantage of Florida in a lookahead spot, though. LSU dispatched the Gators by a score of 37-34, as Max Johnson connected for 3 touchdowns and 239 yards with no interceptions. The shaky defense was the downfall of Florida in that game, and likely will be again on Saturday against a much better Alabama offense. If they play like that against the Crimson Tide, expect Mac Jones to dice the Gators up for more than 50 points.
Kyle Trask will do his best to keep pace with Jones on Saturday night. Trask and Jones are both up for Heisman consideration and two of the most impressive quarterbacks from the Covid-19 season in 2020. Their draft stock has gone through the roof, so these are two players feeling fortunate that this season was not cancelled. Trask and the Florida offense could have played better last week, but like I said, the lookahead spot proved deadly and Florida slipped to 8-2. Head below for our free Alabama vs. Florida pick for December 19, 2020 in the SEC Championship.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators SEC Championship Betting Odds:
Alabama vs. Florida Prediction:
Mac Jones has cut through defenses with ease this season. There hasn’t been a challenge too tall for him. If I’m casting a Heisman vote, it would be going to Jones. He goes into the SEC Championship with 27 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 3,321 passing yards. Jones is third in the nation in passing yardage. He’s also completed 76.4% of his passes, which is an insane completion rate.
His favorite target, DeVonta Smith, is in Heisman talks as well. Smith has gone wild for 1,327 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. There isn’t any negative I can find on Smith. He does everything extremely well. and could be putting up big numbers in the NFL this season as well.
With Jones and Smith dominating through the air, Najee Harris is another NFL talent that has been having a big season on the ground. Harris has gained 1,084 yards and 22 touchdowns on 5.9 yards per carry. If you’re a defensive coordinator, it comes down to a guessing game with the Alabama offense. It’s impossible to line up and play a basic defense against these athletes on the Crimson Tide.
The Florida defense is having a down season, so don’t expect their athletes to line up and go toe-to-toe with Alabama. The Crimson Tide have recorded 537.8 yards and 49.5 points per game. Conversely, Florida has been soundly beaten, including against some so-so offenses. Holding Towson and Tennessee-Martin to no points is not impressive, but giving up 35 to Arkansas, 41 to Texas A&M, and 37 to LSU is concerning.
Florida will have to lean on the arm of Kyle Trask. Trask has passed for 40 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on 70.2% completions. Insane numbers, but when it matters most last week, Trask threw two critical interceptions. He ended the game with 474 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
Florida has notched 513.2 yards and 41.2 yards per game. Big test tonight against the Crimson Tide, but I think Trask can lead this offense to plenty of points. It might not be enough for a win, though likely enough to put the game OVER the total.