Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) celebrates a 4-yard touchdown catch against South Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, Pool)

SEC Football Championship Preview: Alabama v. Florida

The number seven Florida Gator football team returns to the SEC Championship for the first time since 2016 for a meeting with the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

The undefeated Tide have almost locked in their spot in the College Football Playoff but Florida could also make it with a win over Alabama to become SEC champions.

With three Heisman Trophy candidates and two top-five NCAA offenses, this SEC Championship is gearing up for a potential showdown.

Scouting Alabama

Top-Tier Offense

One of college football’s top dynasties is doing what they do best; winning football games and dominating their SEC opponents.

Alabama is averaging nearly 50 points a game. In addition, it holds a victory margin of over 30 points per game.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws during the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

The Alabama offense has a complete package in their run and pass game. Quarterback Mac Jones has been one of the top passers in college football. Currently, Jones leads the NCAA in quarterback rating (96.0). Additionally, Jones has thrown for 27 touchdowns and three interceptions putting him in the Heisman trophy conversation.

To complete the Alabama passing game is wide receiver and Heisman candidate DeVonta Smith. Currently, Smith’s 1,327 passing yards and 15 touchdowns puts him atop all college football receivers.

Florida head coach Dan Mullen noted the strengths Smith brings to the Alabama offense.

To top it all off, the Crimson Tide’s Najee Harris ranks in the top 10 for total rushing yards (1,024). Furthermore, the Alabama running back has the most touchdowns, 22, of any other running back in college football.

Alabama Defense

When compared to a top-ranked offense, the Alabama defense can tend to under the radar.  The Tide are currently holding opponents to just under 17 points per game. However, this could be the best offense they have faced since playing Ole Miss early in the season.

The Alabama defense is quick and could create some disruption for the elite Florida passing game. However, the Crimson Tide’s leading tackler, linebacker Christian Harris, is considered questionable for this championship matchup.

Mullen noted the talent the Alabama defense holds.

Focusing on Florida

The Florida Gator offense returned to the “Gator Standard” in the 2020 season. A potential Heisman Trophy winner in quarterback Kyle Trask and a high scoring offense is exactly what Florida fans expect.

Trask holds the number one spot in the NCAA for total passing yards with 3,717 and touchdowns (40). In addition, the Gator quarterback broke the Florida record for most touchdowns thrown in a single season.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) throws a pass as Kentucky linebacker Jamar Watson (31) rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

With offensive weapons like receiver Kadarius Toney and tight end Kyle Pitts it’s no surprise the Florida offense has put up big numbers. Furthermore, Pitts’ ability to create mismatches has propelled him to become one of Trask’s biggest targets. Pitts is expected to play in this game after not playing last week against LSU because of an injury.

Toney has been a problem for opposing defenses; he leads the Gators in total receiving yards this season.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban knows the talent of Florida’s top playmakers.

How to Watch

The Gators and Tide will kickoff at 8 p.m. on CBS.

About Mady Benton

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