The #11 Florida Gators (2-0, 0-0 SEC) host the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0, 0-0 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference showdown. Florida is coming off a 42-20 victory over South Florida, and the Crimson Tide took down Mercer, 48-14.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. EST inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. College football fans can watch the game nationally on CBS. According to oddsmakers, Alabama is a 14.5-point road favorite, and the total over-under is at 59.5.
What to Know – Alabama Crimson Tide
The defending national champions have picked up right where they left off, winning their first two contests by an average margin of 32.5 points. Alabama was the preseason favorite to capture the national title in what would be head coach Nick Saban’s seventh at Alabama.
Alabama’s offense hasn’t missed a beat after the loss of many stars to the NFL. The Crimson Tide average 462.5 yards and 46.0 points per game. On defense, Alabama is holding opponents to 251.0 yards and only 13.0 points per contest.
Sophomore quarterback Bryce Young has completed 46-of-65 passes for 571 yards and seven touchdowns. The first-year starter will be making the first road start of his career this weekend.
Senior running back Brian Robinson Jr. waited his turn and now leads the Crimson Tide rushing attack. Robinson has 130 yards and one touchdown through two games, averaging 5.9 per carry.
On the outside, Young has a slew of pass catchers to chose from. His favorite targets so far have been Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams (seven receptions, 157 yards, two TDs), John Metchie III (11 receptions, 146 yards, one TD), and JoJo Earle (nine receptions, 110 yards).
What to Know – Florida Gators
Florida has taken care of business against two in-state schools to begin 2021 with victories over Florida Atlantic and South Florida. Now the Gators get to test themselves in what could be a program-changing victory for head coach Dan Mullen and his team.
The Gators’ offense has looked different this season after losing almost all of their offensive production from last year. Florida has turned to a bruising ground game, averaging an FBS-best 381.5 yards per game.
Florida has used a pair of quarterbacks successfully this season, with junior Emory Jones as the starter freshman Anthony Richardson providing the big plays. The biggest knock on Jones is that he has tossed a pair of interceptions in both games against inferior defenses.
Both quarterbacks lead the team in rushing, with Richardson tallying 275 yards and Jones amassing 155 yards on the ground. Junior wide receiver Jacob Copeland is the go-to guy on the outside, hauling in six passes for 190 yards and a pair of scores as a big-play threat.
The Pick is In
Florida hasn’t been a two-touchdown underdog at home since 2013. Dan Mullen is 0-10 all-time against Nick Saban, including a 52-46 defeat last season in the SEC Championship.
If this game were later in the season, the edge would go to Alabama, but with a young quarterback making his first road start, we expect the Gators to keep it close.
The Pick: Florida Gators +14.5