Can the Gators Chomp on the Tide?
By WVUA 23 digital reporter Hunter De Siver
It’s Dec. 18, 2020. About 30 hours until No.1 Alabama kicks off the SEC Championship game against No. 7 Florida.
“First Take” is live on ESPN and show co-host Stephen A. Smith is debating the game with former Heisman trophy-winning Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
Smith is high on Alabama and believes the Crimson Tide will stomp the Gators. Tebow also believes that Bama will defeat his alma mater, but it would be closer than most people thought.
Stephen A. laughed at the College Football Hall of Famer for thinking the Gators stood a chance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
For the next 29 hours, college football fans make their predictions just like the two ESPN personalities.
Both teams have a “big three”, but all of Bama’s three are Heisman Candidates: Mac Jones, Najee Harris and eventual-winner DeVonta Smith.
Florida had a Heisman candidate at quarterback named Kyle Trask. However, they had a generational talent at tight end named Kyle Pitts. On top of that, they had an elite all-purpose receiver named Kadarius Toney.
This game was one of the best of the season. Bama prevailed in an offensive shootout by a score of 52-46. The Tide eventually won the National Championship.
Little did the world know that Tebow’s prediction would come to fruition.
Exactly 274 days later, The now-No. 11 Florida Gators will host the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide in Gainesville, Florida.
This game will look a lot different from last year as 10 players from UA were drafted, while eight players from Florida were drafted.
Both schools have enough recruits and coaching ability to be just as good, if not better than last year, and both have had a good start to the season and remain 2-0.
Alabama comes off a dominant win over Mercer. It was a solid showing from quarterback Bryce Young who finished the day with three touchdowns. The defense did well as they had multiple interceptions, but they lost linebacker Will Anderson Jr. in the third quarter because of a knee injury.
Anderson is expected to be one of the best defensive players in all of college football. As of right now, it is uncertain if he plays, but all-time great head coach Nick Saban is optimistic.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen used a two-quarterback system last year and it worked out very well. This year he’s doing the same thing with two different QBs, though.
Emory Jones is the lead man under center as he has more pass attempts, but Anthony Richardson also gets a lot of snaps. The two scrambling QBs were both four-star recruits.
With the loss of elite playmakers Kadarius Toney and Kyle Pitts to the NFL, the two QBs spread the ball around to four-star receivers Jacob Copeland and Xzavier Henderson alongside three-star receiver Rick Wells.
The player that Bama should be afraid of is defensive lineman Zachary Carter. After only two games, he already has three sacks and a forced fumble. He could be a big factor in stopping the running backs and pressuring Bryce Young.
On Saturday, these two schools will go head-to-head in a rematch of one of the best games of 2020. As both teams have very different rosters from a year ago, it may be difficult for Tim Tebow to make his pick before kickoff.
The game airs on CBS with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. Alabama is favored to win by two touchdowns.