The Alabama No.1 and Florida No.11 will meet in a rematch of last season’s SEC Championship game on Saturday at The Swamp in Gainesville, Fla. The Crimson Tide survived a late Gators scare in this one en route to the national title. This year’s version of the Crimson Tide features several new faces, including quarterback Bryce Young, but the results haven’t changed much – they’re still a juggernaut.
Florida are coming off victories against FAU and USF, but are still looking for consistency under center. Emory Jones threw two interceptions in each of his first two games, while substitute Anthony Richardson – who has proven to be a dynamic threat on the pitch – is healing a hamstring injury.
Let’s break this game down and make choices directly and against the spread. Check out LIVE updates for the best games of week 3.
Alabama vs Florida: what to know
Who is the Gators’ QB? : The natives are agitated in Gainesville after the difficulties of Jones at the start of the season. Calls for rookie Richardson have gone from whispers to a low roar, but coach Dan Mullen has not made a commitment to Richardson to take first place in the depths standings. One thing is for sure, the turnovers against Tide are going to turn the games around in a hurry. Richardson hasn’t been able to show what he’s got in the air, while Jones’ issues with the ball must be of concern. Will Mullen go with the unknown or roll the dice with a quarterback who has not been in charge? This is the biggest plot in the game on the Gators side.
Status of Will Anderson: Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson is a monster among Tide’s defense freaks, but there are concerns about his health on Saturday. The sophomore injured his knee in last week’s win over Mercer, and coach Nick Saban said Monday that Anderson was considered a day before Saturday’s game against the Gators. Anderson has 12 tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack in two games. Even when not playing he has a huge impact on defense due to the attention he demands. Florida are third in the SEC in loss-allowed tackles with six and lead the conference in rushing with 381.5 yards per game, but will have their hands full if Anderson is at or near 100 percent.
Florida must prevent the big games: The Alabama offensive is loaded with Young at the helm, Brian Robinson Jr carrying the boulder and John Metchie III and Co. behind the defenses. Meanwhile, Florida gave up 24 plays from 10 yards or more – tied for ninth in the SEC. It’s a bit worrying considering the two cupcakes he’s played in his first two games. Alabama have a knack for turning tight games into big play blowouts quickly, and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham just can’t let that happen.
How to watch Alabama vs. Florida live
Dated: Saturday Sep 18 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Site: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida
TV: CBS | Direct: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app (free)
Team vs team prediction, choice
If Mullen is at least going to have a chance, he’ll pitch Richardson. It doesn’t look like he’s prepared to pay this off based on what he’s said publicly this week. Ultimately, however, does it really matter? Probably not. The Alabama defense will go after whoever takes the shots and make sure the running game can’t start. Grantham will take unnecessary risks on the defensive end, and the Crimson Tide will have an easy victory in The Swamp Prediction: Alabama (-15.5)
What college football picks can you confidently make in Week 3, and which Top 25 favorite is the toughest? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a proven computer model that has grossed over $ 3,500 in profit over the past five+ seasons – and find out.