College Football Game of the Week: No.1 Alabama vs No.11 Florida

Story posted September 17, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Evan Popalis

Two SEC heavyweights are set to go to battle on Saturday in the Swamp. The Alabama Crimson Tide visits the Florida Gators, with both teams riding a 2-0 start to their respective seasons.

Alabama is a detail-orientated squad led by one of the best head coaches of all time in Nick Saban. The Tide consistently produces NFL talent but they do a great job of recruiting to replenish all the guys that go on to play at the next level.

Losing quarterback Mac Jones and receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle in the April NFL Draft has not been an issue up to this point for Saban and his team.

Sophomore quarterback Bryce Young has lived up to the hype in his first two games under center. The Pasadena native has completed 70.8% of his passes and has completed a pass to ten different receivers.

Alabama will be prepared for the hostile environment awaiting it in the Swamp. The Gators have not defeated the Crimson Tide since the 2008 SEC title game. Amazingly, Alabama has racked up 31 consecutive victories against the Eastern Division of the SEC.

Florida will need to bring its A-game if it plans to have a shot at upsetting the best team in college football. The Gators have been testing two quarterbacks throughout the first two weeks of the season. Emory Jones looks to be the one ready to lead the 11th-ranked Gators against Alabama.

The issue for Jones is ball control. Jones has tossed four interceptions in the opening two games. If Florida cannot have a successful run game to set up easy third-down scenarios, chalk up another win for the Tide.

Dan Mullen, the head coach of the Gators, understands the importance of getting off on the right foot and taking the stress off his junior signal-caller.

Florida has averaged 609.5 yards over its first two games but has not covered the spread once appointed with those games. This proves that the Gators have not capitalized enough offensively against South Florida and Florida Atlantic. That breeds trouble as the Gators welcome in Alabama.

The quarterback play for Florida will be its weak spot come Saturday. The Crimson Tide will find ways to pressure Jones and force turnovers to set its offense up with a short field. Young will shine for the Crimson Tide, beaming more light on his early Heisman bid.

An electrified Florida crowd will be satisfied with its team compete level early, but in the end, the Crimson Tide will do what they do best: roll. The coveted win over Alabama seems unlikely for this Florida squad, leading the Gators to their first defeat of the season.

Prediction: Alabama Crimson Tide 45, Florida Gators 20

Evan Popalis is a third-year studying broadcasting journalism. To contact him, email epopalis83@gmail.com.

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).