Najee Harris, Alabama Hang On to Beat Florida in SEC Title Game Shootout

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Fans of old school, smash-mouth SEC defenses look away: "It just means more" when it comes to scoring on the big stage.

Running back Najee Harris had 245 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns as No. 1 Alabama beat No. 7 Florida, 52-46, to win the 2020 SEC Championship Game.

It was the second-highest scoring game in SEC title game history, trailing only the 2013 version in which Auburn beat Missouri, 59-42. The win secures the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff for the Crimson Tide, who make their return after missing out in 2019.

najee harris

The game was anticipated to be high-scoring, with the over/under total settling in at 74 points. Alabama led, 14-10, after the first quarter when Harris took over in the second. He scored three times in the period to give Alabama a 35-17 lead at halftime. His five scores set a new record for the SEC Championship Game, breaking the mark set by Auburn running back Tre Mason of four set in 2013.

Harris finished with 178 rushing yards, setting a new school record with 3,639 yards for his career. He's scored 27 touchdowns in 11 games this season.

Florida made its push in the second half, outscoring Alabama, 14-0, in the third quarter to pull within four points. Alabama seemingly took control to begin the fourth, scoring 10 straight points to take a 45-31 lead with just under 10 minutes to play.

The Gators remained in striking distance by answering with a 1-yard touchdown run by Dameon Pierce. But Alabama answered with a quick strike touchdown from Mac Jones to DeVonta Smith to give the Tide a 14-point lead with under five minutes remaining.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask found Kyle Pitts for a 22-yard score with just over two minutes left, and a two-point conversion brought the Gators to within six points. The defense forced a three-and-out and Florida got the ball back deep in its own territory with just 16 seconds left, but Trask was sacked on the game's final play.

The teams combined for 1,067 total yards, with Alabama racking up 605. The Tide out-rushed the Gators, 187-54, and held a nearly 10-minute advantage in time of possession.

Jones was again stellar through the air, completing 33 of 43 pass attempts for 418 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. His main target was Smith, who hauled in 15 catches for 184 yards and two scores. He now has 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season.