The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) take their college football best 16-game winning streak into "The Swamp" this weekend to take on the 11th-ranked Florida Gators (2-0). Both of Alabama's first two wins were by comfortable margins and most don't think the Gators have much of a chance.
Florida has also won by comfortable margins in the first two weeks, but the Gators haven't been overly sharp. Were they looking ahead to Alabama, or is Florida taking a bigger step back than we thought after all its personnel losses on offense from the 2020 squad.
We'll find out on Saturday! Irish Breakdown has its thoughts - and predictions - for the matchup.
BRYAN DRISKELL, PUBLISHER
Prediction: Alabama 30, Florida 24
I still believe that Alabama is going to lose a regular season game in 2021, and the first two games haven't changed my mind. Alabama has been around 6.5 yards per play in each of the first two games. Last season the Tide were below 7.0 yards per play just three times all season, so the offense hasn't quite "reloaded" in the way the national media is saying it has, but they are still very good on offense.
Florida was a team I had pegged as a possibility to beat the Tide, but the way the Gators have played through two games I can't do what I thought I would do in the preseason, which is to predict them to beat Alabama. Could they still do it? Of course, but I can't predict it.
I've been disappointed with the Florida offense, and the quarterback position is the reason why. I have to admit, I really thought Emory Jones would be good in the Dan Mullen offense. He's been an effective runner but his passing has been abysmal, with Jones averaging just 5.4 yards per attempt thus far. Anthony Richardson has been a dynamic runner but his passing has been inconsistent as well. Without one of those two QBs having a monster game I don't think the Gators have enough firepower to win this game. If they do you could see Florida pull off the monumental upset.
VINCE DEDARIO, FOOTBALL ANALYST
Prediction: Alabama 42, Florida 31
I think Bryce Young could be the real deal down in Tuscaloosa and that in itself is a scary proposition. Florida is still coming into their own and I do not think they are quite ready to be handed the SEC title just yet. I think their best best is unloading everything they have to come and get Young and try to make him uncomfortable but that is no easy task. I think the Tide take care of business here but I will at least give Florida enough love to say that Bama doesn't cover.
GRANT DELVECCHIO, STAFF WRITER
Prediction: Alabama 52, Florida 21
It may be the most competitive game of the season thus far for Alabama, but that doesn't mean it will be close. Florida has a potential quarterback controversy and has turned the ball over four times in two weeks. That's not a recipe for success against Alabama. Tide roll steadily.
SHAUN DAVIS, ESPN CHICAGO
Prediction: Alabama 38, Florida 27
“The Swamp” will be rocking with “Gator Chomps” all over the place. Alabama hasn’t played in Gainesville since 2011, and Dan Mullen has two dual threat quarterbacks that can emulate signal callers that have historically given Nick Saban’s defenses fits. However, after losing two first round playmakers to the NFL, Florida will be hard pressed to keep up with Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide offense as they gain their footing after a slow start to the game.
RYAN ROBERTS, RISENDRAFT
Prediction: Alabama 42, Florida 21
This is the game where the Emory Jones experiment ends. Anthony Richardson plays a ton and causes some issues for the Crimson Tide. Ultimately, the Crimson Tide are too dynamic on both sides of the football. The tights end are the deciding factor for Alabama on the offensive side of the ball, seeing Jahleel Billingsley and Cameron Latu with three touchdowns between the both of them.
JP SCOTT, IB CONTRIBUTOR
Prediction: Alabama 44, Florida 24
Alabama is bigger, stronger, faster, and better coached than any team I’ve seen through the first 3 weeks of the 2021 season. This is another Saban team on a mission, with another ensemble of 1st Round NFL Draft picks at the skill positions. Tide rolls.
ANDREW MCDONOUGH, IB CONTRIBUTOR
Prediction: Alabama 45, Florida 24
The Crimson Tide head into The Swamp having been unquestionably the most impressive team in the country through the first two weeks of the season. Despite losing a ton of talent to the NFL Draft, the Tide have reloaded and once against have an explosive offense led by QB Bryce Young and WR Jameson Williams, who is averaging over 22 YPC. Despite two games against weak competition (Florida Atlantic and South Florida), the Florida defense ranks only 10th in the SEC, and so the edge definitely goes to Alabama.
The Gators have the athletes to score some points, whether Emory Jones or Anthony Richardson is at QB, but through two games, turnovers have been a problem for the Gators (4 total). Florida will come out fired up in front of a full house, but untimely turnovers will lead to Alabama pulling away with this one and winning convincingly.
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