Alabama-Florida grades: Crimson Tide defense leads to SEC title

The top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Alabama’s runaway win over Florida in the SEC Championship Game.

| 6 months ago
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Alabama-Florida grades: Crimson Tide defense leads to SEC title


Alabama Crimson Tide 54, Florida Gators 16

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Alabama’s 54-16 win over Florida.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Quarterback grade: Jalen Hurts, 63.5

Passing game an afterthought

Hurts has been a revelation for the Tide offense this season, but there aren’t many FBS quarterbacks that could have lost this one for Bama Saturday. With 232 rushing yards and two non-offensive scores, all they needed was Hurts to protect the ball, and he did just that. Only four of Hurts completions were past the line of scrimmage and 81.9 percent of his yards came after the catch.

hurts

Top offensive grades:

RB Damien Harris, 77.0
C Bradley Bozeman, 73.5
WR ArDarius Stewart, 71.3
RB Bo Scarbrough, 70.6
WR Calvin Ridley, 70.1

Two-headed monster at running back

One the game started slipping away from the Gators, their linebackers, safeties and corners wanted no part of Bo Scarbrough and Joshua Jacobs. The duo combined for seven missed tackles on 18 attempts. Scarbrough averaged 5.1 yards after contact per attempt while Jacobs averaged 6.4. The scary part is that both are likely to return to Tuscaloosa next season.

Top defensive grades:

LB Reuben Foster, 89.6
DT Dalvin Tomlinson, 84.1
DT Jonathan Allen, 83.9
S Ronnie Harrison, 79.8
CB Anthony Averett, 79.6

Dalvin Tomlinson’s draft stock on the rise

The forgotten man along the Bama front four may just be playing himself into a weekday selection come spring. In this one he made four stops versus the run and had two pressures on 50 snaps. His production in SEC competition this season has been lights out. In SEC play this season, only his teammate Jonathan Allen has a higher overall grade.

Florida Gators

Quarterback grade: A.J. Appleby, 55.0

Picks seal Gators fate

After a first drive where Appleby looked like he was completely unafraid of the challenge Bama posed, the wheels started to fall off. His three first-half interceptions weren’t as much bad decisions as they were off-target throws, but the result remains the same. When the pressure came, Appleby folded. On 14 dropbacks under duress, the Florida quarterback completed just four passes for 44 yards with an interception.

appleby

Top offensive grades:

TE DeAndre Goolsby, 86.5
WR Antonio Callaway, 76.0
RT Kavaris Harkless, 68.0
RB Jordan Scarlett, 57.8
RB Jordan Cronkrite, 54.0

Same story versus Bama

Similar to what I write in every game recap for the team that plays Alabama – the Florida offensive line was thoroughly dominated to the point where the playmakers couldn’t operate. On 25 designed carries the Florida line paved the way for a cool 0.68 yards before contact per attempt. Just over two feet. I don’t care how many tackles you break, no running back can get it done in those circumstances.

Top defensive grades:

LB Kylan Johnson, 78.3
DT Caleb Brantley, 78.0
LB David Reese, 77.8
LB Daniel McMillian, 76.0
DT Joey Ivie, 75.2

Line stunts get gashed

Florida must have wanted to create big plays defensively, as they continually stunted their defensive linemen even versus the run. When you loop ends inside though versus the run it can create issues with contain and the Gators found that out the hard way. There were multiple big runs that Alabama had where no defensive lineman was necessarily out of position, but rather the stunt mixed with the run concept left a gaping hole.

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Jeffrey Farley

    Where is Cam, LT for the Tide???

  • Jeffrey Farley

    Projected to be drafted in the 1st round. Is there a grade for Cam?