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Nick Saban Named Finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award

12/8/19 MFB Football Banquet Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Photo by Kent Gidley

Alabama head coach one of eight finalists for national coach of the year honors

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama head coach Nick Saban is one of eight finalists for the 2020 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award, the American Heart Association announced Tuesday. In addition to being selected as a Coach of the Year finalist, Saban was named Conference Coach of the Year for the Southeastern Conference.

 

Saban, who won the Bryant Award in 2003, has led the Crimson Tide to a perfect 11-0 record, the school’s 28th SEC championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming College Football Playoff this season. He has coached more games (84) as the Associated Press’ No. 1 team than any other active head coach.

 

Saban is joined as a finalist by Tom Allen (Indiana), Matt Campbell (Iowa State), Jamey Chadwell (Coastal Carolina), Mario Cristobal (Oregon), Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson).

 

The Paul “Bear” Bryant Award annually recognizes the country’s top college football coaches for their contributions both on and off the field, making the sport better for athletes and fans alike by demonstrating grit, integrity and a winning approach to coaching and life. The award is the only college coaching honor selected after all postseason bowl games and the National Championship have been played.

 

The Coach of the Year will be announced live on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, during a virtual awards ceremony. The awards will be televised later nationwide on FOX Sports family of networks. The Conference Coaches of the Year awards and national Coach of the Year award are voted on by the National Sports Media Association, along with current NCAA College football coaches, former Coach of the Year Award winners and the Bryant Family.

Seven Alabama Football Players Named Finalists for National Awards

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22) rushes after contact for a touchdown in the second quarter of the 2020 SEC Football Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, December 19, 2020. [Matt Pendleton/Special to the Sun]

The seven players earned a combined 13 finalist selections during this year’s awards cycle

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football had seven players selected to 13 different finalist lists as awards season enters its final cycle before the College Football Awards Show on Jan. 7, 2021.

 

The Crimson Tide’s list of finalists includes: Landon Dickerson (Rimington); Najee Harris (Doak Walker); Mac Jones (Davey O’Brien, Johnny Unitas, Manning, Maxwell); Alex Leatherwood (Outland); Will Reichard (Groza); DeVonta Smith (Biletnikoff, Maxwell); and Patrick Surtain II (Bednarik, Nagurski, Thorpe).

 

In addition, the Alabama offensive line was selected as a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, presented annually to the nation’s top offensive line unit. Also, head coach Nick Saban was selected as a finalist for Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year while offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Steve Sarkisian was named a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach.

 

Landon Dickerson

Rimington

  • The top-rated run-blocking center according to Pro Football Focus (92.8)
  • Earned the No. 2 overall grade at center by PFF (91.5)
  • Sports an overall blocking grade of 91.0 by the UA coaching staff while grading out at 99.6 on all assignments
  • Played 725 total snaps with just two missed assignments and has allowed zero sacks

 

Najee Harris

Doak Walker

  • Leads the nation in total touchdowns (27) and rushing touchdowns (24) along with scoring (162)
  • Ranks second in scoring per game (14.7) while sitting at third nationally in rushing yards (1,262)
  • Forced 78 missed tackles on the season to rank second in the country in that category
  • Totaled at least one touchdown in 10 of the Crimson Tide’s 11 games and two-or-more scores in eight of those contests
  • Holds the Alabama career records for total touchdowns (54), rushing touchdowns (44) and rushing yards (3,639)

 

Mac Jones

Davey O’Brien | Johnny Unitas | Manning | Maxwell

  • One of college football’s top passers who leads the nation in seven separate categories including total QBR, PFF offensive grade for a quarterback, adjusted completion percentage, completion percentage, NFL passer rating, collegiate pass efficiency rating and yards per pass attempt
  • Thrown for the second-most passing yards in the nation (3,739)
  • Holds the highest completion percentage (76.5) by an Alabama quarterback through the first 11 games of a season
  • Owns four of Alabama’s 10 all-time 400-plus yard passing performances, the most by any one quarterback at UA and a number that ties the SEC record for a single season
  • Totaled 18 touchdowns and 1,572 yards with a 219.10 passer rating against ranked opponents (Texas A&M, Georgia, Auburn, Florida)

 

Alex Leatherwood

Outland

  • Made 39 consecutive starts along the Alabama offensive line
  • Played 683 snaps and missed only two assignments
  • Averaging an overall blocking grade of 91.1 by the Alabama coaching staff and has graded out at a team-high tying 99.6 on all assignments

 

Will Reichard

Groza

  • Ranks second in the nation for consecutive made field goals with 13 dating back to last season
  • Owns a perfect field goal percentage to tie for the lead in Division I
  • Has gone 85-of-85 on all kicks, including 12 made field goals and 73 consecutive PATs
  • Also contributing on kickoffs, totaling 2,839 yards on 54 boots with eight touchbacks

 

DeVonta Smith

Biletnikoff | Maxwell

  • The national leader in receptions (98), receiving yards (1,511) and yards after the catch (768) while ranking second in receiving touchdowns (17) and receiving yards per game (137.4)
  • Pro Football Focus’ top-rated wide receiver this season and in the history of the site at 93.7
  • Holds program record in both career receiving yards (3,620) and single-season receiving scores while sitting at second in the Tide record book for receptions (98) in a season
  • Totaled four 200-plus yard receiving games for his career, including two this season, to set the Alabama career mark

 

Patrick Surtain II

Bednarik | Nagurski | Thorpe

  • The nation’s top corner and No. 10 overall defender by Pro Football Focus
  • Maintains a coverage grade of 86.3 according to PFF, the sixth-best grade in the country
  • Allowed 25 yards receiving or fewer in eight of the Tide’s 11 games this season
  • Targeted just 43 times all season and allowed only 18 completions (1.64 cpg) and 250 yards (22.7 ypg)

Alabama Football Collects Five SEC Individual Awards

12/12/20 MFB Alabama vs Arkansas Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) Photo by Kent Gidley

Crimson Tide also lands league-leading 15 on 2020 All-SEC Coaches’ Team

 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama football’s Landon Dickerson, Mac Jones, Alex Leatherwood, DeVonta Smith and Patrick Surtain II, along with head coach Nick Saban, took home five of the seven individual league awards announced by the Southeastern Conference Tuesday morning.

 

Smith was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year while Surtain II was selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Jones was tabbed the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Dickerson and Leatherwood split votes for the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is presented to the league’s top offensive lineman. Saban rounded out the awards as Coach of the Year. The honors were voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players.

 

The league office also announced that Alabama placed 15 players on the 2020 All-SEC Coaches’ Team. The Crimson Tide led the way with 15 All-SEC selections, including nine first-team honorees. This marks the 13th-consecutive season Alabama has led the conference in All-SEC picks.

 

Deonte Brown (OL), Dickerson (C), Najee Harris (RB), Jones (QB), Leatherwood (OL) and Smith (WR) were first-team selections on offense, while Christian Barmore (DL), Dylan Moses (LB) and Surtain II (DB) were tabbed for first-team honors on defense.

 

The second-team defense is composed of Christopher Allen (LB) and Malachi Moore (DB), while Jaylen Waddle (RS) rounds out the second-team selections as a special teamer.

 

In addition to the first and second teams, Will Anderson Jr. (LB) and Javion Cohen (OL) were Freshman All-SEC choices, along with Moore, who landed an additional spot on the freshman squad.

 

Alabama Offensive Line One of Three Finalists for the Joe Moore Award

12/5/20 MFB Alabama vs Alabama offensive lineman Deonte Brown (65) Photo by Kent Gidley

Crimson Tide group a candidate for the nation’s most outstanding offensive line unit

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama offensive line was selected as one of three finalists for the Joe Moore Award, the Foundation for Teamwork announced Monday. The Joe Moore Award is presented annually to the nation’s top offensive line unit. Alabama is joined by No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 5 Texas A&M on the finalists list.

 

Offensive Line

  • Alabama’s starting offensive line has only allowed quarterback Mac Jones to be sacked eight times in 11 games on 377 dropbacks, or one sack 47.1 dropbacks, while Jones leads the nation in passing efficiency
  • The Crimson Tide leads the nation in rushing touchdowns with 35 (3.2 per game) while ranking third in the SEC in rushing offense (189.8 ypg)
  • The Alabama offensive front has blocked for the nation’s top-ranked Power Five scoring offense (49.7 ppg), the No. 1 pass efficiency offense (197.5) and No. 5 total offense (543.9)
  • The Crimson Tide offensive line features leading candidates for the Outland Trophy (Alex Leatherwood) and Rimington Trophy (Landon Dickerson)
  • The veteran group boasts 121 career starts and their play has been the catalyst behind Alabama’s three Heisman Trophy candidates Najee Harris, Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith

 

The Joe Moore Award is named after Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history and is the only major college football award to honor a unit. The award annually recognizes the nation’s most outstanding offensive line unit that best displays toughness, effort, teamwork, physicality, tone-setting and finishing.

 

Alabama previously won the award in 2015. The award’s voting committee will announce the winner of the 2020 Joe Moore Award after a surprise presentation to the winning unit’s university at a mutually agreed upon time in the near future.

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

Nick Saban Named Finalists For 2020 Eddie Robinson Award

12/19/20 MFB Alabama vs Florida Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Photo by CrimsonTidePhotos

DALLAS (FWAA) – The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced nine finalists for the 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award on Monday. Among the finalists is a two-time winner and three former finalists representing a combined total of 14 nominations. Two head coaches whose teams are playing in the College Football Playoff headline the list that also includes coaches of three other conference champions and the country’s top independent team.

In alphabetical order the finalists are: Tom Allen, Indiana; Brent Brennan, San José State; Matt Campbell, Iowa State; Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina; Karl Dorrell, Colorado; Luke Fickell, Cincinnati; Nick Saban, Alabama; Kalani Sitake, BYU; and Dabo Swinney, Clemson.

Saban is the dean of the nine finalists as a two-time winner and seven-time finalist. Swinney, a six-time finalist, is among the finalists for a fourth consecutive season and is the only returning finalist from 2019. Both coaches will compete in the CFP next month, Swinney in the Allstate Sugar Bowl against Ohio State.

Brennan, Chadwell, Fickell, Saban and Swinney each claimed conference championships this season. Campbell and Iowa State won the Big 12 regular-season title, Allen has Indiana among the top 10 going into the Outback Bowl, and Sitake led BYU into the top 10 and Dorrell had Colorado each unbeaten into December.

“The Allstate Sugar Bowl is proud to sponsor the Eddie Robinson Award and to once again have the opportunity to recognize the top college football coaches in the nation as finalists for this honor,” said Ralph Capitelli, the President of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. “While each of the finalists is fully deserving of the award, we look forward to presenting the trophy to the winner as selected by the football writers.”

The 2020 recipient will be announced the week of Jan. 4-8, 2021. The official presentation will be on the campus of the winning coach at a later date.

The nine finalists have been placed on a ballot which has been sent to the entire FWAA membership.

“The FWAA believes it has an extremely good group of coaches representing different conferences and independents,” said Executive Director Steve Richardson. “We will have a fine recipient for the 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The FWAA’s congratulations go out to all coaches for weathering what has been a very trying and unpredictable year.”

“This time of the year with the winding down of the college football season, I’m especially excited to receive the announcement of the Eddie Robinson Coach of Year Award finalists,” said Eddie Robinson III, the grandson of the award’s namesake. “With all of the world dealing with Covid-19, and the fact that we even had a season and that every program had to adapt to deal with the virus protocols etc, all the coaches that made list of finalists are even more than deserving of the award. We wish the best for all that were selected as finalists.”

The FWAA has presented a coaching award since the 1957 season when Ohio State’s Woody Hayes was named the first recipient. The FWAA coaching award is named after the late Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University for 55 seasons.

The 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists:

Tom Allen, Indiana: The Hoosiers (6-1) are one of three teams with three top-25 wins and have been ranked in the top 10 five times in 2020, cresting the top-10 threshold for the first time since 1969. The eight weeks in the poll is Indiana’s longest streak since 1945. In his fifth season in Bloomington, the Big Ten Coach of the Year by media and fellow coaches has led Indiana to six conference wins, tied for the most in program history with the 1967 and ’87 teams. This is Allen’s first finalist honor and the Hoosiers’ first Eddie Robinson Award finalist since 1967 when John Pont was the winner.

Brent Brennan, San José State: The Spartans (7-0) are one of five unbeaten teams heading into the bowl season under their fourth-year head coach. They have been one of the great success stories this season. Having been forced by the pandemic to play three home games outside of California, Brennan, the Mountain West Coach of the Year, and San José State responded by winning their division and playing in the school’s first conference championship game, beating Boise State, 34-20. This is the Spartans’ first winning season since 2012, and a win in the Arizona Bowl would give them their first undefeated season since 1939. This is Brennan’s first Eddie Robinson Award finalist honor and the first for the Spartans.

Matt Campbell, Iowa State: The Cyclones (8-3) were the Big 12 regular-season champions, earning a league title for the first time since 1912, and played in their first Big 12 Championship game. Of the Cyclones’ 22 starters, nine of them were All-Big 12 First Team selections. Campbell, the Big 12 Coach of the Year in his fifth season in Ames, led Iowa State to a school-record eight conference wins and its highest ranking (No. 6 in the CFP) in any poll in its history. A win in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl over Oregon would give the Cyclones their first nine-win season since 2000. This is Campbell’s first Eddie Robinson Award finalist honor and the first for the Cyclones.

Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers (11-0), picked to finish last in the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division, captured the nation’s attention in the first week with a 38-23 win at Kansas, swept their eight conference games plus two more for the first unbeaten season in school history and the first in Sun Belt history. In only its fourth year as a full-time FBS member, Coastal Carolina won its first conference championship, earned its first national ranking (No. 9/11 this week with 10 straight weeks in both polls), its first College Football Playoff ranking (No. 12 in final poll) and defeated two Top-25 teams, including then-No. 8 BYU, 22-17 on Dec. 5. CCU’s current 12-game win streak dating back to last season is tied with No. 1 Alabama for the longest in the nation. The Sun Belt Conference’s Coach of the Year in his third season at the Coastal Carolina helm is the school’s first Eddie Robinson Award finalist. He and defensive end Tarron Jackson, a Bronko Nagurski Trophy finalist, are Coastal’s first finalists for any FWAA postseason award.

Karl Dorrell, Colorado: The Buffaloes (4-1) were one of nine undefeated teams heading into the final two weeks of the regular season and were ranked in the Dec. 7 polls for the first time since October of 2018. Dorrell, in his first season at CU, is the fifth head coach in school history to open 4-0 in his first season and just the second since 1905. Colorado jumped out 3-0 in league play for the first time as a Pac-12 member, making Dorrell the first CU coach to win his first three conference games since 1941. The Buffs will play in the Valero Alamo Bowl, their first bowl game since 2016. This is Dorrell’s second finalist nomination, having also achieved it in 2005 while at UCLA. Colorado has had two previous Eddie Robinson Award winners, most recently Mike MacIntyre in 2016 and Bill McCartney in 1989.

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati: The Bearcats (9-0) won their first outright league title since 2009 and their first American Athletic Conference Championship. Cincinnati is No. 8 in the final CFP rankings and will play in its first New Year’s Six bowl and its first New Year’s Day bowl since the 2009 season when the Bearcats battle Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Bearcats have one of the nation’s top defenses that ranks in the top 15 in five categories, including second in team interceptions (15) and seventh in scoring defense, giving up only 16 points per game. Fickell, the American’s Coach of the Year in his fourth season at UC, has earned Cincinnati’s first finaliist nod since 2009 when Brian Kelly, now at Notre Dame, earned the designation. Cincinnati has never had an Eddie Robinson Award winner.

Nick Saban, Alabama: The Crimson Tide (11-0) completed their fifth undefeated regular season under Saban and earned the top seed in the College Football Playoff with impressive scoring margins through an all-SEC schedule. Alabama is the only team in SEC history to win 10 conference games in a season while averaging 49.5 points per game in the 10-game regular season and became the first SEC team to post five 50-point games in SEC play. Saban, in his 14th season in Tuscaloosa, has coached more games (84) as the AP’s No. 1 team than any other active head coach and will face Notre Dame in a national semifinal in Arlington, Texas. A two-time Eddie Robinson Award winner (at Alabama in 2008, at LSU in 2003), he is one of Alabama’s two previous winners along with Gene Stallings in 1992. He is now a seven-time finalist, earning the designation in four of the last seven seasons.

Kalani Sitake, BYU: The Cougars (10-1) earned their first 10-win season since 2011 navigating through an oft-altered and harried schedule. BYU is the only FBS team in the top 10 in scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense and total defense. The Cougars are in the top 10 in 14 statistical categories overall and have qualified for a 38th bowl game in program history. Sitake, in his fifth season at BYU, is the school’s second finalist and first since Bronco Mendenhall in 2006. LaVell Edwards is BYU’s only previous winner in 1984.

Dabo Swinney, Clemson: The Tigers (10-1) qualified for the College Football Playoff for a sixth consecutive season, heading into their national semifinal game against Ohio State in New Orleans. Swinney and Clemson became the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive outright titles (tied with Oklahoma). Clemson, heading to its 16th consecutive bowl game, has won 10 games for a school-record 10th consecutive season after avenging its only loss to Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers are 18-8 under Swinney in rematches of losses during his career. Swinney, in his 13th season at Clemson, is now a six-time finalist and the only repeat finalist from a year ago; he is among the finalists for a fourth consecutive season and the fifth time in six seasons (also 2015 and ’11). Danny Ford is Clemson’s only previous winner from the 1981 national championship season.

The Eddie Robinson Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is scheduled to be played on Jan. 1, 2021 between No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit AllstateSugarBowl.org.

The Football Writers Association of America, founded in 1941, consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com.

SEC Football Bowl Assignments Announced

12-27-15 MFB Bowl Practice 2 Alabama head coach Nick Saban Photo by Kent Gidley

BIRMNGHAM, Alabama (December 20, 2020) – Twelve Southeastern Conference football teams learned their post-season bowl destinations on Sunday, including No. 1-ranked Alabama which will play No. 4 Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl in Arlington, Texas, on January 1 in a semifinal game for the College Football Playoff. In addition, three other SEC teams will play in the CFP’s New Year’s Six Games.

 

On Sunday, the College Football Playoff committee first selected teams for the national semifinal games, the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl presented by Capital One.  The committee later announced the participants in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Playstation Fiesta Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl and Goodyear Cotton Bowl.

 

In addition to Alabama’s appearance in the CFP Semifinal Game, other New Year’s Six games will feature Texas A&M versus North Carolina in the Orange Bowl, Florida versus Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and Georgia versus Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl.

 

Next, the VRBO Citrus Bowl selected Auburn from the SEC to play Northwestern of the Big Ten.

 

This marks the seventh year the Conference has assigned league schools to an “SEC Bowl Pool” that includes six postseason games.  The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl in Houston, the TransPerfect Music City Bowl in Nashville, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville and the Outback Bowl in Tampa have been in the SEC Bowl Pool all six years.  This year, the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl joins the SEC Bowl Pool for only the 2020 postseason.

 

For assignment of bowl games, SEC teams were ranked, without regard to divisions, based on winning percentage and after application of tie breakers.  Based upon this ranked order, each team was asked to select its bowl destination based on available remaining bowls.

 

Missouri will play in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl, Ole Miss will play in the Outback Bowl, Kentucky will play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, Arkansas will play in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, Tennessee will play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and Mississippi State will play in the Armed Forces Bowl.

 

Following the SEC Bowl Pool, the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl selected South Carolina.

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF BOWLS

 

Rose Bowl presented by Capital One (Arlington) – Alabama vs. Notre Dame – Jan. 1 – 5 pm ET / 4 CT – ESPN

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (Atlanta) – Georgia vs. Cincinnati – Jan. 1 – 12:30 pm ET / 11:30 am CT – ESPN

Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami) – Texas A&M vs. North Carolina – Jan. 2 – 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT – ESPN

Goodyear Cotton Bowl (Dallas) – Florida vs. Oklahoma – Dec. 30 – 7:15 pm ET / 6:15 pm CT – ESPN

 

SEC-AFFILIATED BOWLS:

 

VRBO Citrus Bowl (Orlando) – Auburn vs. Northwestern – Jan. 1 – 1 pm ET / Noon CT – ABC

 

SEC Bowl Pool:

Alabama to Play Notre Dame in College Football Playoff Semifinal Presented by Capital One

10/17/20 MFB Alabama vs Georgia Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Photo by University of Alabama

Crimson Tide and Fighting Irish to meet for the eighth time in the history of the two storied programs

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will face off with the No. 4 Note Dame Fighting Irish in the College Football Playoff Semifinal presented by Capital One at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.

 

The Crimson Tide and Fighting Irish will meet for the eighth time in the history of the series that dates back to 1973. Alabama trails, 2-5, in the previous pairings but came away with a 42-14 victory in the most recent matchup between the two teams at the 2013 BCS National Championship in Miami, Fla.

 

The winner of the Semifinal between Alabama and Notre Dame will meet the winner of the contest between the No. 2 Clemson Tigers and the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes, who will play in the CFP Semifinal Game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. The 2021 CFP National Championship Game is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla.

 

Saban is 12-5 in postseason games at Alabama, earning wins over Michigan (2019 Citrus Bowl), Oklahoma (2018 CFP Semifinal Game at the Orange Bowl), Georgia (2018 CFP National Championship Game), Clemson (2017 CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the 2016 CFP National Championship Game), Washington (2016 CFP Semifinal Game at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl), Michigan State (2015 CFP Semifinal Game at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic).

 

Prior to the CFP, the Tide defeated the Fighting Irish (2013 BCS National Championship Game at the Orange Bowl), LSU (2012 BCS National Championship Game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl), Michigan State (2011 Capital One Bowl), Texas (2010 BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl) and Colorado (2007 Independence Bowl).

Alabama Football Downs Florida, 52-46, to Win Its 28th SEC Championship

12/19/20 MFB Alabama vs Florida Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) Photo by CrimsonTidePhotos

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22) rushes after contact for a touchdown in the second quarter of the 2020 SEC Football Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, December 19, 2020. [Matt Pendleton/Special to the Sun]The Crimson Tide was led by game MVP Najee Harris, who accounted for five touchdowns and 245 yards of total offense
ATLANTA – The No. 1/1/1 Alabama football team won its 28th Southeastern Conference championship with a 52-46 victory over No. 7/11/11 Florida in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday. The win moves the Crimson Tide to 11-0 on the season, while dropping the Gators to 8-3.

 

In addition to being Alabama’s 28th SEC title, Saturday marked the Tide’s ninth SEC Championship Game win and seventh in a row.

 

Najee Harris, voted the game’s Most Valuable Player, tied his career best with five touchdowns – three receiving and two rushing – and totaled 245 all-purpose yards, including 178 rushing and 67 receiving. DeVonta Smith also tallied 200-plus all-purpose yards with 184 receiving yards on a career-best and SEC Championship Game record 15 catches, two of which went for touchdowns, as well as a combined 24 return yards.

 

Alabama racked up 605 yards of total offense on the night with Mac Jones completing 33 of his 43 passing attempts for 418 yards and five total touchdowns.

 

On defense, the Tide was led by Will Anderson Jr., who tallied six tackles, including five solo stops and two sacks. Christian Harris also had two sacks on the night, with his second coming on the final play to put the game away. Dylan Moses, Jordan Battle and Daniel Wright also totaled six tackles on Saturday,  while Christopher Allen added another sack to the Tide’s total.

 

How It Happened

FIRST QUARTER

  • 12:20 – UA | Harris weaved eight yards through the Florida defense to the end zone for the first score of the game.
  • 10:05 – UF | Kyle Trask hit Kadarius Toney for a 51-yard touchdown to even the score.
  • 06:07 – UA | A wide-open Smith hauled in a 31-yard pass from Jones for the Tide’s second touchdown.
  • 01:57 – UF | A 10-play, 56-yard drive ended in a 40-yard field goal for the Gators.

 

SECOND QUARTER

  • 11:27 – UA | Harris put on the spin moves and went seven yards for his second touchdown of the night, this one off a pass from Jones.
  • 02:28 – UA | Jones and Harris connected again, this time from 23 yards out for the score.
  • 01:09 – UF | Trask took it in for a one-yard rushing touchdown.
  • 00:06 – UA | Harris recorded his fourth touchdown of the half, scoring off a 17-yard pass from Jones.

 

THIRD QUARTER

  • 13:25 – UF | Trask tossed a 50-yard touchdown to Trevon Grimes to get Florida on the board first after the break.
  • 00:18 – UF | Evan McPherson carried and scored on a three-yard rush for the Gators’ fourth touchdown of the game.

 

FOURTH QUARTER

  • 11:29 – UA | Harris stretched the ball across the goal line for the one-yard score, which was his fifth touchdown of the game.
  • 09:53 – UA | Will Reichard sent a 20-yard attempt through the uprights to give Alabama a 14-point lead with under 10 minutes to play.
  • 06:33 – UF | Dameon Pierce scored on a one-yard rush.
  • 04:59 – UA | Smith snagged a 15-yard touchdown reception from Jones to make the score 52-38.
  • 02:07 – UF | Trask hit Kyle Pitts with a 22-yard touchdown pass before running in the two-point conversion attempt to account for the final score of 52-46.

 

Up Next

Alabama awaits its destination for the bowl season, which will be announced on Sunday.

 

Crimson Tide Wraps up Practice for Saturday’s Showdown with Florida

11/25/20 MFB Practice Alabama offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr. (55) Photo by Kent Gidley 11/25/20 MFB Practice Alabama offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr. (55) Photo by Kent Gidley

Najee Harris named one of three finalists for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama held its final practice of the week on Thursday, working in a helmets-only session on Thursday at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. The Tide will depart for Atlanta on Friday in advance of Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Championship Game with Florida.

 

Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year

Also on Thursday, senior running back Najee Harris was named one of three finalists for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year. The award recognizes exemplary leadership both on and off the field.

 

Alabama becomes the first program to have two finalists for this award. Minkah Fitzpatrick was a finalist for the inaugural award in 2017.

 

Harris has accumulated 3,091 career rushing yards. The running back has overcome a challenging childhood in which he faced homelessness to become a vocal leader during the Alabama team’s social justice movement and one of the main voices for his university’s push towards a more unified campus. He has also been an active member in the Tuscaloosa community, recording nearly 50 hours of community service, highlighted by his volunteer efforts with the Alberta Head Start Unity Project.

 

The winner of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year will also receive a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school’s athletic scholarship fund. The contribution will be made by Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation, the official charity of Jason and his wife Michelle.

 

Walter Camp Football Foundation “Players to Watch” for 2020 Player of the Year Award

The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced quarterback Mac Jones, wide receiver Davonta Smith and running back Najee Harris to its “Players to Watch” for its 2020 Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation.

 

The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.   A list of five finalists will be announced on Monday, December 28, and the winner announced on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, January 7.

 

Walter Camp Football Foundation Announces “Players to Watch” for 2020 Player of the Year Award

12/5/20 MFB Alabama vs Alabama running back Najee Harris (22) Photo by Kent Gidley
12/12/20 MFB Alabama vs Arkansas
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6)
Photo by Kent Gidley

New Haven, Conn. – The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of twenty “Players to Watch” for its 2020- Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation.

 

Players from the top seven teams in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings are on the list, including quarterback Mac Jones, wide receiver Davonta Smith (sic) and running back Najee Harris from top-ranked Alabama. Quarterback Ian Book from second-ranked Notre Dame is on the watch list along with quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne from third-ranked Clemson.

 

The 20-player watch list includes eight quarterbacks, six running backs, six defensive players and two wide receivers/tight ends.  Fourteen different schools and eight conferences are represented on the list.

 

The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.   A list of five finalists will be announced on Monday, December 28, and the winner announced on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, January 7.

 

The 2019 Walter Camp Player of the Year was former LSU (and current Cincinnati Bengals) quarterback Joe Burrow.

 

2020 Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalists

Ian Book, QB, Senior, Notre Dame

Zaven Collins, LB, Junior, Tulsa

Travis Etienne, RB, Senior, Clemson

Justin Fields, QB, Junior, Ohio State

Breece Hall, RB, Sophomore, Iowa State

Najee Harris, RB, Senior, Alabama

Tarron Jackson, DE, RS Senior, Coastal Carolina

Buddy Johnson, LB, Senior, Texas A&M

Mac Jones, QB, Junior, Alabama

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Junior, Clemson

Daviyon Nixon, DL, Junior, Iowa

Jaret Patterson, RB, Junior, Buffalo

Kyle Pitts, TE, Junior, Florida

Desmond Ridder, QB, Junior, Cincinnati

Mike Rose, LB, Junior, Iowa State

Kedon Slovis, QB, Sophomore, USC

Devonta Smith, WR, Senior, Alabama

Kyle Trask, QB, Senior, Florida

Shaun Wade, DB, RS Junior, Ohio State

Zach Wilson, QB, Junior, BYU