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Alabama challenged but hangs on to win SEC Championship and secure No. 1 seed

The Crimson Tide rolled via a dominant offensive performance, and are off to the Sugar Bowl.

Najee Harris of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after rushing for a touchdown against the Florida Gators during the first half of the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Behind 605 yards of offense, the Alabama Crimson Tide picked up their second SEC Championship in the last three years with a 52-46 win over the Florida Gators on Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

It wasn’t as easy as expected, but the 16-point favorite Tide pick up the trophy using 7.3 yards per play and 418 yards passing. Running back Najee Harris had 31 carries for 178 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Mac Jones made his Heisman Trophy case via 33-43 for 418 yards and five touchdowns with just one interception.

For the Gators, their performance might have been enough to have the College Football Playoff Selection Committee consider them for the fourth spot in the semifinals, but that’s unlikely after their upset loss to lowly LSU last Saturday in The Swamp. UF had 462 yards themselves, led by junior quarterback Kyle Trask’s 26-40 for 308 yards passing and three touchdowns. Receiver Kadarius Toney had eight catches for 153 yards and a touchdown, with tight end Kyle Pitts adding seven receptions for 129 yards and a score.

It’s the seventh SEC title for Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa, and will give him a chance to pick up his sixth national championship with two more wins. The Tide are off to the Sugar Bowl to face the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff, with the Gators seeming to be a favorite to appear in the Orange Bowl as part of the New Year’s six.