ATLANTA — — Report and highlights of No. 1 Alabama defeating No. 7 Florida in the SEC Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday night. Complete Box Score
Alabama v Florida Highlights
Najee Harris rushed for five touchdowns and Mac Jones threw for 418 yards and five TDs to help the Crimson Tide (11-0) stay undefeated this season after fending off their toughest challenge in what had been a season of blowouts heading into the title game.
Harris ran 31 times for 178 yards at an average of 5.7 yards per carry with two touchdowns, while taking another 15 catches for 184 yards and two scores.
The Heisman Trophy candidate set an SEC championship game record with his five touchdowns. Harris’ standout performance broke the previous mark of four TD scored by Auburn’s Tre Mason in 2013.
Jones threw 33 of 43 completed passes for 418 yards and five touchdowns with one interception, while wide receiver DeVonta Smith grabbed 15 receptions for 184 yards and two scores for Alabama, which tallied 605 total yards.
Post Game Highlights And Interviews
“Those guys are pretty phenomenal. They have been all year,” Bama coach Nick Saban said. “They certainly delivered tonight when we needed them to.
“This has been a year with a lot of disruptions,” added Saban. “The resiliency this team has shown this season to win 11 games is pretty phenomenal.”
Florida struggled to contain Alabama in the first half and trailed 35-17 at halftime, notably giving up a touchdown in the final 1:09 of the second quarter and right after scoring a TD themselves.
However, the Gator (8-3) came out firing after the break and made a game of contest with a pair of third-quarter scores and held the Crimson Tide scoreless during that period.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Crimson Tide v Gators
The free-scoring Alabama found ways to score, but Florida fought tooth and nail right to the end, adding two more TDs in the fourth period before the time expired.
Quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns and completed 26 of 40 passes.
“We were rolling pretty good,” said Trask, who fell the his knees in disappointment when time expired on the final play of the game. “We just ran out of time.”
Kadarius Toney finished with eight receptions for 153 yards, Kyle Pitts had seven catches for 129 yards and a score, while Trevon Grimes also had a catch for a score for Florida, which was lost for the third time this season.
“I thought we showed a lot of character,” Gators coach Dan Mullen said. “That was an excellent team we played … give them credit. That’s why they’re ranked No. 1 in the country.”