Heading into week three for college football it isn’t hard to see what the premiere matchup of the week is, as No. 1 Alabama is taking on No. 11 Florida down in The Swamp, otherwise known as Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.
The matchup of the highly ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators will be the first SEC Game of the Week broadcast for CBS of the 2021 college football season, and it could very well be the best of the bunch even in the always competitive SEC.
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Kickoff for Alabama vs. Florida is at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 18. Here is what you need to know about the matchup and how to watch the game this weekend.
Alabama vs. Florida matchup preview
No team in college football has been better over the last decade=plus than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama is 172-23 and has won six national championships. The Tide entered this season as the number one ranked team in the country by AP and have looked every bit of it in their first few games. They opened the season with a 44-13 shellacking of the Miami Hurricanes and then were on cruise control in a 48-14 win against Mercer.
Driving the team’s early success has been new quarterback Bryce Young. The highly touted player has thrown for 571 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions thus far this season. Young is supported by another talented group of playmakers at Alabama, including Brian Robinson Jr., Jameson Williams and John Metchie III. The Alabama defense, meanwhile, is off to a good start, registering seven sacks, four interceptions and a fumble recovery two games into the season, while not letting either opponent score more than 14 points.
Still, Saban said during a press conference that he wants to see more consistency out of his team in regards to execution and discipline. It’s that philosophy of always finding something to improve on that has made him one of the best college coaches of all-time and will likely be a big help as they head into this big matchup with Florida.
For Florida, they are hoping to end a seven-game losing streak to Alabama and make a statement that they are back among college football’s elite. They also have had a solid start to the season with big wins over in-state schools Florida Atlantic (35-14) and South Florida (42-20), but of course the true test for all SEC teams is when they are forced to play Alabama. While they’re running game is one of the best in country early on, some concerns have been raised about their passing game.
Florida is going into the game with an interesting situation at quarterback. The Gators have been utilizing two quarterbacks throughout their first two games of the season — Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson. Jones has been getting more snaps early on in the season, but Richardson has come in and provided big plays for the Florida offense. Both quarterbacks, however, can provide an extra spark with their legs. There’s an old saying in football that if you have two quarterbacks you really have no quarterbacks; can Florida prove that theory wrong against one of college football’s best teams?
Florida’s defense may need to take over and hem Bryce Young and the Alabama playmakers in to give their offense some help. The good news is that they have pass rushers that can do it, with the team registering seven sacks overall through the first two games.
Alabama is currently a 15 point road favorite against Florida, but we’ve seen top teams Clemson and Ohio State already take early season losses, could Alabama be next?
How to watch Alabama vs. Florida in the U.S.
When Alabama takes on Florida at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 18, the easiest way to tune in for most people will be to flip on their local CBS station and enjoy the fun. CBS is carried by practically all traditional cable and satellite providers in all U.S. TV markets, while vMVPD services like Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV also offer subscribers access to their live local CBS affiliates.
For those of you who have moved away from cable TV and rely solely on streaming services, fear not, Paramount Plus will be offering a live stream of the Alabama vs. Florida game, as well as each SEC Game of the Week for the 2021 college football season. Even though the ad-supported $4.99 Paramount Plus subscription does not traditionally provide access to local CBS broadcasts, the streamer is allowing all Paramount Plus subscribers, regardless of which subscription they have, to watch the network’s college football broadcasts.
To start watching the games on Paramount Plus, you simply log in, head over to the Live TV section, find the game for that week, click stream and enjoy the college football action.
How to watch Alabama vs. Florida in the U.K.
College football fans over in the U.K. won’t have to miss out on the Alabama vs. Florida game, as BT Sport will air the game live to subscribers. The game will be available at 8:30 p.m. GMT.
If you do not have BT Sport, it can be added to a BT TV subscription for £10 or as a standalone service for £25.
How to watch Alabama vs. Florida from anywhere
Whether you shout “Roll Tide” or prefer the Gator chomp, you can watch the Alabama vs. Florida game from anywhere in the world with a virtual private network. A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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