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Coach Saban shares thoughts on Florida QB Treon Harris

Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports

Dual threat quarterbacks have frustrated Alabama under head coach Nick Saban since 2008. 

Tim Tebow, Cameron Newton, Johnny Manziel, Nick Marshall and Chad Kelly all did just enough (pass and run) to keep Alabama’s defense off balance and win games. Saban and company will face another talented signal-caller this week in Atlanta, Florida sophomore quarterback Treon Harris

The Gators will enter Saturday’s contest at 10-2, securing an SEC East crown for the first time since 2009. Offensively, Florida has sputtered in the last few weeks but it can move the ball. Harris leads a group that averages 25.3 points per game.

Smart decisions have been a strong asset for Harris (four interceptions), regardless of questions concerning his mechanics. He has 1,365 passing yards with eight touchdowns. Harris chimes in with 193 rushing yards on 73 carries. Keeping him in the pocket will be a challenge for Alabama’s defense.

“He [Harris] has a lot of big play scrambles and he has a lot of big play runs,” Saban said during Wednesday’s presser. “A lot of his big play runs come from when you don’t keep good pass rush lanes and he steps up and takes off running. When he runs sideways, his eyes stay downfield. He’s very athletic.”

The one quarterback that Saban found comparable to Harris was former Crimson Tide standout Blake Sims. Sims totaled 3,487 passing yards, 350 rushing yards, 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. “Our front guys have to do a good job against Harris. They have good skill guys too,” Saban said. 

“He is a very capable passer, who completes a high percentage of his balls,” Saban said. “The best thing we can do is keep him in the pocket and press the pocket so he can’t make throws.”

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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