Canadian receiver John Metchie III made his presence felt in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game.
University of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones tried to fit the football in a tight window, but it was intercepted by University of Florida defensive back Trey Dean III. He thought it was a turnover until Metchie III came out of nowhere.
John Metchie and DeVonta Smith coming up with new ways to help Alabama. pic.twitter.com/GdYUixSQZb
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 20, 2020
The standout sophomore from Brampton, Ontario came back downhill in a blur. Metchie III knocked the football out and fellow pass catcher DeVonta Smith recovered for the Crimson Tide.
John Metchie can be an emergency linebacker after this. pic.twitter.com/cqu06cD87F
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 20, 2020
It’s clear Dean III never saw the Canadian coming. Instead of the Gators gaining possession, Alabama got the ball back and Smith scored a touchdown, one of two in the game to go with 15 catches for 184 yards.
Head on a swivel, Trey Dean! ????
John Metchie blows him up after the pick and the Tide score one play later after the turnover. pic.twitter.com/W4b0yv6SYc
— MyBookie Sportsbook (@mybookiebet) December 20, 2020
Metchie III finished the SEC title tilt four receptions for 62 yards, boosting his numbers to 44 grabs for 782 yards and six touchdowns through 11 games for undefeated Alabama. However, it was the big hit on dean that may have been the most impactful play of the season so far for the No. 1 ranked team in the NCAA.
Following Alabama’s 52-46 victory and being crowned SEC champions, head coach Nick Saban described the importance of Metchie’s forced fumble.
“That was a great play — no doubt. It was not a great play for us, for them to get an interception, but for guys to keep hustling. We do everyday for the first five minutes of practice about eight or nine different take-care-of-the-ball-type drills.”
“He’s always on the other end of that. We do circle chase, we do midline, we do stumblebum, we do stiff arm, so he knows exactly what the defensive players are trying to do to get the ball out, because we do it everyday, and he’s the other guy,” Saban said in his post-game videoconference.
“Tonight he had a chance to strip it out, but I’m sure that those experiences of working everyday against the defensive players trying to get it out on him was where he got the idea of how to get it out.”
“It was a big play in the game. We were down in the red zone, so when you turn it over down there it’s a double whammy lots of times. To get the ball back was really important and to be able to score was huge. We stayed two scores ahead in the game until the end of the game, so that was critical against a good Florida offensive team.”
Metchie III provided a pivotal play for Alabama who are destined for one of the four college football playoff spots thanks in part to a Canadian.