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It’s an all SEC affair with a rematch of the SEC Championship game but this time the stakes are higher. We know what happened then: an Alabama rout. Will we see a repeat or will Georgia exact some revenge? Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide seem to be in Coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs’ head. This aspect can not be overlooked or diminished.
The Crimson Tide would like a repeat performance running the ball like they did against Cincinnati. Not likely, but better than the last time they faced Georgia would be welcomed. The good news for them is it’s not a necessity for them to win. The reason is quarterback Bryce Young, who is deadly accurate and can make plays out of nothing. No defense can account for his improvisation. The receiving corps is more than capable enough to cause problems for Georgia’s secondary.
Alabama’s defense is peaking at the right time. Saban’s specialty is getting his team to play its best when it counts the most. They want to stymie the run game and force the Bulldogs to pass. Then they can focus on attacking the quarterback. They would clearly have the advantage in this scenario.
The x-factor for Alabama will be the offensive line. It’s very simple: if they protect Bryce Young, they win. They will face a hungry front seven looking to prove the previous matchup was a fluke. The battle in the trenches will decide this game.
Georgia wants and needs to establish the run to be successful. It sets up their entire offense. Play action becomes a potent part of the game plan. A couple of big plays downfield will keep the defense honest. Quarterback Stetson Bennett will need a receiver to step up. The offense is not built for a shoot out, so time of possession will be a telling stat for them.
The Bulldogs’ defense did a good job in the SEC Championship game against the Crimson Tide’s rushing attack and need to duplicate that. It’s two fold for Georgia. First, they need to pressure the quarterback. Second, the secondary needs to play better in coverage. If not, the results will be the same as the previous game.
The x-factor for Georgia will be quarterback Stetson Bennett. He will not be asked to win the game but he must avoid turnovers. His interceptions last game were momentum changing, including a pick six.