Teacher Vs. Pupil


College Football Playoff- National Championship

(4) Alabama Crimson Tide vs (3) Georgia Bulldogs

Alabama: They weren’t supposed to be here, they played a weak schedule, they didn’t win their division nor did they get to their conference championship game and win that either. That was a majority of what was said after the bracket for this year’s playoffs were revealed. I remember after we knew who would play who, I felt the committee got it right and there was no way that they would let an Ohio State team with two losses into the field. So, here they are, Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide and I was very impressed with how they played on Monday night against the Clemson Tigers. They looked refreshed and their heads were in the game compared to the last time I saw them play against Auburn when they were all over the place. They were excellent on the defensive side of the ball and they put continuous amounts of pressure on Kelly Bryant and loaded up the box to take away the running game. Once they dialed up the pressure, they never stopped and they made life miserable for Bryant and the Clemson offense was just held to six points. Offensively, I was fine with the way Jalen Hurts looked. He looked more confident when throwing the football from the pocket and he didn’t try to do too much and I wouldn’t have to either considering the three-headed monster they have at running back with Scarborough and the Harris boys and when he does pass it, he still has one of the very best receivers in the country in Mr. Calvin Ridley who’s the number one target for the Tide. This is the third straight season that they are here on this stage and the and they will look to win “one for the thumb” tonight when they face the Georgia Bulldogs in this year’s national championship.

Georgia: What a game that was on New Year’s Day in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl! You talk about a tale of two halves, that’s exactly what that game was against the Oklahoma Sooners and you look at how flat they looked in the first half of that game because Mayfield and the Sooners ran all over the Bulldogs and their defense. In the second half was where the adjustments came and they played tight man to man coverage across the board against the Oklahoma receivers and they got back to why they were one of the best defensive teams in the country and they were able to keep Baker Mayfield contained and in the pocket and they also forced him to throw the football in a shorter capacity because when he likes to throw it deep, they would click and Georgia loses this game. I love this Georgia defense and everything they do. They are so athletic with speed in every tier and guys that I see making impacts at the next level in the NFL. They’ve been one of the best in the nation throughout the year with how they play team defense. They tackle, they all swarm to the ball as a team. they can prevent any type of big plays down the field, they rush the passer and they know when to get off the field on third down. Now, let’s talk about their offense and their bread and butter which is their running game and they have three running backs that are able to all make plays and make an impact on the game. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are the best tandem in the nation and when I watch Michel, he impacts the game like Alvin Kamara does for the New Orleans Saints because he can catch the ball, he’s got great speed with the football in his hands and look how he was able to help his team win the game with a direct snap and he takes it to the house. Chubb is the hard runner that’s so difficult to bring down and then there’s Swift, another speedster. This is the moment they’ve been waiting for, a chance to win a national title to bring back to Athens.

Alabama Player To Watch: Da’Shawn Hand– One thing that each of Nick Saban’s defenses has had is a solid pass rusher and last year’s team, they were blessed with two of them in Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams and they were also able to stop the run and this will be a challenge to shut down this ground game of the Georgia Bulldogs. He’s six-foot-four, 288 pounds with physical hands to shed blockers and he can play inside as a defensive tackle or an end. With Anfernee Jennings out for the year with a knee injury, the Tide will depend on this guy up front to be a disruptive force.

Georgia Player To Watch: D’Andre Swift– We obviously know about the dynamic tandem of Chubb and Michel. The Georgia Bulldogs also have another piece to their ground game, D’Andre Swift. He’s a smaller running back at five-foot-nine and as a former defensive player, trying to bring down those smaller guys on the field is such a challenge because of their lateral movement, their quickness and how they are able to slide by you. I see Georgia using this kid quite a bit tonight in the game on sweeps, pitches and he will help Georgia move the football down the field.

Final Analysis: Well, it has come down to this ladies and gentlemen. I called this piece “Teacher vs. Pupil” because this will feature Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban as the teacher and Georgia’s head coach, Kirby Smart, the pupil who was once the defensive coordinator on Nick’s staff in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Tonight, they will be leading their football teams against one another. Georgia’s bread and butter is running the football of course, but to be more specific, they are very successful when they run the ball outside the tackles so I expect to see a few sweeps, half-back counters and tosses ran tonight. Georgia’s defense has also been one of the best in the nation and tonight, they will have to put a safety in the box and shut down this Alabama rushing attack on first down (that is exactly what Auburn did when they defeated Bama). Alabama loves to get physical in the trenches on the defensive side and tonight, this will be the top rushing attack and one of the better offensive lines they have seen all year. It’s key that Alabama’s defensive ends set the edge and they force Chubb, Michel, and Swift to run the football in between the tackles. Jalen Hurts, this is your chance to redeem yourself after last year young man. Jake Fromm, Kirby made the decision to stick with you even when Jacob Eason was 100 percent healthy. This is the biggest stage of them all!

Prediction: Alabama 23 Georgia 20