Back For The Second Time

(1) Alabama Crimson Tide at (4) Georgia Bulldogs

Alabama: I’ve seen so many of their games over the years and each of their teams have been built the same way, having a consistent running game, a good offensive line to control that battle of the trenches and a defense that punishes and dominates the opponent. However the one thing that has always been present has been having a quarterback that they that just needs to manage the clock, hand the ball off, make a key throw when necessary and most importantly, not turn the football over. The Crimson Tide has everything I listed but the biggest difference maker has been the quarterback; Tua Tagovailoa. He has given this team a playmaker at the position and is one of the best pure passers in the country. In all my years of analyzing the game of college football, this is by far the best Alabama team I’ve seen Nick Saban have during his tenure in Tuscaloosa. They are so complete. The defending champions finished the regular season with a zero in the loss column once again and reclaimed the SEC West Division and at this point we almost expect this from them every year: to win every game, potentially go undefeated, win their division, get to Atlanta and be one of the four playoff teams and since the College Football Playoff started, they’ve been the only team in the country to make it each year. What Coach Nick has done with this program has been absolutely remarkable. Today they will look to win their 31st conference championship and to do that, they will have to face the team that they beat in January to win the national title.

Georgia: Another year, they claimed the SEC East and are considered to be a title contender once again. Kirby Smart has this program headed in the right direction and I see this team being a strong force. They are the second best team in the SEC behind you guessed it, Alabama for years to come. Their offense can move the football down the field in a variety of ways. They count on Jake Fromm to take care of the ball, take control and not make mistakes, similar to an Alex Smith and I think that’s the perfect comparison for him. Jake may not be the best quarterback in the country but he does a lot of things really well at his position. He’s extremely poised, he can make all the necessary throws and is he’s able to scout the entire field, all while leading his team. When you think of Georgia Bulldogs football, the running game often comes to mind. Over the years, they’ve had some guys play the position that have really made nice names for themselves. Todd Gurley is one as well as Nick Chubb and Sony Michel who handled the responsibilities last year are both in the league, not to mention, it’s been Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift who have both held their own. What really captures my attention about this team is their defense because they are one of the best all-around units in the game of college football. They can destroy your entire offensive game plan and while truly having to work to earn your yards against them-they won’t just come to you. At the moment, they are ranked fourth in the playoff picture and they’d make it if the College Football Playoffs started today. This afternoon they will face the team they fell to in heartbreaking fashion at the beginning of the year.

Alabama Player To Watch: Henry Ruggs III– When it was announced that Tua Tagovailoa would be the team’s starting quarterback for the season, I was so excited for his weapons. Jerry Jeudy is considered the number one receiver on the depth chart and Henry Ruggs III is also a consistent threat. These receivers are having great seasons because they have a quarterback that can complement their skillsets. I expect Henry to get his looks often as the Bulldogs will do everything in their power to shut down Jerry.

Georgia Player To Watch: Deandre Baker– The defense for Kirby and Georgia starts and ends with him. He’s the best cornerback in the country and he is a true shutdown corner. He wants the opposition’s number one receiver and he doesn’t shy away from it. He will be key in helping slow down the Crimson Tide’s passing attack and neutralizing one side of the field.

Final Analysis: When they met almost 11 months ago for the national championship, I was on the edge of my seat and I thought Georgia had them. Alabama made their adjustments and that was when we were introduced to Tua Tagovailoa. Months later, Tua is now the front runner to win the Heisman. I’m going to throw a major fact at you and that’s Georgia will become only the second team to have played Tua twice. All the other teams on Alabama’s schedule have only seen him once. Although Georgia only saw him for the entire second half in that title game, it’s more than any other team. The biggest key for the Bulldogs today is that running game. They must pound the rock, control the clock and most importantly, make a big play when the opportunity is presented to them. They must play their game and limit Alabama’s drives offensively. For the Tide, I’m making Fromm beat my defense, period! Alabama has started slowly in their last two games, they must get off to a fast start and silence a crowd that will be pro-Georgia.

Prediction: Alabama 38 Georgia 27