Alabama at Georgia Game Preview: Everything You Need To Know Before Kickoff
No. 13 Alabama (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at No. 8 Georgia (4-0, 2-0 SEC)
When: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 2:30 p.m. CT
Where: Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia
Weather: Cloudy with a high of 62 degrees, winds NNE at 5-10 mph, 90 percent chance of rain. According to athensgaweather.com, Athens could receive more than eight inches of rain Saturday, making localized flooding possible.
TV: CBS (Play-by-play: Verne Lundquist, color analyst: Gary Danielson, sideline reporter: Allie LaForce)
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network (Play-by-play: Eli Gold, color analyst: Phil Savage, sideline reporter: Chris Stewart).
Spread: Georgia (-2), according to Danny Sheridan. For the first time in 73 games, or the 2009 SEC Championship Game, the Crimson Tide will enter a game as the underdog.
Last Meeting: Alabama held off Georgia, 32-28, in the 2012 SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. The Bulldogs were five yards short of a potential game-winning touchdown when the game clock expired.
Series History: Alabama leads the all-time series, 37-25-4, including a 14-10 mark when playing in Athens. Georgia’s last win against the Crimson Tide came in 2007, a 26-23 victory in overtime in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama also won in the teams’ last meeting in Athens, which the Crimson Tide won handily, 41-30.
Defensively, Alabama was superb, limiting the Warhawks to just 92 yards of total offense and zero first downs through nearly the first 23 minutes of action.
On the other side, though, as has been the case for the much of this season, the Crimson Tide offense struggled to develop a rhythm or identity.
Jake Coker started at quarterback, only coming off in favor of Cooper Bateman when the game was out of reach with 4:45 to go. The fifth-year senior completed 17-of-31 passes for 158 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the win.
Alabama led only 14-0 at halftime but seemingly improved offensively in the second half.
It was the Crimson Tide’s first meeting against Louisiana-Monroe since a shocking 21-14 loss at home in 2007.
Kenyan Drake had 10 carries for 65 yards, while Derrick Henry had 13 carries for 52 yards and one touchdown.
Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart and Michael Nysewander all caught touchdown passes in the win.
The Bulldogs handled its business, defeating Southern, 48-6, to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Sophomore running back Nick Chubb rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns, extending his streak of 100-yard rushing games to 12 – one shy of Herschel Walker’s school record. At halftime, he had just 31 yards, before his 49-yard touchdown run in the third quarter put him over the century mark.
Georgia led 17-0 after the first quarter, but a lethargic second quarter put the score at only 20-6 at halftime.
Quarterback Greyson Lambert, who set an NCAA record for completion percentage in a game (96.0 percent) against South Carolina, went 9-for-10 for 146 yards and two scores.
Georgia outgained Southern, 532-184.
In its season opener, the Bulldogs beat Louisiana-Monroe, 51-14. The game held in Athens, was called with 9:54 remaining after a lightning delay forced the teams off the field.
Keep an eye on:
Derrick Henry/Kenyan Drake, running backs: Bo Scarbrough will be able to play for the first time in an Alabama uniform and may have a role of some sort at that, but his spot on the pecking order is still more than likely well behind Henry and Drake’s at this point. So, in this game, a game that’s likely going to be played in less-than-ideal conditions, a dominant rushing performance led by its most experienced players should be vital to its success. Of course, it would help take the pressure off quarterback Jake Coker, too, who is set to make his first career road start against the Bulldogs.
Alabama's front seven: It’s hard to pick out one name over the other for his game, but that should be just fine for the Crimson Tide, considering who it’s facing. Nick Chubb, one of the leading and most talented rushers in the nation, has more than enough potential to cause problems. Fortunately for Alabama, though, it has consistently been the best run-stopping team over the past several years, including this season, which Chubb himself said earlier this week.
Nick Chubb, running back: As Chubb goes, Georgia goes, so if it’s going well for him, it’s probably going to go well for the Bulldogs. The sophomore, who currently ranks fifth in the nation in rushing yards (599), has never rushed for less than 100 yards in any game he’s started with the Bulldogs, dating back to last season as a freshman. If he does that for the 13th consecutive time against Alabama, not only will it probably mean good things for Georgia, but, for perspective, it will tie Herschel Walker’s school record, as well.
Greyson Lambert, quarterback: While Chubb is Georgia’s go-to guy, Lambert might be the difference maker in this one. Over the past few seasons, it’s consistently taken outstanding quarterback performances to beat Alabama, which probably hasn’t changed, even as the underdog in this one. If Lambert can perform at the level he has so far in 2015, especially when considering the weather, Alabama will probably find itself in a bad spot.
- Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who coach Nick Saban said was “day-to-day” with a shoulder injury during his postgame press conference last week, is expected to play. Saban updated Allen’s status Monday, saying he expected him to play. Allen practiced every day this week.
- Reserve safety Jabriel Washington will also “probably” be able to play after missing the first four weeks of this season with a knee injury, Saban said Monday.
- Starting receiver Robert Foster will likely miss the remainder of the season after needing shoulder surgery following last Saturday’s 43-37 loss to Ole Miss.
- Backup outside linebacker Davin Bellamy has an undisclosed injury but is expected to play.