Alabama vs. Georgia Preview
The college football world awaits for one of the best matchups in the 2020 season with the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) rolling into Bryant Denny Stadium to face the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0).
Georgia comes in with arguably the best defense in nation. They are ranked top five in points allowed, the Bulldogs are anchored by a stifling run defense that only allows 38 yards a game on less than 2 yards per carry.
This is a credit to the defensive genius of Kirby Smart who might be the ripest fruit bared from the Saban coaching tree. Schematically the multiple look defense allows for different personal to effect the game in spurts with different formations and disguises that make the defense just that more difficult to account for. In addition to Smart’s adjustment to up-tempo offenses with line shifts and quicker signals the Tide will have to be prepared for their biggest test yet.
On the offensive end Georgia presents an underwhelming running attack and more so relies on a short to intermediate passing game which features Stetson Bennet.
Bennet is very reminiscent of the Jake Fromm a sound decision maker with a good enough arm to make the prerequisite throws. However, unlike Fromm Bennet posses a threat with his legs which allows him to keep plays alive or tuck and run whenever need, which has presented problems for Alabama in the past.
While being supported by a solid offensive line and weapons such as Zamir White, Kearris Jackson, George Pickens, Jermaine Burton and Kenny McIntosh the Bulldogs present a formidable threat to the lackluster defense Alabama has put on the field thus far.
While Alabama has been traditionally known for a swarming defense, The Tide has seemingly gone against its old framework of previous teams that were predicated on a more power base run schemes and defensive prowess
The Alabama defense is coming in fresh after being exposed by a high tempo offense in Ole Miss. The Tide allowed 48 points with 647 total yards and a multitude of different mental errors and missed assignments. The Tide will have to improve in all areas if they’re looking to come away with a victory come Saturday.
Offensively, Alabama has transitioned along with the change of the game. With a west coast approach, Sarkisian has used misdirection, eye candy, spread looks and balance to create a near unstoppable attack. While averaging the most yards per play in the nation at 8.7, Alabama boasts a top three attack through the air, averaging 385 yards a game and completing on 78% percent of passes.
This is set up however by a ground game that’s led by Najee Harris who’s coming off an historical performance against Ole Miss where he tied the Alabama record for touchdowns in a game (5) and came away with 206 yards on 9 yards an attempt. Even with Georgia’s stifling run defense Najee has showed an ability to be weaponized out of the back field as he sprinkled in 42 yards receiving that game as well.
Lastly, with Saban having to coach from home and Sarkisian handling the interim coach responsibilities an ex-factor is presented. Will Sarkisian open the playbook even more to outsmart Georgia’s fortified defense or lean on a rushing attack to keep their defense off the field while playing to Georgia’s strength?
Tune in to CBS this Saturday at 7 p.m. to see. Tide 100.9 will carry live pregame coverage beginning at 2 p.m.