Players Alabama Needs to Step Up Against Georgia
Alabama faces off against the 12-0 Georgia Bulldogs for the SEC title in Mercedes Benz stadium today, and the Crimson Tide are in rather unfamiliar territory.
Georgia is favored to win the heralded matchup, but the Alabama will be their biggest test of the season, featuring a plethora of elite athletes across the board.
Here are five players the Crimson Tide need big games out of if they hope to emerge victorious today.
1. Chris Owens, RT
First and foremost, the Alabama offensive line is where everything begins. The biggest question mark of the season among the group has consistently been the right tackle position. Owens appears to have taken back his job last week against Auburn, replacing a struggling Damieon George, Jr., but can he continue to step up for the Tide against Georgia? Owens will need to play his best game of the season is Alabama hopes to move the ball against a very stout Bulldogs front.
2. Trey Sanders, RB
If Brian Robinson is unable to go against Georgia, the next man up is Trey Sanders. A former five-star recruit, Sanders has dealt with a few severe injuries in his time at Alabama, but looks as healthy as ever. In crunch time against Auburn, Sanders was excellent, providing a burst for an offense that struggled all game, but keeping that up against Georgia will be a tall task. The junior running back will need a breakout game if the Tide hopes to impose any kind of running threat.
3. Brian Branch, DB
Brian Branch played fantastic in a grudge match against Auburn last week. Facing off against a underrated Georgia offense led by an experienced quarterback in Stetson Bennett, Branch will need to recreate that performance if the Tide want to win in Atlanta. The Bulldogs' most effective weapon this year has been speedy freshman tight end, Brock Bowers, and Branch will need to take that option away and force Bennett to spread the ball out.
4. Byron Young, DT
Byron Young was an unsung hero of Alabama's win in the Iron Bowl, putting near constant pressure on T.J. Finley and helping hold Tank Bigsby to under 100 yards. While not a star on the defense, Young is a key depth player and will need to have a game similar to his night in Jordan-Hare.
5. Will Reichard, K
Many expect the colossal matchup between Alabama and Georgia to be decided by very few points, and in games like that, the kicker can completely alter the outcome. The junior kicker is 14-of-18 on field goals this season and 63-of-64 on extra points; he will likely need a perfect game tonight if Alabama wants to escape with a win. Reichard will need to continue his hot streak against Georgia, as he may just be called upon to go out and win it.