Defense, defense, defense. There is no one better at it than the Georgia Bulldogs in college football, and they will have to prove it against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs will once again get the opportunity to vanquish their long-time rival when the two meet this coming weekend. The history of Georgia in big games is, well, not good at all, while Alabama wins the championship seemingly every other year. The last time these two teams met up for the SEC Championship was in 2018, when the Crimson Tide won 35-28 before losing to Clemson in the College Football Playoff. Will this finally be the Bulldog's time to shine? It doesn't get much bigger than the SEC Championship game, and Georgia will have to bring its best stuff to finish out a perfect season.
The defense for Georgia is second to none. The Bulldogs rank No. 1 in points allowed per game, yards per game, points per play, yards per play, and red zone scoring. Yes, they rank No. 1 in ALL of those defensive categories playing in a power-5 conference. Their points allowed per game is just insane, as they allow just 6.9 points per contest. Think about that. 6.9 points per game over a 12 game span. Seems almost impossible to be that good, but they are. Georgia has only seen one top-25 offense this season when they beat Tennessee, so that is an argument against them, but the numbers are still impressive.
The offense is better than most people think as well. They rank second in points per play, third in yards per play, and eighth in points per game at 39.3. So basically, they score 39 points per game and give up just 7.0 points per game on average. That is straight dominance.
Alabama slipped up earlier this season when they lost to Texas A&M, but the winner of this game will more than likely be the favorite to win the CFP. QB Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide have still been one of the best teams in college football all year long. They have one of the best offenses in the nation, and rank in the top-5 in points per game with 42.2, yards per game with 497.4, and leads the country in third-down conversions with a 55.5-percent success rate.
The Crimson Tide looked bad in their last game out in the Iron Bowl against unranked Auburn, just barely beating the Tigers 24-22 in a messy game. Young was 25-51 for 317 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT, but he still sits atop the current Heisman odds list due to Ohio State and QB C.J. Stroud's loss to Michigan. Young has thrown for 3,901 yards this season, with 40 TDs and 4 INTs.
The Crimson Tide defense hasn't been as dominant as it has been in year's past, and certainly pales in comparison to the gaudy numbers of the Bulldogs. They give up 19.9 points per game, while allowing 294.3 yards per game. The big difference between the teams defensively is the passing defense, where Alabama lets up 213.6 yards per game through the air, while Georgia allows just 151.5. They are actually really close defending the run.
Georgia is favored by -6.5 in the game, with the total is set at 50.5. My problem with this game is that Georgia really hasn't been tested much at all this year against big competition. They can beat up on mediocre teams all they want, but how will they fare against a fantastic offense that can put up points in bunches with supreme talent? I highly doubt they will be holding the Crimson Tide to their average of 7 points allowed, so it will be interesting to see what this team does if it does indeed get into a shootout.
This is also the first time that Nick Saban and Alabama are underdogs since 2015. I think this will be a very tough game that may come down to the wire, and if you are going to give me almost a TD with the Crimson Tide, it is almost impossible not to take those points. I hope Georgia can finally win and break that curse for them, but Alabama might need this win to get into the college football playoff.
Give me Alabama +6.5 in a close game.
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