The 3rd-ranked Georgia Bulldogs travel to Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to battle the 2nd-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in a huge SEC football matchup Saturday at 8 pm EST. Both teams are coming off high-scoring victories, with the Bulldogs taking out the Tennessee Volunteers at home as 13 point favorites as they covered for their second-straight contest. The Crimson Tide failed to cover on the road as 24-point favorites versus the Mississippi Rebels last weekend, yet picked up the 63-48 win thanks to a huge rushing night along with another efficient performance from signal-caller Mack Jones.
While the Crimson Tide have picked up wins in five of their last six matchups versus the Bulldogs, Georgia has done well for themselves against the number versus Alabama in covering the number in four of six. That includes covering in their most recent Tuscaloosa meeting back to 2007 when Georgia picked up the 26-23 victory as three-point dogs. The underdog has won against the spread in each of the last six matchups amongst these two powerhouse squads.
Bulldogs dominant in second half to pick up win over VolsAnd while the offense for Georgia was able to get going early, it took the defense a couple of quarters to get in the swing of things as they blanked the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half (27-0) to take a 44-21 win last weekend. Junior QBStetson Bennettthrew for 238 yards along with two touchdowns on 16-27 passing while rushing for 22 yards on six rushes. ReceiversKearis Jackson(19 att, 300 yds, TD) and sophomore running back Kenny McIntosh (17 att, 131 yds) led the receiving corps with 138 yards on six catches along with a touchdown from Jackson in the victory. However, much of the credit for the win can be attributed to how the Bulldogs were able to move the ball on the ground.
JuniorZamir White(54 att, 228 yds, 4 TD's) and sophomore McIntosh (17 att, 131 yds) led a rushing attack for the Bulldogs that ran for a total of 193 yards versus the Volunteers last weekend. White finished with 22 rushes for 50 yards and a score while the latter had 45 yards on eight rushes. FreshmanKendall Miltonalso shined in the contest in rushing eight times for 56 yards total. Look for the Bulldogs to establish themselves as far as their rushing attack early versus an Alabama defense that is uncharacteristically giving up 151 yards rushing per contest thus far in 2020.
Georgia's defense has been about as dominant as ever in ranking in the top five in the nation in total yards per game (237 ypg), rushing yards allowed per game (38 ypg), along with point per game allowed (12 ppg). Senior defensive backEric Stokespicked off his second pass of the year versus Tennessee while linebacker Azeez Ojulari (7 tackles, three sacks, two ff) continues to impress in racking up two sacks along with three tackles in their win over Tennessee. LinebackersChanning Tindall(5 tackles, two sacks) along with Monty Rice (12 tackles, sack, ff) have also come on strong for a Georgia defense that is very opportunistic in having five takeaways on the year, ranking them 12th in the nation.
Crimson Tide allows 500+ total yards to Rebels in winAlabama's defense enters this contest versus the Bulldogs allowing a total of 473 yards per game, including 322 in the air along with 151 on the ground. Of course, judging from past defensive units for the Crimson Tide, this is certainly unacceptable. Coach Nick Saban certainly agreed after Alabama's narrow escape from the jaws of the Rebels of Ole Miss last weekend as he felt as though the rigors of their first three games of the season could be a chance for the unit to grow.
Saban toldESPN.comthat "We've never played this way on defense," he said. "It's certainly not what we aspire to try to be as a defensive team, and we're going to work hard with our players. "I believe in our players. And I think we have to get our players to play better. I think we're capable of it." This contest could certainly be a chance to allow the team's defensive unit to prove that they indeed have the potential to play much better in the trenches as well as in the secondary. However, with the Georgia offense putting up an average of 36 points per game thus far in the season, the Alabama defense must bring their A-game to slow down their SEC foe.
“In this moment in history, we can’t be silent.” pic.twitter.com/YF4ndJSpa0— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) June 25, 2020
The Crimson Tide, however, is potent on the offensive end and is led by QBMac Jones, who has passed for 1101 yards on the year while throwing for eight touchdowns alongside just one pick and completing 80% of his passes. Jones is backed by a talented and experienced corps in the backfield in seniorsNajee Harris(52 att, 423 yds, 10 TD's) along with Brian Robinson Jr. (154 yards, 1 TD).
Stats & Trends
- Bulldogs are 4-2 ATS in last 6 SEC games
- Bulldogs are 4-2 ATS in last 6 SEC road games
- Bulldogs are 6-2 ATS in last 8 meetings versus Crimson Tide
- Crimson Tide are 2-6 ATS in last 8 meetings versus Bulldogs
I happen to believe that the Bulldogs may be the slightly better team in this contest. Furthermore, when one considers how the Alabama defense has noticeably taken a step back in defending both the rush and the pass thus far in 2020, one can conclude that the Bulldogs not only have a chance to keep this game interesting. They also have a decent chance of pulling out an outright victory Saturday night versus the 2nd ranked team in the nation. Their rushing attack has been strong thus far while Bennett has a trio of receivers to connect with downfield for huge gains.
Also, consider that the Bulldogs have done well for themselves against the number in recent matchups versus Alabama in going 6-2 ATS in their last eight games, overall, versus the SEC foe. In all, one should expect an old fashion Southeastern Conference slobber-knocker where the road team will match the intensity of the Crimson Tide throughout to cover the points in the end.