The Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) needed a rally after half-time to end Tennessee’s upset bid 44-21. The Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) beat Ole Miss, but gave up a shocking 48 points in the process. Here are the three keys to a Georgia victory.
By Steve Wright
The offense needs to step up
The Georgia defense has been playing at a high level but the Bulldogs offense hasn’t really kept up its side of the bargain yet this season. The offense is too slow to start games, there is a big play opportunity or two missed seemingly every quarter, and there are some fourth-and-1s the team would love to have back. Complicated in the puzzle is quarterback Stetson Bennett, the fourth-stringer turned starter who manages games without taking over. It will be interesting to see if he can make the big plays needed to keep pace with ‘Bama on the scoreboard.
Win the battle up front
The Alabama offensive line has been beastly through three games and they will face their biggest test of the season on Saturday. This is a unit that has given up just four sacks in three games and that opened up Ole Miss to the tune of 206 yards on the ground for Najee Harris. Georgia – by contrast – has allowed just four runs that have gone for 10 or more yards all season and their defensive front is massive. Add in a linebacking corps that has made 10 sacks already and you have a well-rounded unit that should be fun to watch in a matchup of elite vs. elite.
Win on the back end
The other battle of elite vs. elite sees the Alabama wide receivers taking on the Georgia secondary. Alabama has 19 passing plays that have gone for 20 or more yards already – the most of any team with just three games played – and they have a crew of players (John Metchie III, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith) who are big plays waiting to happen. Georgia has just 23 pass plays allowed for double-digit yardage – the best number in the league – and Kirby Smart will trust his defensive backs to win one-on-one battles in an exciting facet of the game.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 7:00 PM CT (8:00 PM ET). Watch on the CBS Network.