Why not this year? Sure Bama is a freight train, Kirby hasn’t had 4 full recruiting cycles, we may be better next year and this run is only just beginning. Why can’t it be us this year? Why do we have to again live in the realm of the consistent Georgia fan: Next Year. Lean in Dawg fans. The worst that happens is your heart is broken again. You’ve dealt with it plenty of times, you’ll recover. Best case, you’ll be a champion and damn proud your Dawgs knocked off a team and Heisman winner everyone has been slobbering over all year. I’m leaning in this weekend because the Dawgs mean too much to be on the fence.
What makes Bama elite
- 2017 class: an unbelievable collection of talent. I’m hoping Georgia’s 2018 class will soon reach its level. Tua, Leatherwood, Najee Harris, Jeudy, Ruggs, Moses, McKinney. The list goes on. Truly elite players at every level of the offense and defense, providing few deficiencies for opposing teams to attack
- Most underrated secondary in the country: Deionte Thompson has been a consistent #1 corner all year. Patrick Surtain may be the hottest player in the SEC right now. He is locking people down. Savion Smith and Shyheim Carter are NFL level players. Xavier McKinney is the player in the 2017 class that I most wanted who committed and signed elsewhere. He is a thick, athletic safety with great ball skills and was an absolute beast at Roswell. He took over a starting role this year and has been extremely solid in the back end. Tons of talent that doesn’t get talked about that much relative to other position groups.
- Stonewall offensive line: in a year in which Bama is passing more than ever before, they are also giving up the fewest sacks in the SEC. They are solid inside out with two of the best Tackle prospects in the country. You’ll have to cook up pressure to get to Tua. The four man rush has resulted in very little against this unit.
How to beat Bama
- Man coverage: we obviously feel great about Baker. Honestly I feel pretty good about how far Eric Stokes has come and his ability in man coverage. The real question mark is Tyrique McGee in the slot. The Dawgs were one corner short from winning a national championship last year and they may be in a similar spot this year. I’d like to see Mark Webb get more playing time at star but it’s obvious McGee knows the system better and plays more consistently. His size and speed really concern me against some of the receivers that Bama will field, especially Jaylen Waddle and Henry Ruggs
- Manufacture pressure: if you’re running man coverage and your secondary can survive on islands, it gives you the opportunity to manufacture pressure outside of a typical four man rush. One major underrated player in this game is Adam Anderson. We know D’andre Walker can get to the QB at times, but if Anderson is in, it is to hunt for sacks. Anderson has been hot in the last couple games and his potential is beginning to shine through. Georgia has run some of its most exotic pressures through Anderson and Channing Tindall this year. If those young guns are in, we want the QB on the ground via something other than a four man rush. I think we will need a bunch of it in this game.
- Multiple Run looks: In Georgia’s losses under Kirby Smart we average 93 rushing yards per game. In wins under Kirby we average 275 rushing yards per game. It would be easy to put up 300 yards a game of defenses weren’t dialed in to stop our main strength. Therefore, As was the case in many games last year, I expect Georgia to come out throwing, hoping to loosen the Alabama defense up. From there, I think Georgia needs to use multiple new formations as well as motion eye candy to keep an aggressive, penetrating defense off balance. A few designed runs for Justin Fields could also pressure a defense that has struggled against triple option/QB run systems. Attach TEs to the formation, use different personnel, use jet motion but please don’t get into two TE one back formations and try to smash it through the A gap. Quinnen Williams will have none of that.
- Protect perimeter in run and pass game: Georgia is successful when it breaks runs to the edges and protects the edges in pass rush. If Fromm is protected, he can pick apart a defense. If Fromm is clean and Holyfield can break a few long runs on the edge, Georgia has a very good shot.
Alabama is Goliath. But Georgia ain’t David. We are the best matchup Alabama has seen this year in terms of overall team talent. Georgia is peaking at the right time. Bama has won every game by at least 22. How do they respond down a FG late? I think this game comes down to special teams. Georgia has to win every single area of special teams to pull this out. Rod has to be perfect, Camarda has to put two inside the 15, Mecole needs at least a 20 yard return. I think they do it and Rodrigo Blankenship brings it home with a late FG. Dawgs 33 Tide 30.
Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week
No betting this week. Too much on the line and can’t have petty bets getting in the way of what we need to go right to get in.
Lean in Dawg fans. Time to repeat as SEC Champions