Any time there is a close loss, especially of large magnitude, there are bound to be what ifs. Going into the game, there were a handful of things that Georgia needed to do in order to win.
In some areas - that worked. Other places, not so much and the result was yet another gut-wrenching loss to the Crimson Tide.
Here’s how the Dawgs stacked up as far as keys to a win went.
Maximize The First Half
If there is a weak point in Alabama as of late, it’s how it’s started games...Nick Saban said as much earlier this week on the coach’s teleconference. The Tide struggled for a half against not just The Citadel but Auburn as well. To say that it is critical for Georgia to take advantage of any letdowns by Alabama in the first half and put up points is, needless to say, crucial.
To a degree, Georgia did this. In fact, the first half had a familiar feel to as last year’s meeting. That said - Georgia going ultra-timid just before halftime took a chance at momentum away from Georgia. It felt a lot like something Kirby’s predecessor would have done.
Eliminate ‘chunk’ plays
The worst thing to stunt momentum for a Georgia defense with a point to prove on Saturday - big plays. Momentum will be king in this game - Georgia can ill afford to give up long-yardage plays - they will keep Georgia’s offense on the sidelines and worse, put points on the board for Alabama.
As much as Georgia was able to shut down Tua for the most part, the same was not true with Alabama’s running game, which got its yards in bunches during the first half and was able to keep within enough striking distance to stay close enough to come back.
We saw it last year in this same building. Bad breaks - turnovers, bad calls - they will happen. In short, the Dawgs need to play well enough to overcome breaks that they will not get.
You name it, it happened. A maybe-fumble ruled as a touchdown, missed holding and late-hit penalties and a missed field goal...the game was full of things that did not go Georgia’s way.
As long as the SEC office fails to hold officials accountable to mistakes on the conference’s biggest stage, regardless of opponent, teams have to play well enough to overcome breaks they will not get. Georgia did not do that on Saturday.