So...there were a few things that going into Saturday that Georgia needed to do in order to win. Based on the result, it did not indeed do those things. Here’s some ways in which Georgia fell short.
Adversity - find a way to overcome it
Admit it. You’ve made the “Tyler Simmons was onsides” joke a few times, at least. And the Justin Fields -fake punt reference - single plays that defined Georgia losses to Alabama.
Let’s face it. It’s a big game. Breaks are bound to go against you when it’s Alabama. It’s the way things shake out. Key for Georgia is not letting those moments swing the game’s momentum..or not being in position to have it taken away to start with.
Until robots officiate games, there’ll be a human element and not every call will be 100 percent made. I get that. But sometimes, calls are badly missed - looking at you, end zone pass interference against Eric Stokes.
Officiating did not cost Georgia the game, but on a night in which the second half was being taken over by the Crimson Tide, Georgia needed some breaks, and it didn’t get them due to a lower standard of officiating that the SEC still accepts.
Control the outside receivers
You don’t have to watch the Crimson Tide much to know how good their receivers are. With Mac Jones under center, these guys are going to get their chunks of yards. Georgia needs to find a way to minimize that and avoid lapse in coverage within the secondary. If the Dawgs can do that, they can then lean on their defense to stop the run.
It’s hard enough stopping one elite receiver. Multiple ones? That’s even harder, and that’s what Alabama has. If there’s a criticism of Kirby Smart’s recruiting, it’s a lack of either landing elite receivers or developing them. It factored into Jake Fromm’s regression last year and when your offensive philosophy is a game manager getting it to playmakers, you need receivers like Alabama has. The Crimson Tide have just that, and it showed last night.
Win the trenches
Speaking of physicality, this game will be made or broken here - Georgia’s defensive line against their offensive counterparts on the Alabama side. Georgia’s starters don’t just have to prevail here - the guys that Georgia rotates in will have to do the same. If the Dawgs don’t get worn down, they can do what they have not done in recent years, own the fourth quarter and beat the Crimson Tide
There’s no nice way to say it. Georgia, in a broken record of other games against Bama, got whipped up front as the game went on. There are a lot of things that teams have to do to beat an Alabama. Being able for not wear down over four quarters is one of them, and until the Dawgs figure out how to do that, Georgia under Kirby Smart will continue to be good and not great.