Welcome to the final installment of our pregame preview with Brent Taylor of Roll Bama Roll. In this one Brent talks about his keys to a Tide victory and makes a bold prediction for the final score.
MD: What is the one thing Alabama cannot do if they want to win in the Benz on Saturday?
Brent: Regress. We’ve seen a lot of improvement in various areas, but it all seems tenuous. Things could quickly unravel if LT Proctor starts getting whipped around the edge again, or Milroe decides he wants to be Tom Brady and just takes sacks instead of scrambling. Or even worse, the center snapping issues rear their head again. That was a brutal problem for the first half of the season, and McLaughlin seemed to get it under control... Until the final drive of the Iron Bowl. So let’s go with that. If the wild snaps make a reappearance, it’s ball game.
MD: Fill in the blank: Alabama wins this game if _______.
Brent: Alabama wins this game if their defense holds UGA’s rushing attack in check. Alabama’s defense holds the edge in preventing deeper passes, so it’s going to be a combination of rushing and quick passing to extend drives for UGA. If Alabama’s D-line is able to stalemate the line and stop the interior runs, the linebackers can focus more on those slant and screen pressure points and ultimately do enough to win the game. If UGA can get 4-5 yards per carry up the middle, though, I’m not sure Alabama’s explosive-yet-inconsistent offense can keep up.
MD: Because we must: what’s your score prediction?
Brent: Ehhh. 35-32 Georgia. I think both teams have offenses that can take advantage of the other’s defense, so this isn’t going to be a defensive slugfest of yore. I think UGA’s consistency wins out here, though, with Alabama having one too many empty drives from the lack of an effective run game.
Thanks once more to Brent, enjoy the game, and…