The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (12-0, 8-0 SEC) will face the no. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC) for the SEC Championship on Dec. 4th in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET and the game will air on CBS.
ESPN’s weekly pregame show, College Gameday, will be in Atlanta for Georgia’s highly rated matchup. This will be the fourth time this season College Gameday has appeared at a Georgia game.
After losing two receivers to the first round of the NFL draft, the Crimson Tide have turned to Ohio State transfer receiver Jameson Williams and returning junior receiver John Metchie. The duo finished the regular season with over 1,000 receiving yards each while Jameson Williams also posted the second most receiving touchdowns in the country with 13.
Alabama’s 5th-ranked scoring offense is led by first year starting quarterback Bryce Young. Heisman front-runner Bryce Young finished the regular season with 3,901 passing yards and 40 passing touchdowns while only throwing 4 interceptions.
“He is an incredible athlete, player, decision maker. What he didn’t get enough credit for is when the play breaks down, his skill set to deliver the ball, make people miss, he sets up rushers. He’s like a point guard. He’s like an elite point guard that can distribute the ball,” head coach Kirby Smart said.
The Crimson Tide could potentially be without their leading rusher Brian Robinson Jr. Robinson left the game in the fourth quarter last Saturday in the Tide’s victory over Auburn. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said he has a “lower body pulled muscle.” Robinson finished the season with 1,016 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns.
Alabama’s issues on offense this season has been protecting their star quarterback. The Tide’s offensive line is currently allowing pressures on 28.3% of dropbacks which is good for 9th in the SEC. The Alabama offense’s 2.92 sacks allowed per-game is also one of the worst totals in the country and over double the amount allowed last season.
The Georgia defense ended the regular season allowing just 6.9 points per-game which is the lowest mark allowed in over 20 years. To have success against the Tide’s powerful offense, the Bulldogs who are 6th in the country in sacks per-game will need to manufacture pressure over four quarters.
Alabama’s defense has also been stout this season. The Tide defensive unit that finished the regular season 7th in total defense is highlighted by star linebacker Will Anderson Jr. Anderson has been nothing short of dominate for the Tide as he leads the nation with 14.5 sacks for a defense that is 3rd in the country in team sacks. Very few teams have managed to keep Alabama’s talented pass rush out of the backfield, but the Bulldogs seem equipped to be up to the task as they rank 2nd in the country in sacks allowed. Georgia is also looking to get left tackle Jamaree Salyer back following a 4-game absence from a foot injury.
The Bulldog offense finished out the regular season 6th in scoring offense which is good for one place behind the Crimson Tide. Stetson Bennett started 8 straight games for the Bulldogs following the injury to JT Daniels and finished the regular season ranked 2nd in the country in passing efficiency. Bennett and this Georgia offense led by 2nd-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken, have been spreading the ball around as 10 different Bulldogs caught passes in Georgia’s recent victory over Georgia Tech.
No Bulldog pass catcher has had more success this season than freshman tight end than Brock Bowers. His 10 regular season receiving touchdowns would be good for second most in Georgia history. With star receiver George Pickens catching his first pass of the season last week against Georgia Tech and looking to increase his role against Alabama, Georgia’s offense is peaking at the right time.
The Bulldogs are looking for their first victory over Alabama since 2007 as Georgia has lost their last 6 meetings against the Tide including 2 SEC championships and a National Championship game following the 2017 season. Georgia will look to reverse that roll as the undefeated Bulldogs who are looking to win their 2nd SEC Championship under head coach Kirby Smart take on Alabama Saturday.