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Alabama’s meeting with Georgia on Oct. 3, 2015, will be the first time they have traveled to Athens, Ga., since 2008. Both programs faced each other in the 2012 SEC Championship Game, with Alabama winning the matchup, 32-28.

The Bulldogs enter this contest looking for its first win over Alabama since 2007.

Georgia, who is coming off a 10-3 season, will look to claim its first SEC title since 2005.

The 2015 Bulldogs will have many new faces on both sides of the ball, and some at very key positions including the coaching staff. Georgia will have a new man under center with the departure of Hutson Mason, who passed for 2,168 yards and 21 touchdowns.

The Bulldogs will also be without star running back, and first-round NFL pick Todd Gurley, who in only six games last season rushed for 911 yards. Georgia will also have to replace its two leading receivers from last season, Chris Conley and Michael Bennett.

Conley led the team with 657 receiving yards and caught eight touchdowns. Bennett was second on the team in receiving touchdowns, and led the team in catches with 37 receptions.

On defense, the Bulldogs will have to deal with the loss of first-team All-SEC linebacker Amarlo Herrera. Herrera led the team with 115 tackles, including 10 for loss. Georgia will also have to replace Ramik Wilson, who was second on the team with 110 tackles, as well as a second-team All-SEC selection as a linebacker.

Its biggest need on defense lies in the secondary as Georgia lost cornerback Damian Swann to the NFL. He led the team with four interceptions, and was voted defensive captain last season.

Offense: Georgia returns one of the most explosive players in the nation, Nick Chubb.

He rushed for 1,547 yards last season en route to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year. Along with Chubb, the Bulldogs return a great stable of backs that include Sony Michel, Keith Marshall, and Brenden Douglas.

This group has combined for 3,418 career rushing yards and 36 touchdowns.

At receiver, Georgia will look for Malcolm Mitchell to be a primary target. I look for more production from him after totaling three touchdowns on 31 receptions in 2014.

The Bulldogs must maintain balance on offense.

Experience is crucial for Georgia as it returns four starters to its offensive line. However, with the loss of center and team captain David Andrews, someone else has to emerge. Andrews earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2014.

Defense: Georgia will take the field in 2015 with one of the best front lines in the nation.

The Bulldogs return outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who led Georgia with six sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss last season. The program also returns linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who was second on the team in sacks with five and contributed 9.5 tackles for loss in 2014.

True freshman Trent Thompson could be the biggest factor on the defensive line for Georgia. Thompson was rated the No. 1 overall recruit by some, and is expected to be a big contributor for the Bulldogs this upcoming season.       

The defensive backfield will have one of its best players returning this season with Quincy Mauger. Mauger was tied for the team lead and fourth in the SEC, with four interceptions last season. Mauger was also voted AP Honorable Mention All-SEC.

Game Preview: When the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs meet, there is normally an SEC title on the line. In this matchup however, both teams will be vying to stop the other from making another appearance in Atlanta.

This will be a classic matchup against two of the best defensive lines in the country. With so much talent on  both defensive lines — the offensive lines will be tested early and often. Look for both teams to pressure the opposing quarterbacks, and try to limit each teams’ rushing attack.

This will be a key game for the defensive backfield to show just how far they have come. Look for defensive backs Tony Brown and Marlon Humphrey to display elite speed and make the Bulldogs hesitant to throw the deep ball.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Alabama run game might be very limited due to the depth of the Georgia defensive line. In this contest look for the receiving core of Alabama to test the new defensive backs of Georgia, which should help take some pressure out of the box for the running back.

This will be one of the most hostile games for the Tide as they return to Athens for one of the biggest games in the nation, and with the entire country watching look for the Tide to rise to the occasion and take care of business between the hedges.

Game Prediction: Alabama 28, Georgia 17

Ivan L. White is a contributor for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ilwhite1.

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