Alabama Football News

Previewing Georgia in its matchup with Alabama

Alabama remains in control of its destiny in the Southeastern Conference, and after a 34-0 shutout victory over Louisiana-Monroe, the Crimson Tide now eyes a showdown with Georgia. Heisman implications for both Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb are on the line, and Georgia senses a chance to beat Alabama at Sanford Stadium (Athens, Ga.) for the first time.

Yours truly of TDAM has a in-depth breakdown on Georgia listed below.

Georgia Bulldogs: 4-0, (2-0 SEC)

Mark Richt has been at the helm for 15 seasons, but only has two SEC titles to his name (2002, 2005). Georgia, on average, has been a 10-win team under Richt; however, it senses more in store for this season. The Bulldogs are a one-point favorite heading into its meeting with Alabama.

His career started in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Virginia, but transfer Greyson Lambert has been efficient through four games. The junior quarterback has completed 52 of 68 passes for 733 yards with seven touchdowns and no turnovers, netting a completion mark of 76.5.

Georgia’s offense under first-year coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is center around sophomore running back Nick Chubb. Chubb, 5-foot-10, 228 pounds, totaled 1,547 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on 7.06 yards per carry last season. He’s been on a tear through four games, posting 599 yards and six touchdowns on 8.44 yards per carry.

Chubb’s averaging 149.8 yards a game.

Sony Michel, Keith Marshall and Brendan Douglas all make up Georgia’s backfield with Chubb. Michel has 223 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 6.97 yards per carry. Marshall chimes in with three rushing touchdowns, averaging 5.68 yards per attempt on 22 carries.

Senior wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is the “go to” guy for the Bulldogs, in the absence of Chris Conley, Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley. Injuries held Mitchell to just 248 receiving yards and three touchdown on 31 catches in 2014. He’s been strong thus far, recording 20 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns.

Michel is a change of pace back, yet he is diverse as a receiver. Michel is second on the team in receptions (8) and receiving yards (148),while being tied for the lead in touchdowns (3).

Coach Schottenheimer will scheme ways for Lambert to get Isaiah McKenzie, Jeb Blazevich, Jay Rome, Reggie Davis and Nick Chubb involved in the passing game.

Georgia’s offensive line stands as one of the best in the SEC. It is anchored by senior offensive tackle John Theus. The Bulldogs have blocked for an average of 45.5 points per game, 491.2 yards of offense, 257.8 rushing yards per game and 22 total touchdowns.

Defensively, Georgia is captained by two outside linebackers, junior Leonard Floyd and senior Jordan Jenkins. Both of whom have 23 total tackles each and average 5.8 tackles per game. Jenkins has 6.5 tackles for loss through four games, while Floyd’s recorded 3.5 stops for loss. Jenkins has three sacks (-18) and Floyd has two sacks for a loss of 11 yards.

Defensive backs Quincy Mauger and Dominick Sanders both anchor Georgia’s secondary. Both players have 20 total tackles through four games.

Sanders has 1.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown. Georgia is plus two in the turnover battle.

Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is going to create pressure and play solid coverage behind it. Alabama’s offensive line must be sound and quarterback Jacob Coker has to make smart yet quick decisions with the football. A balanced attack is pivotal for the Tide.

Georgia loss to Alabama 41-30 in 2008, the last time the Crimson Tide traveled to Athens, Ga. Alabama would then beat the Bulldogs again 32-28 in the 2012 SEC Championship Game.

Crimson Tide’s head coach Nick Saban has been struggling to locate an identity for this year’s team. Saturday could be Georgia’s chance to get a signature win under coach Richt.

Alabama players that native Georgians

  • RB Kenyan Drake: Power Springs, Ga.
  • DB Geno Matias-Smith: Atlanta, Ga.
  • LB Dillon Lee: Buford, Ga.
  • OL Brandon Greene: Ellenwood, Ga.
  • OL Dallas Warmack: Atlanta, Ga.
  • PK Adam Griffith: Calhoun, Ga. (Poland)

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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