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Twenty-five will serve as the magic number for Georgia’s Greyson Lambert and Alabama’s Jacob Coker, as both teams look to their offensive lines for ultimate control.

Time of possession and efficiency on third down are two misleading statistics; however, both will serve a purpose this weekend. Both offenses have been subpar up to this point, converting less than 50 percent. Georgia’s running backs are averaging 6.87 yards per carry.

Getting Lambert into manageable distances on third down will be imperative.

Alabama’s backs are posting 5.3 yards per carry, but that can all change Saturday. Creating seal blocks and setting the edge are both goals for its offensive line. The addition of freshman running back Bo Scarbrough gives Alabama another weapon to hammer Georgia’s front.

Five yards or less on third down provides Alabama with a run/pass option threat.

Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin can either dial up short, high percentage completions or lean on the offensive line to generate leverage in the run game for first downs.

Both defenses will enter the game with something to prove.

Alabama’s secondary has to find ways to limit Bulldogs’ wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Isaiah McKenzie. Georgia’s defensive line has heard all offseason about how dominant Alabama’s front seven and looks to make its own statement. Saturday’s winner will be determined by whichever offense can stay on the field and develop a rhythm.

Third down offense through four games

  • Alabama- 21 of 57, 37 percent
  • Georgia- 11 of 31, 35.48 percent

Time of possession through four games

  • Alabama- 31:44.00 (60 minutes)
  • Georgia- 26:04.00 (60 minutes)

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.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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