We are seven years removed from the Blackout game in Athens. Alabama held a 31-0 halftime lead in that one as the road underdog. Not much has changed apparently.
The Bulldogs came out in their normal red jerseys. Things were loud early on. The rain was coming down. Herschel Walker was leading cheers. Jumpman was ringing around the stadium. Things were looking good for Georgia.
It was a slow start to the game. Both teams were looking for their running games to get going but nothing was working. A couple of passes set up a short field goal by Adam Griffith to give the Tide the first lead. Georgia quickly answered with a field goal of their own early in the second quarter.
Then Jake Coker came along.
Coker completed a couple of big passes on the field goal drive and a couple of more that led to Derrick Henry’s 30-yard touchdown run to give the Tide the lead for good. Henry finished the half with 77 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Coker completed 7 of 8 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown in the first half. His 45-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley may have been the best throw Alabama has seen from him this year.
Speaking of Calvin Ridley, he has finally arrived as the Tide’s number one option in the passing game. He finished the first half with four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Ridley wasn’t the only freshman to make an impact. Minkah Fitzpatrick came off the edge and blocked a punt that he scooped up and walked into the endzone, to give the Tide a 17-3 lead before Ridley’s touchdown.
The defense forced six Georgia punts and only allowed four plays of more than 10 yards. Greyson Lambert was just 7 for 17 passing the ball, bringing out the boo’s from Bulldog fans. Mark Richt eventually put in Bryce Ramsey for the final offensive drive. Nick Chubb averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, his lowest of the season so far.
This game is far from over though. During the blackout game, Alabama was outscored by 20 in the second half. However, if the defense can keep up the tough play and Jake Coker can stay consistent, it may get even worse for Georgia.
Caleb Turrentine is a contributor at Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter, @CalebTurrentine.