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Nick Saban raves about dominance of Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis (#99) celebrates a defensive play for Georgia in 2019 versus Texas A&M
Brett Davis - USA Today Sports

Alabama fought through adversity to defeat Auburn, but now its test is here.

National media and fans have been calling for a Crimson Tide versus Georgia matchup for a Southeastern Conference Championship all season. Both sides had their wishes granted as both schools will battle on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

RELATED: Nick Saban updates injury status on Brian Robinson after Iron Bowl victory

Despite allowing seven sacks, Alabama’s offensive line gave Bryce Young a chance to deliver a successful 97-yard drive in the fourth quarter to tie the game against the Tigers. He completed several passes in the possession, including a 28-yard touchdown to Ja’Corey Brooks. The Tide secured a 24-22 victory in the Iron Bowl, but Georgia’s defensive front is different.

Kirby Smart has a group that ranks in the top-five nationally for scoring defense (6.9 ppg, first), total defense (230.6 ypg, first), rush defense (79 ypg, third), pass defense (151.6 ypg, second), pass efficiency defense (94.9, first), and sacks (44, tied for fourth).

Jordan Davis, a senior, is the primary reason for the Bulldogs’ success.

The 6-foot-6, 340-pounder is an imposing figure inside. As a defensive tackle, he sets up Nakobe Dean, Nolan Smith, Quay Walker, Jalen Carter, Travon Walker, Robert Beal Jr., and Channing Tindall to have big numbers.

Davis’ presence allows Carter to have 8.5 tackles for loss (team-high) and Dean to have five sacks (shares team-high). As a native of Charlotte, N.C., Davis’ pressure also helps Georgia create turnovers. The Bulldogs have three interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns. 

RELATED: Alabama offensive lineman Pierce Quick enters NCAA transfer portal

Dean, Christopher Smith, and Derion Kendrick each have two picks.

During today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, Coach Nick Saban highlighted Davis and spoke on his dominance up front.

“I think the guy’s one of the most dominant players in college football. … He’s about as good a player as I’ve seen in a long time as an inside player on any college team,” Saban said of Davis.

Per Saban, Davis is hard to block.

“He has great size and quickness. He pushes the pocket in pass rush,” Saban said.

Alabama’s offensive line has a challenge.

No matter who Davis lines up against, Georgia will pressure Young in the pocket. It will not dominate the Bulldogs, but the Tide can hit some marquee players against the secondary if it stalemates the defensive front.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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