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Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) watches running back Kenny McIntosh (6) after the handoff. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)
January 4th, 2022
The College Football Playoff National Championship Game is upon us. For the second time this season, SEC foes Georgia and Alabama will square off, and this time, the crystal trophy is on the line.
Alabama dismantled Georgia 41-24 in the SEC title game. However, there are three key reasons to be optimistic about the Bulldogs’ chances to turn the tables next Monday night.
Georgia never looked like a loser in their College Football Playoff semifinal win over the Wolverines. The Bulldogs raced to a 27-3 halftime lead and spent the final 30 minutes of the contest on cruise control while the Big Ten champs struggled to get anything going.
If you need one telling stat from that game, consider this: Michigan, known for an aggressive rushing attack that flustered opposing front sevens all season long, mustered just 91 rushing yards against Georgia. The Bulldogs had no such offensive issues, racking up 521 total yards (due in no small part to a 313-yard, three-touchdown performance from quarterback Stetson Bennett).
Credit where it’s due: Alabama played the game of its season when it knocked off Georgia in the first meeting between the two powerhouses. However, the Tide struggled to put away teams like Florida, Arkansas, and Auburn earlier in the season, so it’s not like they’ve been a juggernaut.
Some of the best runs from Brian Robinson Jr.'s incredible performance 👏#CFBPlayoff pic.twitter.com/VM35XLmbOt— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 1, 2022
Some of the best runs from Brian Robinson Jr.'s incredible performance 👏#CFBPlayoff pic.twitter.com/VM35XLmbOt
Furthermore, while they beat Cincinnati comfortably in their semifinal, it wasn’t as though the Bearcats were run out of the stadium. Running back Brian Robinson gashed the Cincy front seven for 204 yards, but the Bulldogs are a different breed (wordplay absolutely intended). Can Alabama replicate its peak form? It might have to.
In this case, we’ll look at the second half of the SEC title game. Georgia had played Alabama nearly even for the first 30 minutes, with a Bryce Young touchdown run putting the Crimson Tide up 24-17 at the break.
Alabama scored again to start the third quarter, and the Tide were off to the races. Meanwhile, the first three Georgia drives of the second half ended with an interception, a turnover on downs, and a pick-six. At that point, the game was over.
Happy Birthday Jordan Battle 🥳🔥pic.twitter.com/KgYAkP2Ii8— Alabama DieHards (@DiehardsAlabama) December 14, 2021
Happy Birthday Jordan Battle 🥳🔥pic.twitter.com/KgYAkP2Ii8
Georgia was ruthlessly efficient most of the season, which begs the question: How likely is it that they’ll be this out of sorts against Alabama again?
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