The Iron Bowl I believe highlighted three main threats to an Alabama Football victory in Atlanta this coming Saturday. If Alabama can fight against these threats then it will prevail against Georgia.
What Alabama football learned about itself during the Iron Bowl is although Alabama offensively can separate itself from the competition, it must find consistency in other areas against tougher competition. The main threats to Alabama’s success will be its special teams, run defense, and back shoulder throws.
Alabama Football special teams is the worst in its history under Coach Nick Saban. Not only was a punt blocked by Auburn, the punting average for the Tide is dead last in the nation in yards per punt. Which is a stark difference from last year, when JK Scott would change the field position on nearly every punt.
Combining this with the inability to kick not just field goals but extra points has cost the Tide points throughout the year. Points which against Georgia cannot be lost.
Last year, Alabama nearly cost itself a National Championship when it missed a game-winning kick to end regulation. I can guarantee that Kirby Smart is preaching to his team if the Bulldogs can hold Alabama to field goal attempts then Georgia will win the game.
Alabama football needs its kicking game to rapidly improve. Georgia will attempt to exploit this weakness in Alabama’s armor. The Tide have an offense that is scoring at will and the kicking game must ensure it is getting every point out of every possible drive.
The most alarming trend on Saturday was Alabama’s inability to consistently stop the run, especially on the perimeter, during the first half.
Alabama football made an Auburn Tiger offense look its most potent all year long. Alabama’s defense was gashed multiple times up the middle and on the edges.
The running game of Auburn pales in comparison to Georgia’s rushing attack.
Georgia will use the same rushing attack that Auburn, the Citadel, and Arkansas used. Consistently attempt to run between the tackles to draw in the ends and linebackers, then use a mixture of rushing plays to attack the edges.
Alabama has been burned multiple times on plays like this, this season.
However, Alabama football has found the ability to only allow success during the first half and have made excellent second-half adjustments to account for the rushing attack.
Alabama football will need to limit the ability of Georgia to run the football. Doing so will give multiple opportunities for Tua Tagovailoa to pull away from the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. While also putting more pressure on Fromm to deliver.
Back Shoulder Throws
Where Fromm has delivered consistent results in the Georgia passing game this year has been back shoulder throws made consistently to his receivers on the perimeter.
Due to an Iron Bowl targeting call, Alabama will be without dime package corner Jared Mayden for the entire first half of the SEC Championship. This will put more pressure on Patrick Surtain Jr and Savion Smith to remain in one on one coverage on the outside.
Savion Smith has struggled this season with back shoulder throws and I expect Georgia to test Savion early and often to see if his struggles continue.
Expect for Georgia to also test Keaton Anderson who will be filling in for Jared Mayden during the first half.
If I had to bet on how Georgia approaches the first half it would be a four-wide receiver set with Swift in the backfield in order to try to exploit Alabama’s secondary.
Georgia will have to score more than an Alabama team that is averaging over 30 points per game. Georgia will have to throw in order to have a chance at matching Alabama on the scoreboard.
Alabama Football fans have envisioned playing Georgia in the SEC championship game immediately following the National Championship. Georgia has also envisioned the same, however, this time they will be well prepared for Tua Tagovailoa and his lethal arm.
No team in the country has been able to eliminate the Tide’s ability to score. I do not expect Georgia to accomplish what no other team has done. So, Georgia will have to rely on their offense to keep them in the game.
Georgia will be able to compete if it is able to sustain a consistent and productive rushing attack and consistently complete back shoulder throws, moving the football on Alabama Crimson Tide.
If Georgia is able to do this they will be able to control the clock, rest its defense, and limit the number of Tide and Tagovailoa possessions.
I expect Georgia to come out swinging on offense and try to create every advantage at Alabama’s weakest point, which is its special teams.
The Tide must be able to eliminate special team errors and limit the production of the Georgia offense so that they can advance into the College Football Playoffs.
Comment below on what your score prediction is for the Alabama Football. Also, comment on how you believe the Bulldogs will attack the Crimson Tide on Saturday.