Written By: Ryan Lippert|@Lippert42
As we head into Week 7 of the college football season, we have already seen a solid number of great matchups. However, none of these games have matched the SEC showdown that we are set to see this Saturday. The third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs will travel to Tuscaloosa on Saturday for a night game against the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Both of these teams came into the 2020 season with high expectations and have been showing their dominance so far. However, this will be the biggest test of the season so far for both teams. With all of this in mind, let’s take a closer look at this week’s College Football Game of the Week between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Can Anyone Stop Alabama’s Offense?
Coming into the 2020 season, there were high expectations for this Alabama offense with an abundance of playmakers coming back. It’s safe to say that they have lived up to, if not exceeded, those expectations so far as their offense has been rolling during this undefeated start.
Junior Mac Jones is in his first full season as the starting quarterback after filling in for an injured Tua Tagovailoa last season. He has impressed so far, throwing for 1,101 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception. While Jones has shown promise, it’s also pretty easy when you have two top tier wide receivers in Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. Waddle has 19 receptions for a team-leading 396 yards and three touchdowns while Smith leads the Tide in receptions with 27 for 316 yards and two scores. They also have a promising sophomore receiver in John Metchie III who has 11 receptions for 298 yards and two touchdowns so far.
They will be facing a Georgia secondary, led by senior strong safety Richard LeCounte, who has allowed 198.33 passing yards per game and only three total passing touchdowns while coming away with five interceptions so far. LeCounte will be joined in the secondary by sophomore Lewis Cine at free safety. The Bulldogs also have two cornerbacks who look to be NFL prospects in Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes.
It also helps Jones that the Tide once again have a solid rushing attack. They have a top tier NFL prospect in Najee Harris as their lead back who has run the ball 52 times for 347 yards and 10 touchdowns so far. Brian Robinson Jr. has also been looking to make his case as a draftable running back as he has 24 carries for 154 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Trey Sanders should see some carries as well.
This will be their toughest task yet on the ground as they are facing a Georgia defense that has been outstanding against the run. The Bulldogs have allowed only 38.3 rushing yards per game and zero rushing touchdowns so far this season. Their front seven is led by inside linebacker Monty Rice who leads the team with 18 tackles. He will be joined in the linebacker core by Nakobe Dean on the inside with Azeez Ojulari and Jermaine Johnson on the outside. In front of them, the defensive line consists of two seniors in defensive end Malik Herring and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt with junior Jordan Davis playing the nose.
Is Bennett the Real Deal?
After losing Jake Fromm to the NFL, the Georgia Bulldogs brought in two promising transfer quarterbacks in Jamie Newman and JT Daniels. Unfortunately, Newman opted out for the draft, and Daniels wasn’t cleared to play week one. In their absence, it has been junior quarterback Stetson Bennett that has stepped up and led this Georgia team to a 3-0 start. Bennett has thrown for 689 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions so far. His top target through the first three games has been breakout sophomore Kearis Jackson who has 19 receptions for 300 yards and a touchdown. He will also look to get the ball in the hands of two other playmaking receivers in George Pickens and Demetris Robertson.
He will be facing an Alabama secondary that hasn’t been outstanding when you look at the numbers so far. They have allowed 322.3 passing yards per game and six total passing touchdowns while coming away with just two interceptions so far. Their secondary is led by a top-tier cornerback in Patrick Surtain II who is joined at corner by Josh Jobe, who is looking to make a name for himself as a prospect. They are joined in the secondary by Jordan Battle at strong safety with Daniel Wright at free safety and freshman Malachi Moore playing the star position.
Luckily for Bennett, he has a very talented running back to hand the ball to if things get tough in the passing game. Zamir White has been the lead back for the Bulldogs this season with 54 carries for 209 yards and four touchdowns. Freshman Kendall Milton and sophomore Kenny McIntosh should also see some carries.
On the opposite side, the Tide have been a little better against the run, allowing 150.7 yards per game and five rushing touchdowns so far. They are led by yet another great Alabama inside linebacker in Dylan Moses who leads the team with 27 tackles. He will be joined at linebacker by Christian Harris on the inside with Will Anderson Jr. and Christopher Allen on the outside. The front line is led by LaBryan Ray at defensive end with Justin Eboigbe starting at the other end with DJ Dale at nose. Christian Barmore and Phidarian Mathis are two other promising players who will be in the defensive line rotation.
This Saturday night matchup looks to easily be the most exciting one so far this season. The result of this game will not only have a huge impact on the SEC but on the College Football Playoff rankings at the end of the season as well. I see this game being close for a little over three quarters as Georgia will make some plays to keep things competitive. However, I don’t see anyone, Georgia included, stopping this high-powered Alabama offense. At the end of the day, Alabama is the better team and talent will take over. I have the Crimson Tide pulling away to win this one 35-21.