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|Georgia Bulldogs||-6.5 (-110)
|O 50.5 (-110)
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+6.5 (-110)
|U 50.5 (-110)
This is one Georgia has been waiting for for a while. The Bulldogs always seem to be close, yet never quite seal the deal. Well, the Atlanta Braves won the World Series last month, so maybe the Georgia curse is starting to end. The Bulldogs are the better team. Their defense is without question the best unit on the field and that’s been true every week, it doesn’t change this week. Georgia takes out years of frustration — we like the Bulldogs to cover the spread and the under.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (22-22)
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So, here’s the problem if you’re Alabama and the key number to focus on. 83.
That’s the total number of points Georgia has given up in 12 games this year — that’s fewer than a touchdown per game on average. Now, an Alabama offense that was shut out through three-quarters last week against a 6-5 Auburn team has to figure out a way to score on a Georgia team that has only allowed one opponent to find the endzone twice in the same game.
That said, quarterback Bryce Young is a Heisman Trophy contender, and should he find a way to deliver a big game — and a win — it could very well be enough to vault him to the award.
Young has completed 68.9 percent of his passes (288-of-418 attempts) and ranks near the top 10 in the country in a number of stats including 3,901 passing yards (6th ),40 touchdowns (T-2nd) four interceptions (T-11th) and 86.7 QBR (T-4th).
That said, last week he was bottled up, completing less than 50 percent of his passes as he got sacked a career-high seven times. Part of that could be because he was without top target Jameson Williams for much of the game (he was ejected for a personal foul) but the offense’s inability to score for almost 50 minutes in a row was alarming.
To make matters worse, Georgia’s defense continues to somehow get better, coming off of its third shutout of the year and eighth contest in which it held its opponent to less than a touchdown. Georgia allowed just 171 total yards last week — further evidence of its latest suffocating performance.
There’s no need to force the issue. Georgia doesn’t have to take a million shots down the field with its offense, or be so conservative it only runs the ball up the middle.
Georgia’s offense has the dream everybody wants — know that you have a dominant defense so essentially the job is just to stay out of the way and make smart decisions. That has allowed Stetson Bennett to be incredibly efficient — coming in second in the nation in QBR (88.8).
Bennett, who has appeared in 11 games but officially took over as the main man in October, has thrown for 1,985 yards, 21 touchdowns, and five interceptions. The main beneficiary of this, conservative yet still capable of being vertical offense is tight end Brock Bowers.
He’s led all Bulldogs this year with 37 catches for 652 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Despite scoring 30 points or more in each of the last 11 games including 40 or more in seven of them, Georgia has not thrown for more than 255 yards in 10 weeks — all part of its game plan of dominating with defense and controlling the ball.
That puts the pressure on an Alabama defense that has at times looked dominant while at others looked vulnerable. The Tide held a potent Ole Miss team to 21, limited LSU to just 14 and held Mississippi State to nine points on the road.
However, this same team gave up 41 points in a loss to Texas A&M and 35 points just two weeks ago in a close game against Arkansas. The point is, this Alabama defense can be scored against.
If Alabama is going to beat Georgia, somebody has to find a way to run against them. That makes the x-factor this offensive line and running back Brian Robinson.
The senior hasn’t got as much fanfare as some recent Tide backs (Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, Eddie Lacy, Kenyon Drake, Josh Jacobs, TJ Yeldon), etc. but he’s been productive, rushing g207 times for 1,016 yards and 14 touchdowns while catching another 29 passes for 252 yards through the air and two scores.
For Georgia, the x-factor is also the running game, because if they can control the tempo, it is hard to see Alabama winning this one. That means Zamir White and James Cook — who have combined for 1,272 yards and 17 scores on 218 rushes (5.9 yards per carry) will need to be up to the task.
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|Georgia Bulldogs vs Alabama Crimson Tide Information|
|Teams||Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Location||Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA|
|Time||Saturday, Dec. 7, 4:00 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||CBS|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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