A rematch of the 2021 SEC Championship game takes place on Monday night as No.1 Alabama and No.3 Georgia face off in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship. looking for a second straight national title and a seventh under coach Nick Saban. The Tide earned their place in Monday’s national title game with a 27-6 victory over Cincinnati’s No.4 in the Cotton Bowl semi-final which saw running back Brian Robinson Jr. rush for a career-high 204 yards.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, outscored Michigan’s No.2 34-11 in the Orange Bowl semifinals. Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns in the victory and provided the balance much needed in a run-setting offense.
What to expect in Indianapolis on Monday night? Let’s break the game down and make choices up and against the spread.
Alabama vs Georgia: what to know
What didn’t go well ?: The first game between these two teams – a 41-24 victory for the Tide in Atlanta – saw the Bulldogs’ defense crumble for the first time this season. Regarded for much of the season as an all-time excellent unit, he failed to get Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young to the ground once in loss.
“At the end of the day, we want to create the pressure,” Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning said. “We want to be able to do away with Bryce. As to how to do it, I don’t want to reveal our secrets just yet, but wait until the game to find out. We want to generate the pressure. There are definitely a lot of different ways of doing it. And he’s really good at avoiding rush. And they’ve done some unique things to protect him. We have to tackle him a little differently, but how we do it. there are a lot of different ways you can do it. “
The strategy is simple: bring more than four. The Bulldogs didn’t bring many five or six players into the SEC title game, likely because they had been so successful in bringing back four for much of the season. And it’s not like Alabama’s offensive line is playing long before this game. Expect linebackers Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean and Quay Walker to be big pieces of the puzzle this time around.
Robinson’s escape game: The best running back on Alabama’s depth map was the focal point of Tide’s offense against the Bearcats, which allowed Saban’s crew to control the tempo of the Cotton Bowl from the start. While Robinson has had a great season, it was the first time that Alabama really tried to establish the race against a good opponent from the moment the feet met the leather.
There is no doubt that the passing game is the backbone of Alabama’s offense. However, the absence of wide receiver John Metchie III will likely be felt a lot more in this game than against the Bearcats. Expect Alabama to use Robinson earlier in the game to open those passing lanes for WR Jameson Williams and the rest of the Crimson Tide passing offense.
The bogeyman: Georgian coach Kirby Smart doesn’t want to be part of the story that he becomes a stag in the headlights when he faces off against his former boss Saban in big games. It may be breaking news, but it’s really hard to beat the greatest coach of all time who, no coincidence, is regularly in the top recruiting class in the country.
“I don’t know exactly what it is so it’s hard for me to answer that question other than that they have also been a problem and a thorn for all the teams they have played outside of the ours, ”Smart said this week. “We have that in common with a lot of teams. They have played, they have a very good football team, a very good coach, a very good program. It starts with very good football players. good job recruiting them. And I think when you look at the skills of some of the guys that they had there, and I know myself, just looking at the last two or three times we’ve played them, I think someone said either six or seven wide in the first round have all played. “
How to watch Alabama vs Georgia live
Game: National College Football Playoff Championship
Dated: Monday January 10 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Site: Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: ESPN | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alabama vs Georgia prediction, pick
Featured Game | Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Barrett Sallee: The best lessons in life come from failure, and Smart’s defense fell miserably against Alabama last month. This will not happen again. Georgia now know they need to apply pressure in a variety of ways, so expect the pressure to come from multiple players both down the middle and on the rim so Young can’t get lost outside the pocket. . This will keep the game in Bennett’s wheelhouse and allow offensive coordinator Todd Monken to use all of his weapons in a variety of ways. Pick: Georgia -2.5 | Georgia 28, Alabama 20
Tom Fornelli: It’s incredibly difficult to beat a good team once, and it’s a lot harder to do it twice. The Dawgs know how the Tide plans to attack and can counter or at least work on the issues exposed in Game 1. If you are in Alabama you don’t know what to change because you don’t know what Georgia will do to change things. I expect Georgia to look for ways to put more pressure on Young by shuffling covers and bringing in blitzes. I also think Georgia could show a bit more vanilla zone cover in hopes of keeping Williams ahead of them limiting the big plays. This could invite Bama to perform more of his RPO tricks and remove the pass option, forcing the defending champions to throw the ball straight into the force of the defense. On the flip side, the Alabama defense did a terrific job of confusing QB Georgia Stetson Bennett in Game 1, drawing him in two interceptions. I expect Georgia to put a little less on Bennett’s plate in this game. If Georgia can handle the ball and limit Alabama’s big plays, they’ll win. Pick: Georgia -2.5 | Georgia 28, Alabama 24
Adam Silverstein: It’s not often that you’ll have Saban and Alabama at an underdog, and while I’ll wait to try and get a full field goal before kick-off, Tide is on the safe side. Georgia opened their eyes to strangling Michigan in the semifinals, while Alabama claimed a 21-point victory, if I remember correctly, over Cincinnati. Anderson and Dean are a washout at linebacker. Georgia are stronger up front, but we’ve seen them struggle to keep up and contain Young before. Bama has the advantage overall in the offensive skill positions, and we’ve seen more than once how defenses can wear down with playmakers taking over late. The Dawgs will have every chance to compete and potentially win this game, but my little advantage goes to Tide. Picks: Alabama +2.5 | Alabama 31, Georgia 27
More expert choices and predictions to come!
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