The national spotlight will descend on Atlanta today for the country’s semifinal matchup between #2 Alabama and #3 Georgia, for not only a conference championship, but for the right to play Notre Dame for the national championship. Get your popcorn ready.
There are several keys you can point to for the game, but here are SDS’ primary keys to the game.
Primary Key: Offensive line
Buzz: There’s much ado about the Alabama offensive line this season, but Georgia’s defensive front hasn’t faced road graders like this in their 12-game schedule so far. Bama’s offensive line will have to provide protection to a nasty Jarvis Jones, who will be trying to hit AJ McCarron early and often. Barrett Jones and company will have to provide running lanes for Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon against Georgia’s front seven. Alabama has allowed only 20 sacks this season, and they are averaging over 214 yards on the ground through 12 games, good for second in the SEC.
Alabama will win if: They rush for 150 yards. Alabama is 48-0 when they hit the 150 mark in games.
Primary Key: Aaron Murray
Buzz: Let’s face it – this game comes down to Aaron Murray’s ability to make plays against a somewhat overrated Alabama secondary. They were exposed against LSU and Texas A&M, and Murray’s ability to throw the ball down the field will be massive. We know his record against top 25 teams, but Murray has a chance to make all of that go away with an SEC Championship. He’s playing better than any quarterback in the country, and he enters Atlanta #1 overall in passing efficiency.
Georgia will win if: Murray can make some explosive plays through the air and win the turnover battle. Bama was -5 against LSU and Texas A&M earlier this season, and if the Bulldogs are able to force AJ McCarron into passing situations and force turnovers, it’s their best chance to win. Keep the foot on the gas pedal if you’re Mark Richt.
Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE