Countdown to SEC Championship Game: 5 things Alabama is doing better than Georgia
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama-Georgia rematch is still a couple of weeks away, but it’s never too early to look ahead.
The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs will meet in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1 in a rematch of the national championship game last season.
Georgia is one of a small group of teams some analysts believe has a shot of making things interesting with Alabama, but here are five things Alabama is definitely doing better than the Bulldogs.
Alabama is No. 3 in the country and No. 1 in the SEC in scoring offense with 48.6 points per game. That’s down a bit after being held to under 30 points the past two games, but it’s still much better than Georgia. The Bulldogs are scoring 37 points per game, which ranks third in the SEC. While that might not seem like a huge difference, it just illustrates that there are level different levels of explosive. Georgia has an explosive offense by SEC standards. But Alabama’s is and has been one of the best in the entire country all season.
This one is mostly fun, but if we’re looking at common opponents, the one that jumps out is LSU. Alabama went into Baton Rouge at night and stomped LSU 29-0.
LSU’s defense fought hard, but LSU’s offense had no success against Alabama.
Georgia, however, went into Death Valley and had little to no success offensively in a 36-16 loss. The game was more lopsided than the final score. Georgia was down 16-0 at halftime and never recovered. LSU’s defense stifled Georgia’s offense all afternoon.
Sacking the quarterback
Alabama leads the SEC and is tied for No. 3 in the country with 36 sacks. On the flip side, Georgia is last in the SEC with 14 sacks.
That was a surprising discrepancy when comparing numbers for the two teams.
Alabama’s Isaiah Buggs (9.5) and Christian Miller (7.5) have more combined than Georgia’s entire team.
Even if you make that case that maybe Georgia isn’t putting an emphasis on sacking the quarterback, that’s still a low number for a top-5 team. If Tua Tagovailoa is given time in the pocket, he will pick a defense a part. He proved last year that he could pick apart Georgia.
Get tackles for loss
Alabama is No. 2 in the SEC with 82 tackles for loss. Georgia is last in the league with 40 tackles for loss. How is that even possible considering the caliber of athlete Georgia recruits each year?
Alabama’s defensive line has wreaked havoc all year, stopping run games in the backfield and sacking the quarterback. It’s unclear why Georgia’s sack and tackle for loss numbers are so low, but that doesn’t bode well against an explosive Alabama offense.
Both teams had to rebuild their secondary, but Alabama’s reconstruction has gone a lot better. Alabama is second in the SEC with 13 interceptions, behind only LSU (16). Georgia has only intercepted 5 passes. Alabama has returned nearly that many for touchdowns (4). Georgia has only scored a touchdown off one of its interceptions.
Looking at a lot of these numbers, Georgia’s defense doesn’t appear to be as stout as it was when the Dawgs won the SEC and made the national championship game last season.