Aaron Murray explains what went wrong for Georgia in blowout loss to Alabama
Georgia is preparing for the College Football Playoff, as most expected they would be at this point, but the prep is a little different. Instead of being the presumptive No. 1, the SEC champs, the “best team in the country,” Georgia now has questions after a 41-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett threw a pair of critical second-half interceptions, the second of which was returned 42 yards for a score. Georgia struggled to run on the Alabama front as well—3.6 yards per carry on 30 attempts, the first time under 4 yards since the opener against Clemson.
But the bigger issue, as former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray put it Tuesday, was that Alabama’s Bryce Young was afforded the time to carve up the Georgia secondary. Young threw for 421 yards and 3 scores in the game. He also ran for 40 and another score.
“To me, when I was breaking down the film, there (were) 4 issues for Georgia,” Murray told SEC Radio on SiriusXM. “It was defensive line, DBs, one of the biggest issues that I’ve said on this show for 2 years now—lack of talent at the receiving position—and then Stetson with the turnovers.
“If I had to rank them in order of what cost Georgia the game against Alabama, it would be d-line (first). No pressure at all. You should have dominated. There’s no reason why Auburn and LSU and all these other teams can put pressure on Bryce Young but the best defensive line in America couldn’t sniff him. D-line, issue No. 1. Second issue: DBs. Out of position over and over and over again. Double-coverage guys, and give credit, Williams has elite speed, he has world-class speed, he ran through double-teams left and right, but still there was an issue with the secondary that was glaring throughout the ball game. But I still think the defensive line, if you’re able to get pressure, you don’t give the quarterback that much time to throw the ball down the field.
“Third issue: receivers. Besides (Brock) Bowers, if you watch the coach’s tape, no one is open. No one. The biggest plays they had were screen plays, easy hitters that then they could run because of great blocking. They could not get open down the field.
“Stetson played great in the first half, and then the second half… The first interception you could blame him, the tight end kinda stopped running, a little bit both. The second interception I’ll put on Stetson. But Stetson was not the main reason why Georgia lost the football game. There were plenty of other issues that need to be corrected against Alabama if they’re gonna wanna beat them in a second opportunity if they do make it to a national championship.”
Georgia will have to beat No. 2 Michigan (12-1) in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31 for a spot in the CFP National Championship Game. Alabama, the No. 1 seed, plays No. 4 Cincinnati in the other semifinal.