Despite ranking the player matchups a 4-4 split, that’s the opinion of an Al.com writer who sees this outcome:
Everyone is expecting a close game, but I’m not so sure. Alabama has been angry all season after losing to Clemson on the final drive of the 2017 national championship. Clemson had no chance against the Tide. Georgia is ahead of schedule with Kirby Smart and feels like a perennial power in the making, but the Oklahoma comeback took a lot of energy. These teams are mirror images of each other in a lot of ways, but Smart won’t be able to out-Saban Saban in his first game against his old boss.
Alabama 38, Georgia 15
I will say this… if Smart wants to avoid the blowout predicted there, it’s imperative that Georgia avoid giving Alabama any of those crucial turnovers that the Tide makes hay out of in the scoring column. If Saban has to work for every point, that’s going to make for a tough night, because I don’t see Alabama’s offense being explosive enough to run Georgia’s defense out of the stadium head-to-head.
By the way, one of the intangible advantages Alabama apparently enjoys is “Alabama’s defense is led by a coordinator who is employed by Tennessee, and Jeremy Pruitt has worked himself sick over the last two weeks.” It’s a darn shame Georgia’s lazy staff is going to cost them bigly tonight.