Fearless

Per Seth Emerson ($$),

No. 5 Georgia opened as a 13.5-point underdog to No. 1 Alabama in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. The Bulldogs haven’t closed as that big of an underdog since 2009 against Florida when the Gators were favored by 15 points. If the line holds and Georgia was to win Saturday, it would be the greatest upset in the 26-year history of the SEC championship.

This is the first time this season Georgia has even been an underdog.

Will the Dawgs be fazed by that?  Welp,

Nor should they be.  ‘Bama may be having a season for the ages, but as the stats in this piece show, Georgia isn’t exactly outclassed.

Comparing the two statistically shows a balanced, well-matched pairing with a spot in the College Football Playoff likely at stake. Both are top-15 in total offense and top-12 in total defense. Georgia is more effective running the ball while Alabama is better with the pass.

Looking at the game-changing measures, both are good on third downs — converting and stopping the opposition. Big plays have also punctuated the offensive production for both the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide while Georgia has done a better job preventing them on defense. In the turnover battle, advantage Alabama.

Georgia lost its composure in Baton Rouge and has spent the following weeks regaining it.  Now on a five-game win streak, the offense has rounded into shape.  In the month of November, Georgia is second in the country in yards per play, averaging a tick over 8 yards every time it touches the ball.  (A significant factor in that is Swift himself, who has been superb as his health issues recede.)

It would be crazy to guarantee a Georgia win, of course.  Alabama is head and shoulders above any other opponent the Dawgs have faced this season.  I’d like to think, though, that the way Georgia has been playing of late means the same situation exists for the Tide.  What I do know is that if Georgia questions itself going into the championship game, it has no chance.  Shoot your shot, boys.

65 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

65 responses to “Fearless

  1. Spike

    We have a punchers chance, and nothing to lose and all the world to gain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RandallPinkFloyd

      This is one of the few advantages that we have – mindset. Spike summed it up. Hopefully, the Bama locker room takes the rat poison of being told they’re possibly in the CFP even with a loss.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 81Dog

    They’re going to make us play it regardless. Let’s just go up there ready to take the win. History is full of invincible teams that ended up getting beat. We owe them one. Just go play your best game, boys.

    Like

  3. Biggus Rickus

    S&P+ gives them close to an even chance. I don’t really expect a win, but I like their chances a hell of a lot better than I did a month ago.

    Like

  4. FarmerDawg

    If UGA does get up in the first half, the team needs to play like they’re behind. The last two times these teams have played UGA has taken its foot off the gas and tried to sit on a modest lead. Score Score and Score some more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Macallanlover

      I don’t know about last TWO times, but you are certainly correct about that happening in January. It wasn’t a complete run the clock out effort in the 2nd half but it wasn’t being conservative that beat them in the 1st half. In the 4th quarter we went away from Fromm and Sony and failed to take some time off the clock in two key drives. I know you don’t won’t a mistake to cost you, but we may have avoided the mistake on the field while committing the mistake on the sideline. That, combined with the horrific 2-3 blown calls in the 2nd half by the Big14 crew, sent the game into overtime. We will never get it back, but we let one get away for sure.

      Like

    • J-DawG

      Kirby has to go into this game with a killer’s instinct and go for the jugular. If it goes into overtime: “use” your timeout this time to set the defense or prime the offense.

      Like

  5. what’s a kid from Jersey doin using the word ain’t? Apparently, he’s learning sountherneze. I liked him already but this is icing on the cake. the worst part is these are quite likely the two best teams in America but at least we’ve got a chance……so what I’m saying is there is a chance. There is a chance ,right? Maybe we’ll get the shot the the Senator wants with tOSU.

    Like

  6. CPark58

    Rocky IV on repeat this week.

    Like

    • Tony Barnfart

      How about they’re Apollo and we’re the Russian (newcomer)….. we can deal with whoever plays Rocky in the future.

      Like

  7. Starbreaker

    The talk about this Bama team sounds so reminiscent of that 2005 USC team heading into the NCG with Texas where they were comparing them to the greatest teams in history before the game even happened…and they lost. Point being…every team is beatable and it’s not like we are UCF rolling in a bunch of 2 and 3 stars playing beyond themselves. We have the horsepower to exchange punches with Bama and I agree with the poster above that we need to be aggressive on offense non-stop, regardless of score. I am glad we are such significant underdogs and you know Kirby will use that all week and we will get the max from every Dawg on Saturday. I’ll be interested to see what types of wrinkles Chaney throws out there as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mick Jagger

    This IS the National Championship Game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Down island way

      We had ’em last year……LOS battle and our staffs ability to adjust plus ST play will get us a W………….GO DAWGS!

      Like

  9. Got Cowdog

    Based on what I saw of the aubrun beatdown, we are going to have to beat the refs again.

    Like

  10. It seems to me like Tua is the real deal and this offense is a different animal than last year’s Bama team. I don’t see us covering all those receivers as Tua is deadly accurate and then also have to stop their run game.

    Fortunately we are peaking right now. I believe our best bet is to trade blows offensively and get into a shootout. Perhaps we can make 1 more play than them in something similar to a Big12 type war.

    I also think we might be able to rattle them a bit if we can go toe to toe as this years Tide team hasn’t played in a close game all year. If I recall correctly it was all smooth sailing for them last year until the Auburn game and they lost their composure a bit. I would love to see a Nick Saban freakout on the sidelines as things go South on them.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Russ

    II’mcerin that we will give Bama a better game than anyone else. If we get them to blink, we have a good shot.

    Like

  12. 2675miller

    Should be interesting to see how this one plays out. I expect UGA to move the ball far better than they did against them last Jan. I expect their offense to smoke our defense like they did in the second half last Jan. UGA needs to get 2 or 3 turnovers to keep it close. If they can do that it will be decided by either our kicking game and the and their 12th man.

    Like

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree 2 or 3 turnovers would be great. Pittman’s OL will need to have a huge game. If we keep Fromm’s jersey clean I’m sure he can put up enough points to win it.

      Like

  13. HiAltDawg

    Why would we be scared? Our Dawgs get input on the final score.

    We’ll beat the SEC Refs on Saturday (you really think Kirbs ain’t preparing for the Refs incompetent selves ?) and then knock Nick Saban’s Golden Horseshoe (rolling the dice with Tua and praying for coverage breakdowns) out of his hindquarters in January. Ain’t no damn 10 ft boogity men in the world. I’ll burn in Hell bettin’ on our Dawgs before I bask in glory bettin’ against them.

    Other than that, Florida SUCKS! and #THWGT!

    Like

  14. Chopdawg

    Great stuff, Senator!

    Like

  15. Derek

    We have to continue to eliminate the big plays. We have to be sure tacklers. Nothing easy. Nothing free. They’re gonna get some points, but make them earn each and everyone. Hope they get impatient and force it.

    D. Walker needs to have the game of his life.

    We have to be able to RTDB in the second half.

    Keep it even. Keep it close. Get to the 4th and hope we’ve got the ball last.

    Like

  16. Wow! I really can’t wrap my mind around a 1 loss, #4 program being a 13 point dog. I know there was talk of us being double digit dogs a couple weeks ago and we discussed this leaving the game Saturday. We all thought 8-9 after our last couple performances and the line ends up higher that we thought. I was thinking 9-10 a couple weeks ago when we were still being sloppy. Yeah, competition the last couple weeks but we also played about as well as you could ask for. I expected the the line to drop but it went the other way.

    I guess I’ve been full homer because I’ve honestly thought the difference between Bama and us this year has been mistakes and execution. Their D is probably a little better but I’ve felt like our O is just as good. That doesn’t equal 2 tds to me. Yeah, the point is to get people to bet but wow.

    Like

    • Derek

      Alabama is scoring 49.0 points per game, behind only Oklahoma’s 50.3.

      Tua leads the SEC with 36 touchdown passes, tops the nation in passing efficiency and is second in the nation in yards per completion at 16.8.

      The Crimson Tide boast five of the top six in the SEC in yards per catch: receivers Jerry Jeudy (an SEC-leading 56 for 1079, 19.3 avg), Jaylen Waddle (37 for 690, 18.7) and DeVonta Smith (27 for 498, 18.4), tight end Irv Smith Jr. (35 for 613, 17.5) and receiver Henry Ruggs (39 for 675, 17.3).

      As for defense look at the senator’s SEC list this week. No. 3 was shut out. No. 5 got shut out at home.

      We’re David with a rock and a slingshot. I thought we had them last year and the side judge fucked us. We may be a slightly better football team than last year but they’re a totally different animal. This is like playing baker mayfield and Oklahoma with the steel curtain playing d.

      It’s a challenge.

      Like

      • Jared S.

        You’ve done a good job of summing up why I’m less sure of our chances against Bama this go round than I was of our chances against Bama in the natty earlier this year.

        Like

  17. Charlottedawg

    Wanna really prove we’re not scared? Wear our black jerseys and tell the fan base to black out the Benz. Then tell them to show up early and hostile. It’s the university of Georgia and the state of Georgia defending their turf against the evil empire to the west, their proxy states in Birmingham, and their paid refs on the field. We’re all we got boys. To paraphrase Winston Churchill “we shall fight in the air, we shall fight on the ground, we will fight on special teams, we will defend our state and our sec championship whatever the cost may be, we will never surrender!”

    Like

  18. Uglydawg.

    Over/Under whatever..THIS TEAM IS ON FIRE!
    Georgia’s going to do some things we haven’t seen yet..and they’ll do them well.
    Tyler Simmons gets payback with a long one.
    Swift gets a lot of yards. Many yards. Impressive runs.
    Holyfield takes it off left tackle and punishes the corners and safeties over and over…he won’t go down..it excites the team!
    The play-fake will be working.
    Fromm is focused and hits his receivers. They catch.
    James Cook gets the ball more…maybe a pass over the middle in space.
    Fields does something really special (Chaney haz a crayon)
    The TEs get the ball at just the right time.
    The defense shows a new twist to pressure Tua.
    Alabama hasn’t been challenged like this, and hasn’t seen a team this excited and talented in almost a year.
    I’m predicting a close game.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Hogbody Spradlin

    We’ll have to play 11 on 19.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Got Cowdog

      One more reason to start hating Alabama: When the ref threw the flag and called the TD back, I almost felt a little tiny tiny bit sorry for aubrun. For just a couple of seconds I let the hate fire dim and for that, the Fighting Nicky’s need to be punished. Go Dawgs.

      Like

  20. I get it- 2018 Bama is one of the best teams ever but I said Saturday night that it should be a game like our last 2 vs Bama if we can play cleaner than we have most of the year. I’ve never thought we were outmatched in talent or coaching but maybe I’m wrong.

    Like

    • MDDawg

      I’ve seen a couple of references here to the last two times we played Bama. I’m guessing you guys mean the last two times we played them in championship games (2012 SECCG and last year’s CFP FInal), or you’ve just blocked out any memory of the 2015 “rain game” debacle. Fun fact: I was there in person to witness all 3 of those games. I’m taking one for the team this year and not attending the game. You can all thank me afterwards.

      In my defense, I was in Tuscaloosa in ’07 to witness our overtime victory against Bama, so it hasn’t been ALL bad. And I wasn’t anywhere near Athens in ’08, so you can’t blame me for that one.

      Like

  21. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Georgia fans being surprised that I bought SECC tickets should have been a sign. Lol!

    Oh well! This is exactly where we’re supposed to be and I’m not really worried. This is a means to an end and I just want to see a relatively clean game and see what happens. Don’t help Bama with play calling or mistakes.

    Like

  22. TomReagan

    I think it’s important to look at game results to see just how dominant this Alabama team has been. My measuring stick has always been 1995 Nebraska. Someone else threw out 2005 USC.

    For comparison’s sake, ’95 Nebraska’s closest game was a 14 point win, and they also had a 28 point demolition of Spurrier’s only undefeated Florida team. 2005 USC obviously had the loss in the title game, but they also had the “Bush push” 3 point win at Notre Dame and a scare against Fresno State where they won by 8 and were losing at halftime.

    Meanwhile, 2018 Bama’s closest game has been a 22 point win over A&M, followed by the 24-0 shutout of Miss State, the 29-0 shutout of LSU, and the 29 point win over Missouri.

    No matter what happens Saturday, this is a historically good Alabama team.

    Having said all of that, I’m like all of y’all in that I feel better and better about the game as the last few weeks have rolled by and we’ve steadily improved. But it’s also watching Auburn run the ball successfully at times against Bama, and how they hung in the game for quite a while despite making lots of mistakes and not playing very well at all themselves.

    Finally, I agree that you never know how Alabama will react if we punch them in the mouth. Remember that it was Alabama who was losing composure in the title game last year, not us.

    Ultimately, besides turnovers which is always a given, I think the way that you beat offensive juggernauts like this Alabama team is to frustrate them offensively and for them to press and to lose their composure. To a large extent, you need them to beat themselves.

    The very fact that we have a legitimate shot on Saturday says a lot about how far we’ve come as a program. It’s a blessing that we’ve got this opportunity in front of us.

    Like

  23. Skeptic Dawg

    The 2018 Dawgs have squeezed every last ounce of juice out of this season. They rolled through the East, dismantled Tech and hammered Auburn. This has been a great season. That being said, Alabama will cover the 13.5 with ease. The LSU defense destroyed the Dawgs and Bama will do the same and then some. Least we forget, Saban has never lost to a former assistant. Ever. There is no shame in losing to the Tide this season. We had our shot last year and blew it. A year later and Alabama is playing on another level while we are rounding into shape and building for 2019. Enjoy the game, watch the Dawgs fight hard, but at the end of the day we are simply not ready to compete with Alabama. We are exactly where most Dawg fans have wanted to be in years past…in the national title discussion with a chance to make the playoffs. Not a bad place to be.

    Like

    • Our best chance is to hope they come out flat and make early mistakes, like many teams do in big games. Maybe we can fluster Tua into making some bad reads, get some stops and give our O time to work. We can not afford to get down early by a couple of scores (a la Oklahoma) because you just don’t come back against a team like Bama has this year. Down by 14 early to that machine might be insurmountable.

      Like

    • Ldawg

      You and Derek are killing my buzz.

      Like

  24. Bulldog Joe

    Tua is good, but the defenses will ensure it will still be a field position game like the last one.

    The kicking game is one of the advantages Georgia has. If the points are there, take them. No need for desperation calls if the game is close. No more screwing around with directional kickoffs on a dry field.

    Georgia learned the lesson the hard way at LSU. Auburn learned it last week in Tuscaloosa.

    Like

  25. DawgPhan

    This Georgia team is much improved over the team from last year. They have done a lot towards closing the gap with Bama and Clemson over the last 5 weeks and have run down Clemson. All 3 of those teams would have been double digit favorites over every team in the playoffs last year.

    Like

    • Turd Ferguson

      In almost every statistical category, we’re better on offense, but worse on defense, than we were last year. So, as many others are saying, our best bet is probably to get into some kind of Big-12-style shootout, and just hope they make a couple mistakes.

      Like

  26. CPark58

    IF the Dawgs are still in it in the 4th, a long HotRod FG wins it. With that said, that is one hell of an “IF”.

    UGA can run with Bama and had the players to trade punches but they have to keep it close. Let Bama shake loose for a couple cheap scores and they will squeeze you to death. Force them to make second half adjustments and be one step ahead of them coming out of the half. There are no comebacks against Alabama.

    Like

  27. Jeff Sanchez

    And our reward for puling out a gusty, “impossible” win?

    Beat them again two games later.

    Like

    • No way Ohio State is left out this year over a non SEC champ Bama IMHO. It would be Clemson, ND, UGA, OSU.

      Like

      • Jeff Sanchez

        Nope. Michigan, maybe, but tOSU’s loss to Purdue keeps them out.

        That’s one of many reasons I was pulling for the Wolverines Saturday

        Like

      • Uglydawg.

        Haven’t seen much discussion about ND..They looked very ordinary and slow against USC the other night. I don’t think they’re even top 10…much less top 4. I guess most people just accept that ND get in if there is ever a smidgen of an argument for them.
        I would love to see them have to play ‘Bama, UGA or Clemson. Looks like I’ll get that wish.. But I’m betting they pair the SEC winner with Clemson to avoid another Deep South final.
        The path you want…play ND first..because they’re about as good as Vandy.

        Like

    • Bulldog Joe

      Both Oklahoma’s and Ohio State’s ADs are now on the playoff committee.

      If they both win, I am confident the SECC loser is out.

      Like

  28. AusDawg85

    I’m taking the points and believing in our one clear advantage…Rodrigo! 😎

    If Bama wins the NC, then they will have likely beaten #4 UGA, #4 tOSU, #2 Clemson in a row for an undefeated season. I can think of no team in the history of CFB with that great of a resume. Then again, if we win, we likely take down #1, #2 ND, and #1 Clemson for an all time UGA’s greatest rematches march to glory!

    Like

  29. Randall Adams

    Perfectly stated

    Like

  30. Will Trane

    Is Mel Tucker a better DC than Tosh Lupoi?
    And is Chaney a better OC than Mike Locksley?
    The L& L guys are not exactly from SEC stock, but Locksley was RB coach at UF ’03-“04.
    Both are well traveled, and no doubt both coaches are putting top teams on each side of the ball.
    The key coach for me will be Pittman and his players.
    How much depth does he have, and how physical will they be against 92 and 99.
    If the Oline gets the push from the gate, and never backs off, well it could get interesting as long as Tucker and Smart can get Baker and company to have some turnovers against Locksley.
    Be weary of the Tides running game. Their senior center is as good a they get. Can Gillard and Pittman match the Bama Oline.
    For Bama this will be the biggest Oline they have seen.
    Time for some of that, what they say over on the other side of the river, time for the Dawgs to put in some Rammer, Jammer, Yeller, Hammer time.
    The entire betting world does not have a plug nickel on the Dawgs, nor does the sports media give us a chance in hell.

    Like

  31. TMC DAWG

    My wife has a saying, and she doesn’t know jack about football. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day! GO DAWGS!,,

    Like

  32. ugafidelis

    It’s our line(s) health/depth that concerns me.

    Like

  33. Turd Ferguson

    If I were just a bit more conspiratorial, I’d think “the powers that be” would very much like to see a close Georgia victory on Saturday, basically assuring that the SEC yet again occupies 1/2 of the playoff.

    Like