Okay, I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass, either. Alabama’s offense is good enough to be the difference maker today, and probably will be.
That being said, I stand by my earlier post that the Dawgs have more than a puncher’s chance. The path to winning is, admittedly, a little narrow. (Usual caveat about a turnover barrage applies, natch.) On offense, Georgia has to be able to run the ball, for two reasons: one, it’s how Chaney best sets up the passing game and, two, the more time Georgia can chew clock on offense, the less time there will be for Tua to have his hands on the ball.
On defense — and this has to be one of the weirdest things I’ve ever written on the blog — I think Smart and Tucker have to let ‘Bama beat them with the running game. I know, I know, but, again, running the ball eats clock and that allows Georgia to shorten the game. Also, Alabama is first in the conference in pass plays of 20+ yards. It’s seventh in run plays of 20+ yards. When you play bend but don’t break defense, go where the math leads you.
The thing is, I don’t know for sure if the Dawgs can do either, although I feel better about the former than the latter. My concern is that if Alabama is successful through the air and blazes out to an early lead, that’s going to put pressure on Chaney and the offense to match that, and I don’t see how Georgia wins by throwing a lot.
If you break down the oddsmakers and pundits on the spread, essentially Georgia has about a one in three chance of winning today. In line with that, I see three scenarios. The first is that Alabama’s offense steamrolls Georgia’s defense and the Tide cruises its way to a comfortable win. The second is a back and forth struggle with ‘Bama prevailing in in the end, kind of like last year. The third, of course, sees Georgia pull out the close win.
My head and heart have argued plenty about games this season, but on this one, they’re both in agreement. Dawgs cover, but ultimately fall a little short.
I won’t complain if I picked the wrong team to win, though. GATA, Dawgs.
Have at it in the comments. Try to control your early angst a little, though, okay? You don’t always know. Even when you think you do.