Outsiders, looking in

If you’re looking for some non-interested parties’ takes on the Georgia-Alabama game, I can steer you to a couple of places.

First, here’s 247Sports’ Barton & Bud.  I do think Bud Elliott is right about this:

I do think it is important that Georgia starts fast. I know Georgia has had comebacks, but I don’t like UGA playing from behind. And Alabama safety Jordan Battle is out for the first half for the carryover for the targeting ejection in the second half of the Ole Miss game. Georgia needs to take some shots down the field and connect with them. It is hard to see Georgia winning this game without George Pickens and Kearis Jackson winning down the field.

Especially his starting fast point.  The Dawgs won’t survive another slow first half start by the offense against a team as good and explosive on offense as Alabama is.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel spoke with some NFL scouts and assistant coaches to get their takes on the two teams’ personnel.  A few observations to whet your appetite:

  • On Alabama’s defense:  “They’ve downgraded at defensive back and their pass rush has taken a hit,” said an NFL scout. “They aren’t generating as much pressure as they usually are.”
  • More, on same:  “He runs a 4-2-5 and normally plays two [safeties] on the roof,” said a coach. “That’s because his defensive line is so good, they can play a six-man box. That isn’t the case anymore. He has to cheat some sort of coverage, which exposes the nickel.”
  • On Georgia’s defense:  “It’s as good of as defense as you’ll see in the country,” said an opposing assistant coach. “In the neighborhood of a defense like Clemson back in 2018.”
  • More on Georgia’s defense:  “They are strong, they play fast,” an NFL scout said. “Lanning has killed it. They have a good rotation, they are deep, they don’t have any holes.”
  • Jordan Davis:  “He’s a beast,” the coach said. “He looks like [former Bama star] Quinnen Williams playing nose guard.”
  • On Alabama’s offense:  “Steve Sarkisian is really just toying with you, obviously,” said an opposing assistant. “If he wants to line up and hand [the ball off] 40 times, they are going to win. Throw it 45 times, they’re going to win the game. It’s a matter of what he chooses to do.”
  • On Stetson Bennett:  “He can’t see it between the tackles,” said an opposing coach. “He does a good enough job not to get them beat. Is he going to take a game over? No.”

Perhaps the most surprising take, and one that honestly doesn’t reflect what’s happened so far this season, is this:  “In the SEC, the best defense usually wins. And it’s clear who has the best defense.”

Thamel is predicting a 21-17 Georgia win.  All I can say is that if Georgia holds that ‘Bama defense offense under twenty points, Kirby Smart is truly a wizard.


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

26 responses to “Outsiders, looking in

  1. Can’t go 3 and out. Key of the game imo.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Spell Dawg

      Exactly, but I’d add can’t get scared if we go 3 and out the first few drives. Can’t allow an interception or sacks to force a revert to pounding the rock. 3 straight Zeus runs between the tackles is playing to their strengths. Maybe this will finally be James Cook’s coming out party…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly…the D is elite, but if they are on the field the entire 1st half, you’re asking the impossible to expect them to hang with Bama’s athletes. Ideally I would like to see a 1st half like the game vs. AU and a 2nd half like the game vs. UT. Come out on time, aggressive and move the ball and put points on the board, then have the D play with their hair on fire the 2nd half and make life miserable for Jones back there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I’ve said many times when Georgia and Alabama play, the first team to 30 wins. I’m not sure we’re going to be the first there … I rarely pick against Georgia, but 34-27 bad guys sounds about right to me.

    I really would like a good crow au vin recipe for a late night meal on Saturday night/Sunday morning.


  3. Dean Patterson

    I believe you have a mistake in that last sentence, Senator. I think Kirby wants to hold Bama’s “offense” to under 20 points.


  4. willypmd

    I think we are going to have success running the ball and attacking the middle of the field.

    I like our special teams for hidden yardage as well.

    I do think Bama is going to get some yardage but ultimately think the dawgs win by forcing some field goals

    33- 27 type game with pretty even yardage totals, but we rein the rushing yard battles


  5. biggusrickus

    I don’t really get the Bennett comment. I’ve seen no evidence that he can’t see the middle of the field. it sounds like something one would just assume because he’s short. His problems so far have been getting the occasional ball tipped (an inevitability when you’re 5’9″ and have a low release point), delivering it a little late and not being as precise as you’d like on some throws.

    As much as I would love Georgia to hold Alabama under 20, I can’t really see a scenario where that happens. If they somehow manage it, though, the score won’t be as close as 21-17.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yea I don’t get that comment either. Seems like we’ve been utilizing the middle of the field quite well, so he must see SOMETHING. Tipped balls will be the issue, however honestly there were times it happened to Jake and Aaron too. He got to find those throwing windows for sure.


  6. dawg100

    ESPN: Saban’s current team will face a Bulldogs squad that basically represents the Ghost of Bama’s Past. The Crimson Tide have the No. 1 offense in the country per SP+, and Smart’s Dawgs have the No. 1 defense.

    We obviously don’t know where these teams will finish, but the teams with the best year-end offense and defense have played only six times in the past 70 years.

    The team with the best defense won five of six … the lone exception last year when Georgia lost to Joe Burrow and LSU in the 2019 SEC championship game.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A 21-17 prediction is stupid.

    Also, judging by recent experience I can’t help but think we’d be better off down a TD at halftime than up two TDS at halftime.


  8. Najee Harris could be the difference. He is elite. We don’t have anything close to him, although #22 looks promising. I am afraid the jury is back on Zeus, and it ain’t good.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. charlottedawg

    I don’t get the comment on Stetson, the middle of the field is where he likes to throw it. That being said, I am concerned about his ceiling and that this is the game where his fairy tale turns into a pumpkin.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. NotMyCrossToBear

    Their nickel back is a true freshman. I like our odds if he ends up man on man with Kearis.


  11. TN Dawg

    I almost want to disagree with the idea that we need a hot start, in spite of what seems to be the obvious wisdom (is it even wisdom, really?) that being ahead is a good thing.

    Protecting a lead in bigger games has been an Achilles heel for us in recent years.

    A weird part of me almost wants to be tied or down a field goal entering the 4th quarter.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Russ

    We’ve started hot the last two times we played them, and our offense isn’t that much worse than those games. I can see us getting off to a good start. We just need to have a good finish for a change. With this defense, I like our chances.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Austen Bannan

    The Bennett assessment seems off when a lot of his offense is staying in the pocket and throwing intermediate slants over the middle. He may still be in a for a tough game, but it will be because of coverages and pressure, not his height per say.

    I personally do not think UGA will get off to a fast start. Instead, I want UGA to get off to a CLEAN start. Pick up a few first downs, punt it deep, keep Bama within 7 points early on, and then the offense will start to click as UGA tries its best to wear Bama down on both sides of the ball. Sounds crazy to dream that is possible, but Bama used to do that against even elite teams once upon a time, and UGA might have the depth to do it if it executes well.

    30-28 Dawgs. Bama up 7-3 after 1 and 14-13 after 2. UGA up 23-21 after 3. Despite the 2 point margin, it will feel even better than that for UGA because Bama will be fatigued in the end, and UGA will be kneeling on the ball at the Bama 20 yard line after a 6 minute drive to run the clock out.


  14. FlyingPeakDawg

    Nick has handed his custom sports car keys to his teenage son with instructions to be careful. Meanwhile, the neighborhood hot rodder is out front revving the engine. Sark is going to feel pressure if we can get out to a fast start and the D/ST can keep Bama pinned deep and bogged down.

    But that is a damn good car. Harris scares me. If he makes 4 yards per carry, the game gets easy for Jones to convert 3rd downs and Sark will take his deep shots with those receivers. We need to score…fast…and often. I actually expect a bit of a shootout which is good for us. Dawgs win on the final drive 37-34.


  15. RangerRuss

    Go on and purchase some primo vodka for Sunday morning celebration. A crisp, cool new day is going to dawn on us Dawg fans.