Dawgs and Tide: Who’s Punching a Ticket to Miami?

By Elliott Strauss

This Saturday, the Georgia Dome will play host to the biggest game in the SEC so far this season.  With important upsets to the #1 and #2 teams in the nation, Kansas State and Oregon, respectively, the path is clear for the winner of the Alabama Georgia game to take the second spot in the National Championship game against Notre Dame.  It’s an intriguing matchup between two 11-1 teams with the entire season at stake.  The loser will most likely be left out of a BCS bowl altogether and could easily slip to the SEC’s 4th or 5th bowl spot, such as the Outback Bowl or the Capital One Bowl.  The winner has a chance to be the seventh straight SEC team to take college football’s top prize.

Alabama’s defense is possibly the best in the nation and something that UGA will be preparing for all week.  They have four shutouts this season and the lowest points against in I-A with only 9.3 per game.  They are coming off of a 49-0 drubbing of Auburn, a team that the Bulldog’s easily handled 38-0.  Nick Saban, coach of the defending champs, earlier in the season made the remark that his defense could go head to head with lower tier NFL teams.  Although this might have been an exaggeration, UGA needs to get a strong showing from QB Aaron Murray and their great duo of running backs, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, if they are going to score on the Tide.  It is possible, though: Texas A&M put up 20 points in the first quarter alone while handing Alabama its only loss so far, a 29-24 defeat.

Georgia’s defensive core isn’t too bad either, but it has gone through some serious struggles at times this season.  They are led by potential #1 draft pick LB Jarvis Jones, along with safety Shawn William and linebacker Alec Ogletree, who are also projected to have high NFL stock.  The Dawgs crushed Georgia Tech 42-10 this past weekend and easily handled their triple option attack.  They will be facing a more traditional offense led by quarterback AJ McCarron and running back TJ Yeldon.  The defense has had some terrible games this year; Tennessee and South Carolina both put up a ton of points against Todd Grantham’s group.  But if they show up like against Florida, a game where the #2 Gators only scored 9 points, than Georgia has a chance for the upset.

The last time the teams met was in 2008 during the “blackout” game in Sanford Stadium.  Alabama spoiled the massive game for the #1 Bulldogs by winning 41-30 on national TV.  This time, the stakes are higher.  The winner has a chance to bring home a BCS title; Alabama is looking to be a back-to-back champion for the first time in the BCS era, while Georgia hasn’t won a title since 1980 (against who? Notre Dame, of course).  To conclude, here is a video Alec Ogletree making a Georgia Tech player look like a child as he tosses him like a rag doll.  Let’s hope for a trip to Miami on January 7!





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