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Gonna be a fun week boys. Two SEC heavyweights, ranked 2nd and 3rd going at it - what else do you want? Let's take a look at the matchups, shall we? I tried to be as non-Gump as possible!
Quarterback - edge: Alabama
But only slightly based on McCarron's experience. Winning a national championship with more big-game experience and the benefit of Bama's OL gives AJ a slight nod here. However, Murray's play will likely be the difference in the game one way or the other, and he's playing very, very well right now. Both are solid players, but AJ's gotten it done when it matters.
Running back - edge: Even
I think Georgia's combo is probably better in terms of overall running ability/athleticism, but I think Bama's are more complete in pass protection, which will be huge in this game. Don't see an edge here unless tipping it Ga's way due to Yeldon fumbling in two crucial moments this year. Still think this is even though.
Wide receivers - edge: Even
Both have young kids with big-time, Sunday afternoon potential (Malcolm Mitchell - UGA, Amari Cooper - Bama), and both have veterans who have made plays in big moments (Tavarres King - UGA, Kevin Norwood - Bama). Injuries have plagued both units.
Offensive line - edge: Bama
To me, this is the clearest edge on either side of the ball, and it could be the decisive one. Although UGA will counter with a good DL, it isn't better than LSU's. Aside from a bad 3rd quarter vs the Tigers, the Tide moved the ball well (166 yards rushing) against the nation's 10th-best rush defense. Barrett Jones should be able to handle Georgia NT John Jenkins, and Chance Warmack may be the best player on the field regardless of position.
Georgia's center, David Andrews, will probably struggle against Jesse Williams. He's going to need help. True freshman RT John Theus will have to be ready to pick up the different blitz looks Bama throws at him.
Both teams have good TEs who could be effective.
Defensive line - edge: Georgia
Both teams have really tough NTs and rotate a lot of players, and Georgia is probably a tad deeper here. It will be interesting to see if Georgia continues to use Geathers and Jenkins together at the same time to get bigger and tougher up front against a great Bama OL.
Linebackers - edge: Georgia
But not as lopsided as Bacarri Rambo probably thinks. Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree are athletic, great players, and obviously the Tide will have to account for where #29 is at all times. He's been a game changer. Bama counters with a rotation of CJ, Nico and DePriest inside, depending on formations. Tons of big-game experience there. Which unit will hold up better against the other's OL, though? The Tide will need a great game from Hubbard.
Secondary - edge: Even
Dee Milliner will be the best corner on the field. Rambo is a head-hunter. Robert Lester is a 3-yr starter. Bama's secondary was "exposed," some say, against LSU and aTm. Both QBs had the games of their lives, and Manziel does things Murray can't do. The Tide is not as elite as a unit as they were last year, but much better than they showed in those two games. This matchup - against Georgia's WRs - is going to be even IMO.
Special teams - edge: Bama
Although Bama's coverage units have been shaky at times this year, they tend to come up very big with everything on the line. It will be interesting to see how the Tide does against UGA's punt coverage unit. I've seen Georgia use too many backups and club-footed white boys on the the punt team - that cost them against SC this year and vs LSU last year.
Coaching - edge: Even
My Gump brethren are going to laugh at me here. Yes, I like Saban-Smart vs Richt-Bobo. A lot. But I also think Grantham will have that defense ready against Nussmeier. I don't think this is the big advantage that most of us think it will be. I think it's a wash.
Intangibles - edge: Georgia
Although it's apples and oranges to an extent, this Georgia team reminds me of the Bama teams of 08-09. We got there one year, weren't ready, couldn't get it done. Came back the next year hungrier, motivated, got it done. Can Georgia do that? Personally, as a program, I think the Tide is more battle-tested and a tougher team mentally. Just my opinion. And I think Georgia is here largely on athletic talent.
But ... hungry, motivated cats are very, very dangerous, which is why I give Georgia the edge on intangibles. Which Georgia team will be there? The one that looked anything but championship-like vs South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, or the one that has steam-rolled everyone since Florida? My gut tells me the latter.
Overall pick: If the Tide starts fast, executes and avoids turnovers and punches Georgia right in the mouth from the get-go, something South Carolina did ... and not allow the Dawgs to get into any kind of rhythm, then Georgia could be in big trouble, no matter how much momentum Georgia has coming off wins over Southern, Ole Miss, Auburn, etc. But does the Tide have its mojo back? I think so.
Reading that not real sure how you came up with 27-17 Bama haha. You got me more worried than I already was. But I agree with just about everything you said. Except I like our WR's and LBs as a group better than UGAs. I know they have some studs but I think we are deeper and have overall better players.
Bama 31 UGA 20
This post was edited by VinnyVega 20 months ago
Good analysis, I concur with all of this.
:-) I hear ya. I think it all depends on how we start. We need to take a giant dump on them right off the bat. Let them know this ain't Tennessee or Ole Miss or even Florida ... WHO HAD TO BLOCK A PUNT TO BEAT U-La-La.
Good discussion topic and anaylysis.
I do not think their WR's are better than ours. IMO Cooper is better than Mitchell and Norwood is better than Brown. I would also take Jones over King too. If Bennet were not out for them I would agree that we are even. King has done very little the last few weeks. It appears his production has went down since Bennet was injured. I don't watch UGA close enough to know if his role has changed as a WR or not because of Bennets injury. Maybe he is no longer matched up against a third DB?
Also, liked your comment on the coaching. I think you are correct. If this was a bowl game and we had more time to prepare then I would give us the advantage. With just one week to prepare we aren't going to show anything new.
I'll be honest. The more I hear the national "experts" say that our d line can't get pressure and calling out our defense the more confident I get. I have a feeling that our defensive line is going to play with a chip on their shoulders and prove something Saturday!
And for those who get worried about people pumping up Erin Murray (yeah, I spelled it with an E), and giving Ga the edge over AJ, I give you this:
vs. Florida 12-24, 150 yds, 3 INTs, TD (on a short route that Mitchell broke)
vs. S Car 11-39, 109 yds, INT
I would have made this a clear edge for Bama, but I do think Erin is playing much better now.
Geathers and Jenkins are terrible though, it doesn't matter if they have players that are not very good. Way too big basically big block eaters that are easy to move. Jones is a good player but we are so much deeper at LB than they are...
Look I try to not to be a homer but I don't see how anybody could argue that they have a better front seven? Our rushing defense is number 2 in the country, they check in at number 67 giving up a full yard and a half more PER CARRY. Do you realize how huge a number that is? And they didn't even play LSU or A&M.
But what about the pass rush you might ask? Despite what our fans believe to be a poor pass rush, we have more sacks (30 vs 24) and QB hurries on the season than UGA and average a half sack more per game and one and a half more QB hurries per game. We played a tougher schedule, at best for UGA it was even and they didn't even try to find any competition out of conference.
If those stats were close, I guess you could look at ways to justify it but given that it's not even close by any means I just don't see that argument holding water. If they have a better defense, particulary a better front seven, then you are going to really really get creative to prove that because the stats are hugely in UA's favor.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by manbearpig7 20 months ago
Let me preface this by saying that I think Bama wins by a couple of TDs. But to only look at the overall rankings IMO is not a indicator of what we will see on Saturday. If you compare just the last 5 games of the year then Bama and UGA are very close in overall Defense. Using their overall statistics where they gave up nearly 400 yards a game to their first 5 awful opponents is not indicative of the team we will play on Saturday either IMO.
I can only imagine how bad our stats would look if we had Milliner, Lester, Mosley, and another D starter out. B/c that is what UGA had at the beginning of the year. It also takes time for those guys to gel and they seem to have done so over the last half of the season.
Against conference opponents UGA is third in scoring (ahead of LSU), and 4th in overall Defense. That isn't great but it sure isnt' some huge discrepancy either. Addd to that the fact that they are only giving up 125 yds a game in conference on the ground (which is only 15 more than LSU and less YPC allowed than LSU).
Like I said, I think Bama wins b/c we show up to play and have some of our issues worked out. But IMO to act like this UGA defense that yielded nearly 400 ypg (against terrible competitioon) over the first 5 weeks is the same defense that has allowed less than 3 ypc over the last 5 is not accurate IMO.
Here would be mine...will explain more later.
QB - even; two very efficient and experienced players with Murray being a little more consistent with accuracy and AJ being better in big games.
RB - UA; both are explosive; UA's groups more well-rounded and experienced
WR – even; Cooper is a lot better wide receiver than Mitchell but King is certainly more accomplished, experienced and consistent than Kevin Norwood. From a depth standpoint both teams have been bitten with White and Bell out of UA and Brown and Bennett out for UGA.
OL – UA. No questions here and have gotten better as the year has gone on. UA’s is better in every position on the offensive line.
DL – UA. Again no question here. UGA has a hard time stopping the run and they can’t shed blocks inside.
LB. UA slightly. Jones is a wonderful player and Ogletree is very solid but UA is so deep here. Mosley will be the best defensive player on the field (yes including Jones) and Depriest is coming on well. The outside LBs are tremendous at shutting down the edges in the running game, highly underrated in that regard.
Secondary. Even. Milliner and Belue are better than Commings and Smith but Swann is a significant upgrade over our third option in pure coverage (mostly Vinny) which has been a HUGE weakness lately in the passing game. Neither Rambo or Lester are truly great prospects but both are good college players with Rambo being a little bit more aggressive (sometimes to a fault). I will take us at the second safety position.
Coaching. UA. This one is not close obviously. Saban is a better coach than Mark Ritch in basically every conceivable objective measure. I guess the soft schedule and the number 22 ranked total defense has got some back on the Grantham bandwagon but I am not impressed.
Intangibles. Even, I do think there is some to your argument that UGA will be extremely motivated for their first chance at a NC in 30 years but I also think that there is something to the who has been there before argument. This could be more like us in 2008 than 2009.
I will not pick a score yet but I do think you will be pretty close. I would expect UA to very slightly cover the 8pt line.
This post was edited by manbearpig7 20 months ago
I think you are getting creative only to show that we have at worst a slight edge at DL and LB?
Your charaterization of who they had out is somewhat cute but Ogletree isn't Mosley and Ogletree and Rambo played against UT, South Carolina, and Kentucky and the other playes were back before that I think.
Some would say unfair to compare the last five games on the season when we obviously played one of the best offenses in the country in Texas A&M and they didn't play anybody in the top 25 and barely anybody (Ole Miss) in the top 50. LSU's offense obviously turned it on significantly in the back half of the season and since the Bama game they have been putting up almost 400 yds of offense per game in the SEC.
GA did beat UF, needed six turnovers to do it but they beat them.
Anyway, I appreciate the effort and appreciate that it's not as bad as the stats early in the season would indicate but I don't see how you could legitimate and seriously say they have a better front seven.
You get out of it what you put into it!
I didn't say that the players they lose were as good. That still doesn't take away the fact that they are starters on their teams. Starting at the same positions I mentioned as the starters on our team. I also did not include USC or Kentucky in what I was saying (though those numbers would be brutal I'm sure). It is my opinion that even if you get players back it is not out of the question to assume 2 players that missed two games to start the year and 2 players that missed 4 games to start the year would take a few games to gel.
One could also make the argument that UGA didn't play the worst team in DIV 1AA either. I'm sure that didn't skew our numbers at all.
I never said their front 7 was better. Just that the team that will show up on Saturday is not the team that gave up huge chuncks of yards and points the first 7 games of the year.
I believe that the teams we played were worse offensively than the teams they played. AU is ranked less than 100 in total yds, and LSU and Miss st are both ranked under 75. Add to that the worst team in Div 1 and you have 4 terrible offenses that we played. A&M is obviously as good as anyone.
MIss is top 50 and Ga. Tech is top 30, UF sux and so does AU but Ga. Southern is as good as it gets in 1AA.
Overall I would give them an edge if I have to but didn't mention it in my original post b/c I thought iwas irrelevant but consiidering you brought it up I thought I should address. it.
Like I said, I don't think they are going to win. But they are much better defensively with starters back that have had a chance to play a few games together.
This post was edited by cwaters2 20 months ago
this Bama defense has not played up to it's potential all year. Whay would they start now ?
Even Auburn found Belue and Lester out of position.
If someone doesn't have concerns about our secondary and ability to get pressure on the QB, they haven't been paying attention (that includes the Auburn game).
Our secondary almost always appears "out of position" when the QB has 4 + seconds to tAke a long casual look over the field. That and when Vinnie is in coverage.
Well it just shows how silly this is if we have to argue exactly five games vs. five games to keep this close. Haha, you know OK, but realize you are picking the only possible arbitrary period to give you an argument. You should be a lawyer, anyway I disagree with the idea that only those five games count but you know whatever I will argue it.
Over that five game period, we both played a 1AA team so I will toss that game out. We played one common opponent (Auburn) and that game was over at halftime for both teams so it’s basically irrelevant and I will toss it out as well. These exclusions work in your favor.
OK so we played Mississippi State (7-0), @LSU (7-1), and A&M (7-2) at the back half of a five game SEC stretch and all of which were top 15 teams at the time and you want to compare that to Florida (7-0 and neutral), Ole Miss (5-3) and Georgia Tech (6-5 in the ACC). Hell, it’s not that ridiculous I guess. Just obviously note that you are comparing their best games of the year to our worst and justifying a reason for that analysis to be the right one to use.
So in that selection of games 100% designed to put the argument in your favor we have up about 3.0 yards per carry and they gave up 3.2 yards per carry. We both had 9 sacks. We did give up almost a yard more in the passing game, added by a ridiculous completion percentage from the guy that will win the Heisman trophy. I guess about even performance from the front seven if you consider these three games.
Now the average total offense ranking in those three games we faced was 52 and the average they faced was 58. I don’t think that accurately reflects LSU’s offense but so be it. Either way, we clearly have a slight edge even in the most ridiculous sample of comparison.
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