It is no secret to say that in recent years Georgia has not faired well when it comes to facing off against the Alabama Crimson Tide. While the Bulldogs have proven that they are capable of taking down one of the greatest dynasties in college football history, there are three things that they must do on Saturday to win complete the task in this football game.
1. Stay Disciplined
Alabama has certainly had its fair share of close calls this season, and in each of those games, there is an obvious trend that plays a part. Teams who want to keep it close with Bama and stay in a position to win the game have to keep mistakes to a minimum. Arkansas, Texas A&M, LSU, and Auburn all either won or lost their game against Alabama by one score and they all also committed fewer penalties than Alabama.
The good news for Georgia is that they currently rank 16th in the nation in penalties committed this season while Alabama ranks 106th. In order for Georgia to stay in a good position to win on Saturday, they are going to have to remain disciplined and continue their trend of being one of the least penalized teams in the country.
2. Protect the Football
Another thing that sticks out when looking at the box score of teams who played Alabama close is the turnover margin. The four teams that are listed above managed to keep turnovers to a minimum while also creating a turnover or two of their own.
Football is a game of possessions. The more possessions you have the more opportunities a team has of scoring which also means if a team is being careless with the ball then the opposing team is going to get more opportunities on their end as well. Georgia has not been elite this season when it comes to winning the turnover margin, but it is something they will have to do on Saturday to take down Alabama. The Bulldogs may not have to force any turnovers to win, but they definitely have to keep the ball in their hands.
3. Hit Your Shots
Looking back at last year's matchup against Alabama, one of the biggest reasons why Georgia lost that game was the lack of execution in hitting their deep shots. Opportunities to gash a defense like Alabama's down the field for a big gain do not come very often, so it is crucial that a team takes advantage of those opportunities when the time comes.
On the plus side, Georgia has done an exceptional job at hitting their deep shots this year. Offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, has done a great job at drawing up the right plays at the right time and more times than not the offense has delivered this season in those situations. Stetson Bennett has statistically been the most productive quarterback on throws 20 yards or more in the country. That trend will have to continue when Saturday arrives.
Kirby Smart is (0-3) against Alabama, he's led all three games at halftime. Georgia fans are well aware of the stats, as are Alabama fans, if Georgia is up they simply have to finish.
Georgia does not have to play a perfect game in order to defeat Alabama on Saturday. However, it is crucial that they stay within themselves, remain disciplined throughout the entirety of the game, and punch Alabama in the mouth when they get their chances. If the Bulldogs do those things, they will be in a great position to bring home an SEC title and secure the No. 1 spot in the college football playoff.
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