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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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5 things to watch for during SEC championship

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Photo by Photo by C. Morgan Engel

Head Coach Nick Saban said after the game that this was one played in a tough atmosphere.

1. A frustrating offensive game for Georgia
For Georgia, this may be the end of the road in terms of making it to the College Football Playoff. Although the Bulldogs have reloaded in the backfield, it is clear that it will not be the most effective attack against Alabama’s loaded front. The Crimson Tide has held its opponents to six rushing touchdowns all year and 115 rushing yards per game. Alabama has held previous opponents to 1.2 passing touchdowns per game, making their defense fun to watch. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm has improved since last season, but his performances would not be enough to beat a team like Alabama. Realistically, Fromm would need to put up at least four passing touchdowns and no have no turnovers if Georgia wants any chance of beating the Tide. If Fromm puts up a performance like he did against LSU, it will be a rough afternoon in Atlanta.
2. A prolific game from Tua Tagovailoa
This year has brought a larger than life performance from the sophomore quarterback. Tagovailoa has put up incredible numbers this year to say the least, and it doesn’t seem to slow down for big games. As the frontrunner for the Heisman trophy this season, he is also more efficient on average than the 2017 Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. Tagovailoa also comes off the best performance of the season against Auburn with 324 yards, five touchdowns and no picks. He has been the most important component to the Alabama team this year and will continue to show that until it’s over.
3. Home field advantage for Georgia
Just like last year, the Bulldogs have a home field feeling for this game since it will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. This is also the same field the two teams last met for the National Championship game, where Alabama survived in overtime 26-23. With similar stakes, there is no doubt Georgia fans will be trying to give the Crimson Tide as much trouble as possible.
4. Battle of the defenses
There is no doubt that both Alabama and Georgia boast two of the best defenses in the nation. Up front, the rushing game is diluted for any opposing team’s offense. Both teams are allowing less than four rushing yards per attempt and hardly allowing rushing touchdowns. Georgia’s passing defense is even better, allowing only 175 passing yards per game and 0.9 touchdowns per game in the air.
5. What’s on the line
For both teams, a win here is a automatic ticket to the College Football Playoff. Even with a loss from Alabama, it would be a hard team to keep out because of the impressive performances against top teams in the SEC West. In consecutive weeks, the Tide shut out LSU on the road and Mississippi State, and gave Texas A&M much more than they could handle. If Georgia wins, Alabama would fall from the top spot and the Bulldogs would make their entrance at fourth in the College Football Playoff. Georgia would undoubtedly be out with a loss in this game, already having a loss earlier this season at LSU.

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