KIRBY SMART HEAD COACH – Smart leads Georgia to its second National Championship appearance since he took the reins as head coach. Again, Georgia will face Alabama, the Bulldogs’ kryptonite to this point. Smart and his staff were out coached during Georgia’s 41-24 loss to the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship. The narrative that Smart cannot beat Saban will be prevalent all week. So, it is now up to Kirby to make adjustments in order to get his first win over his former boss and bring a national title back to Athens.
STETSON BENNETT (QB #13) – Stetson Bennett again shut his doubters up by winning the Orange Bowl Offensive MVP. Bennett was decisive with his throws and used his legs when needed to get away from a good Michigan pass rush. He will have to avoid the interceptions that he threw against Alabama in the first go around but Bennett has proved that he is capable of playing well in big moments. Now, he is just one win away from a storybook ending.
JAMES COOK (RB #4) – Cook was phenomenal in Georgia’s win over Michigan, showing his versatility and speed on multiple occasions. His ability in the passing game is what sets him apart from Georgia’s other backs, racking up 99 yards receiving yards and a touchdown in the Orange Bowl. Speed kills, so if the Bulldogs are to stretch the field against Alabama, Cook should get 10 or more touches.
BROCK BOWERS (TE #19) – Bowers set records with his performance against Alabama in the SEC Championship game with 10 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. As the best tight end in college football, he will be a mismatch for any defense, even one with as much speed as the Crimson Tide defense has. If Alabama keys in on Bowers, Todd Monken can use him as a decoy to open up throws down the field. Also, Georgia fans should be happy they get two more seasons of Bowers, he truly is a special player.
NAKOBE DEAN (LB #17) – Dean was all over the field in Georgia’s win over Michigan. All signs point to this being Dean’s last game in a Bulldogs uniform, as he is projected to be a first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, he will be remembered as one of the best linebackers to ever play at Georgia with one more dominant performance. His speed and instincts make him one of the smartest players on the team.
TRAVON WALKER (DE #44) – Alabama played a really fast, up-tempo style against Georgia the first time these two teams matched up. That kept players like Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt off the field at times for Georgia. Travon Walker is Georgia’s most athletic defensive lineman, so his conditioning will be key. The Bulldogs did not have a sack against Alabama the first time. That cannot happen again if Georgia wants to win this time.