Stymie the Run – Tua Tagovailoa has been the most dynamic quarterback in the country this season and will likely win the Heisman Trophy. But when it comes to slowing down the most dominant offense in college football, it starts with run defense. With the best offensive line in the country – Georgia is right on Bama’s heels – and dynamic talent at all the skill positions, if Bama’s offense gets rolling on the ground, it’s curtains. Georgia’s run defense has had its struggles this season, and will have to be at its best and deliver a performance similar to the one at Kentucky, where the Bulldogs held Benny Snell and the Wildcats to 84 yards on the ground. Of course this is a much, much different animal.
Disrupt Tua – If the run game is going, and he has time, well, you know how that story ends. Bama’s receivers are lethal, with Jerry Jeudy the most explosive of the bunch. Getting to Tua through that tremendous line is tough, so don’t expect six or seven sacks. Just making him uncomfortable should give the Bulldogs at least a chance to slow down this potent offense. Georgia’s defensive front has to be stellar, and the secondary must make the plays.
Dominate Special Teams – If there is one area where Georgia should have the edge, it is in the kicking game. When Rodrigo Blankenship gets his shot(s), he must convert. The Dogs have to punt it great, and do a stellar job in coverage. Then there is the return game. Bama is loaded with athletes, but if Mecole Hardman and/or Terry Godwin get a crack, this is how the Bulldogs could get a score or flip the field.
Capitalize – If an interception is there for the making, if a fumble is on the ground, if a receiver is open for a chance at a big play, if Tua or a back is in the grasp, the Bulldogs must capitalize. Alabama has a tremendous team and you can expect the Crimson Tide to get every break, bounce and call. Think back to January 8, as painful, frustrating and maddening as the missed and botched calls were, Georgia had Tua wrapped up on third down with a 13-0 lead. He scrambled free, and it led to a Bama touchdown. Giving these guys extra life is big trouble. But these Bulldogs have the athletes to make the plays.
Full 60 – You hear coaches say it all the time. It takes 60 minutes, and sometimes more. It takes a sound start, strong play throughout all four quarters, withstanding the blows and the push from the opposition, and closing strong. Georgia will have to be at its best for every snap across the board. Georgia can do this Saturday afternoon, but the margin for error against arguably Nick Saban’s most talented Alabama squad is negligible. But these Bulldogs have a lot of holdovers who captured the SEC title last season and came oh so close to winning it all. The belief is there, the confidence, and now the opportunity to play Alabama for the SEC championship.