Turnovers – This is always of paramount importance, especially as Georgia attempts to spring the upset against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. For the Bulldogs to win, a Plus-Two in the turnover column will be essential. Alabama’s offense is powerful, with a superb line and play-makers at receiver and running back. Getting them off the field is vital. Getting the stop and stealing a possession is the best formula for the Bulldogs to win for a third straight time in Tuscaloosa, dating back to 2002 and 2007.
Defense – It is the strength of this Georgia team. To win, to pull off the upset, a team’s best players must play their best. How true that is for the Bulldogs, and this stop unit, which is Georgia’s best of the three phases, must have a tremendous performance. Alabama has the best wide receivers in the country. Mac Jones is a terrific quarterback. The Crimson Tide will test Georgia deep. Alabama has an outstanding run game. The Tide will try and power it at Georgia. Can the Bulldogs defense go on the offensive? Getting Alabama behind the chains, and then getting off the field, that’s a formula for success.
Move Those Chains – This is a constant, as the Bulldogs offense continues to grow. It’s not realistic to think that Georgia would come to Bryant-Denny Stadium and just put up huge offensive numbers. Alabama has a typical dominant defense. But the Bulldogs must avoid the three-and-outs, not just because it lessens the opportunities to score, but it puts the Georgia defense in a spot where it could be on the field for a long time. Georgia must move those chains at least a time or two per possession.
Make a Play on Special Teams – Remember the 2018 SEC Championship Game when the Bulldogs, considered inferior offensively and defensively to Alabama, were supposed to be better on special teams? Well, it was the kicking game that cost the Bulldogs a second straight conference crown. It is a must to win the special teams battle Saturday in Tuscaloosa. A must. The Bulldogs have to do the obvious, no bad breakdowns, don’t allow any long returns, etc. But making a play or two, along with making the field goals that are supposed to be made – under 40 yards – the Bulldogs just have to have that.
Counterpunch the Surge – Alabama is incredibly explosive. They can wear you down, and they can strike first. With all that depth and talent, Alabama has always the opposition on edge. Georgia also has a lot of talent. When Bama hits, you must hit them back to be in position to win the game. Too often teams can’t counterpunch, or maybe only once – as was the case with Texas A&M two Saturday’s ago against the Tide – and the game can get away. If Alabama hits a big play and gets inside the 10, can Georgia hold the Tide to a field goal? If they hit a long touchdown, can the Bulldogs come back and score? Getting some first strikes and punches in would be great too. But nobody knows better than Georgia that Alabama doesn’t go away.