Jeff Dantzler’s Alabama vs. Georgia Preview

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Jeff Dantzler’s Alabama vs. Georgia Preview

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[su_spacer size=”20″] Georgia and Alabama square off Saturday afternoon between the hedges in one of the most highly anticipated games of the season in all of college football. Both are regal Southeastern Conference programs who have played a slew of significant thrillers against one another in their proud histories. Due to incessant conference expansion, this will be the first regular season meeting between the two since Alabama blasted the “blacked out” Bulldogs 41-30 between the hedges in 2008.
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Adding to the hype is what transpired in the last meeting between the two. In a de facto national semifinal, second-ranked Alabama nudged No. 3 Georgia 32-28 in the 2012 SEC Championship Game. It is one of the most heart-breaking losses in Bulldog history and one of the most thrilling victories in Crimson Tide. Alabama would go on to defeat Notre Dame 4201 4 in the Orange Bowl or the national championship, the Tide’s third in four years. Georgia would finish No. 4 at 12-2, haunted by just how close the Bulldogs had come to the biggest of prizes in the greatest SEC championship Game ever.
[su_spacer size=”40″] There’s not nearly as much on the line as this one, but the stakes are very high. Alabama, defending SEC champion, is 3-1, 0-1 in league play. The Crimson ‘Tide whipped Wisconsin and cruised past Middle Tennessee State. But on September 19, for a second straight season, Alabama fell to Ole Miss. This time in Tuscaloosa. Alabama dispatched of Louisiana-Monroe, which beat the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in Nick Saban’s first year at the Bama helm in 2007 and now tries to even its SEC record at 1-1.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia is 4-0 and 2-0 in the SEC. The Bulldog faithful are feeling good, primarily due to a 52-20 drubbings of South Carolina and Steve Spurrier. But the Dogs have haven’t beaten an outstanding team yet. The simple truth is that both Vanderbilt, which Georgia beat 31-14 in Week Two in Nashville, and the Gamecocks have a realistic win ceiling around two or three in the rough and tough SEC.
[su_spacer size=”40″] As for Bama’s schedule, Ole Miss is a top ten team and Wisconsin is again amongst the favorites in the Big Ten West. The Crimson Tide turned the ball over five times against the Rebels, and still only lost by six points.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Though the Bulldogs slate hasn’t been as tough as Bama’s, Georgia certainly passed the eyeball test in its most recent SEC battle.
[su_spacer size=”40″] To beat Bama Saturday afternoon, it will take a similar type performance, and then some. Against Saban’s teams, the opposition must flat out win the game. Don’t expect any breaks or bounces. Even in Athens.
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The Match-ups

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Derrick Henry and Co. vs. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Co.

[su_spacer size=”40″] Both Georgia and Alabama have proud tailback traditions, legacies which leave greatly expanded in the 21st century. Over the last few years, Bama teams boasted 2009 Heisman Trophy -winner Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, and now Derrick Henry. Amongst the top backs in America, the one-time Georgia commit is the centerpiece of the Alabama offense, a workhorse with speed, size and power. In the 2012 SEC Championship Game, Lacy and Yeldon flourished behind an all-time great: offensive line. Expect the ‘Tide to try and do much of the same with Henry carrying the load behind an outstanding front.
[su_spacer size=”40″] This will be a tremendous challenge for Georgia. Once Bama gets that power running game going, the passing- attack is lethal.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Bulldog have as proud a stable of tailback alumni as any school in the country, headlined by 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker. Of late, the Dogs have produced Knowshon Moreno, Todd Gurley and now hove Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. This dynamic duo is off to a flourishing start in 2015. They give Georgia a chance every Saturday. The Bulldogs figure to look Chubb and Michel’s way often, and in multiple fashions.
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[su_spacer size=”40″] A half century ago, the Bulldogs pulled off one of the most significant victories in the rivalry with one of the most famous plays in Georgia football history. Trailing defending and eventual national champion Alabama 7- 10 in the closing minutes, Kirby Moore hit Pat Hodgson, who laterally pitched to Bob Taylor, who raced 73 yards to pay-dirt in the famed flea-flicker play. Moore connected with Hodgson on the two-pointer and the Bulldogs held on for a monumental win.
[su_spacer size=”40″] It was just the second season for young Vince Dooley at the Georgia helm. On the other sideline, Paul “Bear” Bryant was it’s his eighth season and already an icon with a pair of national titles and a third to come at the end of the ’65 campaign. The Bulldogs two weeks later beat Michigan in Ann Arbor and it was clear the program was back under Dooley’s watch.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Injuries and the fact that an outstanding crop of true freshmen were ineligible at the time under NCAA guideline sidetracked Georgia’s SEC Championship hopes in 1965. But the following season, the Bulldogs enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in program history, going 10-1, finishing No. 4 in the land, topping SMU in the Cotton Bowl- and winning the SEC title sharing it with Alabama.
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[su_spacer size=”40″] Make sure to check out Bulldawg Illustrated’s latest print edition: Saban vs Richt – Only one man will be smiling after this one, digital issue available for free online click HERE.
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