After the loss to Texas A&M on Nov. 10, Alabama has stormed back and is one win away from making its second straight appearance in the BCS Championship Game.
But it won't be easy. The Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 SEC) have to defeat No. 3 Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC) in the SEC Championship Game for the right to advance to the title game.
Georgia's biggest win of the season was the 17-9 victory over then-No. 2 Florida on Oct. 27. In that game, the Bulldogs forced six turnovers.
Here's a complete breakdown of what is sure to be an electric SEC battle in Atlanta.
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
When: Saturday, Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. ET
Live Stream: SEC Live
Betting Line: Alabama -7, Over/Under 49.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
What's At Stake?
Why, the BCS Championship Game, of course.
If Alabama wins, it is in. If Georgia wins, it is in.
You can't ask for a game with higher stakes than this before bowl season. If the Crimson Tide advance, they would be making their third BCS Championship Game appearance in the last four years (they've won twice).
The last time Georgia won the SEC was in 2005. The Bulldogs haven't won a national championship since the 1980 season.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
DB John Fulton - Toe - Questionable
FB Merritt Hall - Ankle - Questionable
NT Mike Thornton - Ankle - Questionable
What They're Saying
Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com brought up an interesting trend in Alabama's most recent losses.
In short, an up-tempo, no-huddle offense has appeared to work. It worked with Cam Newton in 2010, LSU's Jordan Jefferson in 2011 and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel on Nov. 10.
Given that the Bulldogs have Aaron Murray under center, there's certainly the potential for them to employ an up-tempo offense.
However, one thing that distinguishes Murray from Newton, Jefferson and Manziel is that he is not a mobile quarterback.
Georgia has payback on its mind this time around.
As David Ching of DawgNation noted, the last time these two teams met was in 2008. The Bulldogs' 41-30 loss at home sent them in a tailspin while it boosted Alabama to the elite ranks.
Longtime Georgia fans know this, and longtime Alabama fans make sure they never forget.
Alabama Player to Watch: Eddie Lacy/T.J. Yeldon, RB
A lot of people are going to focus on junior quarterback A.J. McCarron (and for good reason), but Georgia's run defense can be beat and Alabama's rushing attack has averaged 5.42 yards per carry (10th in the nation, via CFBStats.com) while compiling 32 rushing touchdowns this season.
Junior Eddie Lacy and freshman T.J. Yeldon have been magnificent for the Crimson Tide all season long, and even freshman Kenyan Drake has the potential to break off some big runs.
Georgia Player to Watch: Aaron Murray, QB
It's no secret who holds Georgia's fortunes in his hands.
Aaron Murray is first in the country in yards per pass attempt this season (10.0), and he has tossed 30 touchdowns while notching just seven interceptions.
Up against a top pass defense, this is Murray's time to shine.
Key Matchup: Georgia Run Defense vs. Alabama Rushing Attack
A.J. McCarron and Aaron Murray have been fantastic this season, but I really believe this comes down to whether Georgia can limit the Alabama running game.
The Bulldogs held Florida running back Mike Gillislee to 77 rushing yards on 22 carries on Oct. 27, but they have allowed a combined 608 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in the past two games against Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern.
Prediction: Alabama 24, Georgia 21
I think Alabama has the running game to get past Georgia, and A.J. McCarron rarely turns the ball over (I don't expect the Crimson Tide to turn the ball over six times against the Bulldogs).
Aaron Murray and Georgia will give Alabama a scare in Atlanta, but Nick Saban's squad will ultimately prevail to go on to the BCS Championship Game.
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