It’s the final SEC game of the year, and it doesn’t get any bigger as No. 2 Alabama goes against No. 3 Georgia for the SEC Championship.
This game is also considered the national semifinals as the winner will likely face Notre Dame in the BCS title game.
Alabama is an early favorite with the early betting lines showing the Crimson Tide giving seven points, but Georgia has been playing great football the last four games.
This certainly has the makings of being another classic championship game at the Georgia Dome.
Who: Alabama vs. Georgia
When: Saturday, 4 P.M EST
Where: Georgia Dome (72,000)
Radio: SEC Radio Network, Sirius 85, XM 85
Internet: cbsports.com, GTV at georgiadogs.com
QB: Aaron Murray, Hutson Mason, Christian LeMay
RB: Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Ken Malcome
FB: Alexander Ogletree, Quayvon Hicks
FLK: Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten, Chris Conley
SE: Malcolm Mitchell, Rhett McGowan
TE: Arthur Lynch, Jay Rome
LT: Kenarious Gates, Mark Beard, Austin Long
LG: Dallas Lee, Ben Reynolds
C: David Andrews, Chris Burnette
RG: Chris Burnette, Greg Pyke
RT: John Theus, Watts Danztler
DE: Garrison Smith, John Jenkins
NT: John Jenkins Kwame Geathers
DE: Cornelius Washington, Ray Drew, Mike Thornton
OLB: Jordan Jenkins, Josh Dawson
OLB: Jarvis Jones, Jordan Jenkins, T.J. Stripling
ILB: Amarlo Herrera, Michael Gilliard
ILB: Alec Ogletree, Christian Robinson
CB: Sanders Commings, Malcolm Mitchell, Devin Bowman
CB: Damian Swann, Branden Smith
SS: Shawn Williams, Corey Moore, Josh Harvey Clemons
FS: Bacarri Rambo, Sanders Commings, Connor Norman
P: Colin Barber, Adam Erickson
PK: Marshall Morgan, Jamie Lindley
PR: Rhett McGowan, Damian Swann
KR: Malcolm Mitchell, Todd Gurley
QB: A.J. McCarron, Blake Sims
RB: Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake
X: Amari Cooper, Marvin Shinn
Z: Kevin Norwood
H: Christion Jones, Cyrus Jones
LT: Cyrus Kouandjio, Kellen Williams
LG: Chance Warmack, Chad Lindsay
C: Barrett Jones, Ryan Kelly
RG: Anthony Steen, Arie Kouandjio
RT: D.J. Fluker, Austin Shepherd
TE/H: Michael Williams, Brian Vogler
DE: Ed Stinson, Jeoffrey Pagan
NG: Jessee Williams, Brandon Ivory
DE: Damion Square, Quinton Dial
SAM: Adrian Hubbard, Jonthan Atchison
MIKE: Trey DePriest, Nico Johnson, Reggie Ragland
WILL: Nico Johnson, C.J. Mosley, Tana Patrick
JACK: Xzavier Dickson, Denzel Devall
CB: Dee Milliner, John Fulton
CB: Deion Battle, Geno Smith
S: Robert Lester, Vinnie Sunseri
S: Nick Perry, HaHa Clinton-Dix, Landon Collins
PK: Jeremy Shelley, Cade Foster
P: Cody Mandell, Jeremy Shelley
KR: Cyrus Jones, Dee Milliner
PR: Christion Jones, Cyrus Jones
The Bulldogs took care of in-state rival Georgia Tech by a score of 42-10.
Aaron Murray threw for two touchdowns, while Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley each rushed for two scores.
On defense, Alec Ogletree led the Bulldogs with 15 tackles, which is a career high. Christian Robinson finished with 13 tackles, including two for a loss, while John Jenkins tallied 11 tackles.
With the win, the Bulldogs win the Governor’s Cup for the fourth consecutive season. It’s also the 10th time in 11 seasons the Bulldogs have defeated the Yellow Jackets.
Alabama had no problems with its in-state rival as it dismantled Auburn 49-0 to clinch the SEC West title.
A.J. McCaron threw for 216 yards and four touchdowns, while Eddie Lacy rushed for 131 yards and two scores.
Robert Lester led the Crimson Tide defense with five tackles and one interception. The defense for Alabama created seven tackles for losses, forced three fumbles, had two quarterback sacks and intercepted three passes.
Alabama led Auburn 42-0 at halftime, which is the largest lead by any team in the Iron Bowl series. The Crimson Tide has taken 42 of 77 games in this series.
This game is what all the teams in the SEC work hard during the summer for. Unfortunately, only two of the 14 teams can reach the title game, but this game has a little more heat considering the winner will be playing in Miami for the national title.
Winning this game for Alabama would add to its already storied legacy. The Tide are the defending national champions, and winning the SEC title game on Saturday would give them the right to defend their title against Notre Dame.
For Georgia, a win would not only give it a chance to win its first conference title since 2005, but also it would give the Bulldogs a chance to play for a national title for the first time in 30 years.
So it’s safe to say this game is a huge as it gets for both teams.
In order for the Bulldogs to win, Aaron Murray will need to have the game of his career.
It has been documented that he has not played well in big games, but he was able to lead the Bulldogs to a big win over the Florida Gators, which is why they are in the position they are in today.
Murray wants to be as focused for this game as possible, which is why he is not speaking to the media this week.
Murray has done a lot of good things this season. He leads the SEC in passing touchdowns (30) and has thrown for over 3,000 yards for the third consecutive season, something no other quarterback has done for the SEC.
But whether it’s fair, his career may be judged by this game, and he has to play like there it’s the last game he will ever play.
A.J. McCarron has already one national title under his belt, but for the Crimson Tide to win on Saturday, he will have to make more plays against an improving Bulldogs defense.
McCarron is playing at a much higher level than last year, which is why the Crimson Tide has blown away opponents this year.
But this game has chance to come down to the wire, and because of that McCarron will have to make a play with his arm, which was something he was able to do against LSU, but not against Texas A&M.
The Bulldogs will win if they can control the line of scrimmage.
They have done a good job of that the last four games, and that’s why they blew out Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.
But Alabama is a different beast and do a good job controlling the line of scrimmage as well. It’s vital that Georgia’s offensive line keeps attacking Alabama’s defensive line, and vice versa when it comes to Georgia’s defensive line and Alabama’s offensive line.
The Crimson Tide will win if they continue to do that they have been doing, and that’s start fast.
In the majority of their wins this year, the Crimson Tide would jump to a 14-0 or 21-0 lead and would suck the life out of the opponent before halftime.
Georgia has a tendency to start games slow, so if Alabama can jump to an early lead and play hard-nosed football throughout the entire game, it could wrap up the game by the end of the third quarter.
Alabama comes into the game as a touchdown favorite because it is the defending national champions and it has looked dominant for the most part this season.
But Georgia is a team that is peaking at the right time, and it has the talent to go toe-to-toe with the Crimson Tide.
It will be a close game, but based on the experience and the talent and depth on both the offensive and defensive line, the Crimson Tide will come out on top and play Notre Dame in the BCS title game.
FINAL SCORE: Alabama 24, Georgia 17