Alabama Football: Amari Cooper Key to Crimson Tide Win over Georgia
With their 49-0 shutout of Auburn in the 2012 Iron Bowl, the Alabama Crimson tide face off against Georgia in the 2012 SEC Championship Game.
The Crimson Tide high-octane offense has led Alabama to a 11-1 record that has racked up yards and points this season in blowout wins against teams such as Arkansas and Mississippi State. A strong running attack from Eddie Lacy has been attributed to much of Alabama's success.
However, when it comes to playing Georgia, Eddie Lacy is going to need some help, and that's where wide receiver Amari Cooper comes into play.
The Georgia Bulldogs, who also sit 11-1 on the season, have held strong against teams such as Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech, whom they beat 48-3 and 42-10, respectively.
There is no downplaying the Bulldog defense, which has 24 sacks for 160 yards this season. Its ability to stop the run has been documented as well, as the Bulldog defensive line has the ability to stop an opponent's run dead in its tracks.
One of the reasons the Tide will have to look to the air to help them win is because of Georgia's outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who has a total of 71 tackles on the season. Strong play from the Bulldog defense will make it tough for Alabama to completely rely on the ground attack to get the ball in the end zone.
This is where Alabama can capitalize on the talent it has at wideout with freshman receiver Amari Cooper.
In his first year, Cooper has 45 receptions for 767 and eight touchdowns, one of which came against Auburn when quarterback A.J. McCarron connected with Cooper on a 37-yard pass to give the Tide a 21-0 lead.
While those numbers aren't legendary, they're solid, and the long passes from McCarron to Cooper can spread the Georgia defense thin and keep it guessing as to what play Alabama will run next.
If Alabama can establish the run early to gain good field position and even a few scores to gain the lead, it can look to Cooper to help it tally more points on the board to dig Georgia deeper in a hole to secure the win.
The McCarron-Cooper connection will be the key to Alabama's continued success due to Cooper's ability to establish position off the snap and route-running ability, which allows him to separate from corners for large yardage catches that translate to six points.
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