Alabama Football: Predicting Offensive Stars Against Georgia
With a shot at the BCS National Championship on the line, No. 2 Alabama (11-1, 7-1) needs to take care of business against No. 3 Georgia (11-1, 7-1) on Saturday afternoon to see Notre Dame in January.
While the oddsmakers are certainly giving the nod to the Crimson Tide—Georgia is an eight-point underdog (according to Bet Online)—this is by no means an easy matchup for Alabama.
The Bulldogs enter this one having won six straight and have seen QB Aaron Murray and RB Todd Gurley carry the load offensively.
Despite the dangers of Georgia's offense, I like the odds of Alabama winning the game and taking a trip to the BCS National Championship Game. If that's going to happen, these three offensive players will be the key to Saturday's matchup.
Following a monster game against Auburn, Amari Cooper will be looked to early and often by A.J. McCarron.
Against the Tigers, Cooper went for 109 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions—his third 100-yard receiving performance of the season.
For the entire season, the freshman wideout has amassed 45 receptions, 767 yards and eight touchdowns, to lead the Crimson Tide in receiving. Roughly one-third of McCarron's touchdown passes have come via Cooper.
Look for Cooper to take advantage of a weak Georgia secondary on Saturday.
Alabama ranks 22nd in rushing yards, and junior RB Eddie Lacy leads the way.
Lacy has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 14 TDs on 164 carries, giving him an impressive 6.1 YPC average.
Lacy has practically doubled his production from last season and has done a nice job of sharing the backfield with freshman T.J. Yeldon, who has rushed for 10 touchdowns himself.
With Lacy coming off a big day against Auburn (18 carries, 131 yards and two touchdowns), you can expect him to see a heavy dose of carries on Saturday.
McCarron should have himself a day against the Bulldogs defense, as it has intercepted just 10 passes this season and sacked opposing QBs only 24 times.
Aside from his 25 touchdowns to a mere two interceptions, McCarron ranks No. 2 in all of college football with a 176.3 passer rating and has led a Crimson Tide passing offense with more than 2,500 yards through the air.
With McCarron completing more than 67 percent of his passes, the odds of his having a successful day against Georgia's secondary are extremely high.
Coming off a four-touchdown day against the Tigers, McCarron is poised to lead his offense over Georgia and into the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame.
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