Georgia star defensive lineman Jordan Davis said Saturday that the Bulldogs' SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama was an eye-opening experience.
According to ESPN's Andrea Adelson, Davis called the 41-24 defeat on Dec. 4 a "wake-up call" before adding:
"I try not to let things get to me and affect me like that, but that game, it definitely stung a little bit, but we knew we had a new opportunity and with new opportunities you have a chance to be different. So I took that chance and definitely it will pay off for me tenfold because I feel better, my body feels better, and I'm just ready to showcase that on Monday."
Georgia was undefeated and the No. 1 team in the nation entering the SEC title game, and it could have potentially knocked one-loss Alabama out of College Football Playoff contention with a win.
A victory also would have been significant in that it would have been the Bulldogs' first win in the SEC title game since 2017.
Now, Georgia will get another crack at the Crimson Tide on Monday in the CFP National Championship Game after both teams were victorious in the semifinals on New Year's Eve.
No. 1 Alabama took down No. 4 Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl by a 27-6 margin, while No. 3 Georgia outclassed No. 2 Michigan 34-11 in the Orange Bowl.
The biggest difference-maker in Alabama's SEC Championship Game win over Georgia was the play of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young, who threw three touchdown passes and an SEC title-game record 421 yards in addition to rushing for 40 yards and a score.
The 340-pound Davis explained how he has been preparing to slow down Young in the CFP title game, saying:
"I've been going against wide receivers in our quarterback rodeo drill in practice, so trying to track down a wide receiver who is shifty, and I'm a defensive lineman, it takes a lot of skill and a lot of practice. It teaches you to track the hips. We've just been tracking hips all practice. And definitely this go-around we'll try to contain him and get him."
With the exception of the SEC Championship Game, the Georgia defense has been dominant all season long.
Aside from Alabama, no other team scored more than 17 points against the Bulldogs in a game this season.
If the Georgia defense can return to that level of play and quarterback Stetson Bennett can make more plays than he did in the SEC Championship Game (29-of-48 passing, 340 passing yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions), the Bulldogs have a chance to win their first national title since 1980.