The 2018 College Football Playoff national championship game will be an all-SEC affair between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs, and physical stylings up front figure to rule the day with hardware hanging in the balance.
On one side, the Crimson Tide tout the nation's top-ranked scoring defense (11.5 points per game) and 10th-ranked rushing offense (255.8 yards per game). The Bulldogs, meanwhile, own the country's fourth-ranked scoring defense (13.2 points per game) and an eighth-ranked rushing attack that has piled up 267.4 yards per game.
Given those similarities, it won't be a surprise if the title tilt is a tight-knit affair that's decided late.
"I feel like it's going to be a brawl, it's going to be a battle," Alabama linebacker Terrell Lewis said, per AL.com's Michael Casagrande. "We'll just have to fight and finish the whole game."
Here's a look at when and where you can catch all of the action.
Date: Monday, Jan. 8
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Atlanta, Georgia
Preview and Pick
Alabama's worthiness for the College Football Playoff was debated intensely after the selection committee penciled them into the No. 4 seed despite the lack of a conference championship game appearance.
However, the Crimson Tide validated their status as legitimate title contenders—and then some—with a 24-6 drubbing of the defending-champion Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl.
In the win, Alabama clamped down and limited the Tigers to 1.9 yards per carry and 3.4 yards per pass attempt. The defense was also responsible for six points (Mack Wilson's 18-yard pick six) and two Clemson turnovers.
That brilliance helped overshadow Alabama's pedestrian evening on offense that featured 120 passing yards and 42 rushing attempts that went for 3.4 yards a pop.
Against Georgia, those numbers won't cut it.
The Bulldogs wield the most dynamic one-two rushing punch in college football with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel at the controls, and their thunder-and-lightning dynamic can wear down even the most dominant defensive fronts.
Those two aren't likely to combine for 326 yards the same way they did against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, but it's safe to say head coach Kirby Smart will lean on his most explosive playmakers to try and set the tone.
The big question, then, is if true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm can make the downfield throws necessary to pressure Alabama's vaunted secondary and provide the Bulldogs offense with an added dimension.
The bet here is that while the Crimson Tide will largely prove stingy on the back end, Fromm will have a few flashes of excellence and do enough to help the Bulldogs clinch their first national championship since 1980.
Prediction: Georgia 27, Alabama 23