The College Football Playoff has given us two teams within 300 miles of one another, in the same conference, battling one-on-one for the right to be called national champion. While the overall ratings for this game may be down with two southern teams playing, and no electric Baker Mayfield in the game that compels you to tune in, these are two tremendous, physical teams going head-to-head. That being said, I’m going Alabama by at least a touchdown.
The Crimson Tide defense is finally healthy and they dominated the line of scrimmage handling the Clemson Tigers throughout the entire game in the semi-final in their route over the defending champs who beat them in this very game last year. Nick Saban is 11-0 against his former assistants and it will be no different this time around against Georgia‘s head coach Kirby Smart. Saban is also going for his FIFTH national title in the last nine years and the monster program that has been the staple for college football for the past decade will get the job done once more on Monday night at 8 pm ET on ESPN.
Alabama’s offense under former Belichick disciple Brian Daboll has gotten back on track after the bad loss to Auburn and has gone back to what they do well. Run the football, wear down the opposing defense and control the flow of the football game. There’s no doubt we will see a heavy dose of monster running back Bo Scarbrough pounding the football up the middle with Quarterback Jalen Hurts doing much of the same running the ball and not risking any turnovers throwing down the field. Damien Harris is also a great offensive weapon as a change-of-pace running back like TJ Yeldon back in his days with the program and WR Calvin Ridley will have many NFL scouts watching his play closely tonight.
As for the Bama defense, this physical unit will likely provide some scoring of their own as they are almost always a lock for a defensive score in a big game. Just last week we saw future NFL DL Da’Ron Payne come up with an interception then catch a pass out of the fullback position down on the goal line on offense. The Crimson Tide defense is loaded with future NFL talent such as DB Minkah Fitzpatrick who is a leader on defense and could wind up as a top-pick in next spring’s draft with his fantastic play as a hybrid safety/corner drawing comparison’s to Michigan and Raiders great Charles Woodson. Linebacker Rashaan Evans controls the middle for Bama and is another play-making tackling machine for Nick Saban, stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Georgia’s true freshman Jake Fromm was superb in the win over Oklahoma as were explosive runners Nick Cubb and Sony Michel, but let’s face it, Lincoln Riley‘s ultra-conservative coaching in the second half and overtime lost the game for the Sooners more than the Bulldogs won the football game. Saban will game plan for the freshman that stands only in the pocket and keep the two backs in check with his healthy and elite defense.
Georgia is a great story this year as SEC Champions, but the team that didn’t even get the opportunity to play for their conference proved the committee right for electing them as the fourth team and will vindicate themselves with a massive victory on the national stage. Nick Saban will add another ring to his collection.
Prediction: Alabama 27, Georgia 17
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