Alabama Run vs. Georgia Run-Defense
key to Alabama success this Saturday will be their running
game. The Tide has two All- American Offensive Linemen, Wesley
Britt and Justin Smiley, who routinely open huge holes on
the left side. Shaud Williams is their featured back. He has
explosive speed and is a threat to go all the way on any play,
as seen in the Arkansas game. However, the key to Alabama
victory is ball control. To succeed, they need to control
the clock and that means using their bigger backs, Ray Hudson
and Kenneth Darby. In their two wins, Alabama averaged 51
runs per game and used all three backs effectively. In their
three losses, they only ran the ball an average of 29 times
and Hudson and Darby were both forgotten.
defense is led by All American David Pollack. He has a tremendous
nose for the ball and how to stop running backs for negative
gains. If Britt and Smiley can contain him, Alabama may be
able to control the clock. The key to beating Georgia is to
keep their potent offense off the field. They have a couple
of key defensive starters injured, which will help the Tide's
cause. DT Ken Veal is out and is being replaced by Redshirt
Freshman Ray Gant. Also, Safety Kentrell Curry, one of the
team's senior leaders, is out for the remainder of the season.
will run away from Pollack. Hopefully, Coach Shula learned
a lesson from last week's disaster against Arkansas. With
a 21-point lead in the third quarter, Shula completely forgot
about Hudson and his power running game. Arkansas came back
and won in OT. Look for Hudson, Darby and even FB Tony Castille
to get a lot of carries and in attempt to milk the clock and
keep the Dawg offense off the field.
Georgia Run vs. Alabama Run-Defense
should see the return of Tony Milton this week. In his absence,
Michael Cooper and Ronnie Powell have been getting most of
the carries. Both have performed well, save their poor blocking.
Tyson Browning returned from a suspension last week and ran
a screen pass 93 yards for a game tying TD against LSU. However,
LSU held the Dawgs below 100 rushing yards for the first time
this year. With Milton and Browning back, Alabama will not
repeat that effort.
D-Line is banged up. Ahmaad Childress and Jeremy Clark were
injured and are questionable for Saturday. Their linebackers
are talented, but not big. The defense was outstanding in
their first three games holding South Florida, Oklahoma, and
Kentucky to a total of 151 rushing yards. However, they may
be wearing out - Northern Illinois and Arkansas used power
running up the middle to tire out this depleted unit. Even
when they were down by 21 points in the second half, Arkansas
keenly continued to pound the front seven. Alabama's lack
of depth on the line and lack of size at LB really was the
deciding factor in this game.
Georgia to run Milton, Browning, Cooper, and Powell right
at the Alabama front. If successful, Alabama will be forced
to move their safeties up to assist against the run. This
will expose their secondary to David Greene's aerial assault.
Alabama Pass vs. Georgia Pass-Defense
Croyle leads a passing attack that produces big plays. Alabama
has a knack for lulling defenses to sleep only to strike deep.
Croyle hit Arkansas two times for long scores- an 80-yard
pass to Shaud Alexander on a third and one shocked the Hogs.
Triandos Luke, Brandon Greer, Zach Fletcher, and Fulgham are
a talented corps of receivers who will test the Georgia secondary,
which will be without Curry.
has a stingy defense. However, if there is one weakness, it
is depth at the safety position. Kentrell Curry is a leader
and will be missed. His replacement is Sean Jones. Safety
Thomas Davis was set to start at linebacker but remained in
the secondary because of the injuries. Davis has explosive
speed and will soon be a household name in the SEC. Reserve
DeMario Minter is also out, indefinitely. But don't feel sorry
for the Bulldogs just yet, for they have given up just 34
points in four games.
key to success will be to establish the run. If they can force
Jones and Davis up to the line of scrimmage, Alabama should
be able to strike deep. Alabama will use play-action to set
up any deeper tries.
Georgia Pass vs. Alabama Pass-Defense
Big Edge: Georgia
Gibson is expected to be back for the Bulldogs. He is a big-play
receiver who will require some UGA safety help to keep him
from striking deep. More importantly for David Greene and
the Georgia aerial assault is the possible return of tailback
Tony Milton. Milton is an excellent blocker. Last week, LSU
was able to pressure Greene and force two INTs. The Georgia
backs were unable to block the blitzer and Greene felt the
heat. If Milton and Gibson are back and healthy, look for
the Dawgs to light up the Athens sky.
defensive backs are talented yet small. Charlie Peprah (5'10")
and Anthony Madison (5'8") are going to have big trouble
with the 6'4" Gibson and 6'1" Reggie Brown. They
will both need help - neither wants to be stuck in man-to-man.
has struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone this year.
They have only scored seven TDs in 17 attempts. With the extra
week of practice, Richt has focused on his Red Zone efficiency.
Look for Greene to throw the fade to Gibson until it works,
over the shorter Tide CBs.
are looking forward to kickoff. Georgia's All-American PK
Billy Bennett is coming off of his worst career outing. He
missed three out of four FGAs against LSU. Georgia also gave
up a costly 48-yard return against LSU that set up the game-winning
PK Brian Bostick missed a 38 yarder in OT that would have
given the Tide a victory against Arkansas. He had made 8-of-10
prior to that miss. It may be a little easier for Bennett
and the Georgia special team units to bounce back at home.
is mad. They believe they were the better team two weeks ago
in Baton Rouge. Even with their injuries, they outplayed LSU
only to lose the game. They have had two weeks to prepare
for Alabama. Mark Richt is an excellent coach who has his
team focused on another SEC title. The Dawgs are getting healthy
and that's not good for an Alabama team that is hobbling into
the Tide couldn't have had a more devastating loss than what
happened against Arkansas. Leading by 21 in the middle of
the third, they let Cedric Cobbs literally run over their
tired defense. After whiffing and then making a great defensive
stop in the first OT, they were flagged for excessive celebration,
which forced them to start the second OT at the 40. Bostick
then missed the subsequent 38-yard FGA, and Arkansas scored
to take the victory.
five straight home games, Alabama has to travel for the first
time. Don't expect a vacation in Athens. Georgia rolls over
Dave's Pick: Georgia 30, Alabama 10