The CFB National Championship Game
Alabama (12-1, 7-1 SEC) vs. Georgia (13-1, 7-1 SEC)
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA. 75,000
7 PM CT
Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor, Tom Rinaldi
Officials: Big Ten, Dan Capron
Alabama by 4
Head Coach: Nicholas Lou Saban Jr., 66 years old, Fairmont, West Virginia, Kent State, Alma Mater
11 years at Alabama, 126-20, 4 National Championships, 1 at LSU in 2003. If S wins tonight he will tie Bear Bryant's all time record of 6 national championships.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts, 152-of-248, 61%, 2125 yards, 17 TDs, 1 int. Hurts completed 16-of-24 passes for 120 yards last Monday Night against Clemson and tossed 2 TDs. Hurts has rushed 148 times for 808 yards and 8 TDs.
Running back Damien Harris , 129-983, 7.6 per carry, 11 TDs. Bo Scarborough, 120-573, 4.8 per carry, 8 TDs.
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley 59 receptions for 935 yards and 4 TDs. Henry Ruggs III, 9 receptions 200 yards, 5 TDs. Jerry Jeudy, 12 receptions, 244, 2 TDs.
Safety Ronnie Harrison, leads the team in tackles with 70, has posted 3 1/2 for loss and 2 1/2 sacks, and 3 ints.
Linebacker Rashaan Evans, 66 tackles, 11 1/2 for loss and 6 sacks.
Linebacker Mack Wilson, 28 tackles, 4 interceptions for 39 yards and an int for a TD against Clemson last Monday.
Defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, 64 tackles, 9 for loss, and 7 1/2 sacks.
Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, the general of the defense, 55 tackles, 7 for loss, 1 1/2 sacks, 1 int
Defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne, 47 tackles, 1 interception last week against Clemson, a game changer along with a TD catch. He had S chuckling after the game about his receiving skills. The Big Fella got it done in the clutch with a nice toe tap in the end zone.
Head coach, Kirby Smart, 2 years at Georgia, 21-6, 1 SEC championship and should be on his way to many more along with some national championships.
Running back Nick Chubb, 205-1,320 yards,, 6.4 per carry, 15 TDs.
Running back Sony Michel, 142-1,129, 8 yards per carry, 16 TDs.
Running back D'Andre Swift, 77-603,, 7.8, 3 TDs.
Quarterback Jake Fromm, 165-259, 64%, 2,383 yards, 23 TDs, 5 ints.
Wide Receiver Javon Wims, 44 receptions, 704 yards, 16 yard average, 7 TDs.
Wide receiver Terry Godwin, 34-591, 17.4, 6 TDs.
The great linebacker Roquan Smith, 124 tackles, 11 1/2 for loss, 5 1/2 sacks.
Safety J.R. Reid, 76 tackles, 5 for loss, 2 ints.
Linebacker Lorenzo Carter, 58 tackles, 8 1/2 for loss, 4 1/2 sacks.
Safety Dominick Sanders, 4 ints for 85 yards.
Linebacker D'Andre Walker, 13 1/2 tackles for loss, 5 1/2 sacks.
I like both of these defenses and running games. These teams play hard nosed, physical football with big plays and game changing plays on the defensive side of the ball. I would say that Daron Payne won the game for the Crimson Tide last week when they blasted Clemson, 24-6. Roquan Smith was all over the place last Monday in Georgia's thrilling 54-48 victory over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl as he and the Dawgs defense starting slowing down Baker Mayfield and the vaunted Sooners offense in the second half. Georgia settled down defensively and ended up sacking Mayfield 5 times. Of course Michel and Chubb were spectacular, as Michel rushed for 181 yards and 3 TDs including the game winning 25 yarder, and Chubb rushed for 145 yards and 2 TDs himself. Jake Fromm, the talented and poised freshman completed 20-of-29 passes for 210 yards 2 TDs and 0 ints. It was a stellar comeback by the Dawgs in the second half as they were down 31-17 at halftime. A key 55 yard field goal by Rodrigo Blakenship gave the Dawgs momentum heading into the half, and they came out and controlled most of the second half in a thriller.
For the Tide, the defense was spectacular against Clemson. Da'Ron Payne made a terrific interception of a Kelly Bryant tipped pass and returned it 26 yards showing some major athletic ability. He later caught a TD pass in the end zone from Jalen Hurts with the nice toe tap to secure the 7. Mack Wilson had a game changing pick 6 for the Tide as well. The Tide did enough on offense, but the defense was dominant, Clemson didn't have a chance.
The Tide features the No.1 total defense in the country allowing just 252 yards per game. They have the top scoring defense allowing just 11 points per game, and have the top rushing defense allowing just 91.8 yards per game. The Dawgs are 6th in total defense at 289.5 per game, 5th in scoring defense at 15.7 per game, and 20th in rushing defense at 121.2 per game. Still not bad on the rushing defense, but they'll have to be good tonight to contain Hurts, Harris, Scarbrough, and Najee Harris. Joshua Jacobs is questionable to play for the Tide with a hamstring injury.
The Tide has 3 linebackers out for the game as Shaun Dion Hamilton, Dylan Moses and Anfernee Jennings, who was hurt last week, are all going to miss the championship. Georgia is pretty healthy. Alabama still has some stellar linebackers with Evans, Wilson, Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis.
Should be a hard hitting, smash mouth football game with maybe an explosive play and a turnover deciding this one.
I really like both of these teams. They play excellent defense and they can really run the ball and have super play action passes with the electric explosive plays. A guy I didn't mention for Georgia is Mecole Hardman who is a threat as a receiver and as a kick and punt returner. He's a house call waiting to happen.
I like defense in this game with enough offense to make it a thriller. The Tide's keys are stopping Michel and Chubb, because if they can get to the second level, particularly Michel, watch out. Then they'll have to defend Fromm and the passing attack. The Georgia o line does a good job of protecting Fromm and he can run it a little bit. On offense, Hurts must have a good game, a solid, efficient game, take care of the ball and make plays with both his arm and his legs. Ridley needs to be heavily involved in the offense. They need big plays from him, and if some of the other guys could step up, Jeudy, Ruggs III, Cam Sims, Robert Foster, that would help. Damien would like to go out with a bang in the championship game as would Scarbrough. Najee Harris could make an impact tonight.
The Dawgs want to run the ball and play action pass it to be successful. On defense, Smith needs to control the Bama offense, and Georgia could use some turnovers to help their offense. Bama is good at protecting the ball, so the Dawgs will have to figure out ways to stop the Tide offense and work to create a turnover or two.
Both these teams have had superb seasons and the future is extremely bright at Georgia and is always extremely bright at Alabama. I'll take the defense that is a little better, and an offense that can do a little more in this game, though if Michel and Chubb get going, this will be a sensational contest.
Alabama 21, Georgia 17
MVP: Mack Wilson