Earlier in the season, Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson labeled the Georgia Bulldogs as a team that plays, “old man football,” as if it were a negative thing.
Alabama views the style of the upcoming opponent differently.
“They’ve got physical guys up front, the big bodies to to power you out of the way,” defensive end Damion Square said. ”That’s football the way it’s supposed to be played. Tight end, pro-style formation, run the iso. That’s the way the game is supposed to be played and they run it, run it well.”
Square knows his side of the ball runs their schemes well, also.
“I just want my unit to play well,” he said. ”If you can’t win up front, there’s a higher percentage you’re not going to win that game.”
For Georgia’s defense, linebacker Jarvis Jones is the star of the other old-fashioned defense playing in the SEC Championship game.
“His talent speaks for itself, his stats speak for themselves,” tight end Michael Williams said. ”On film, he’s the first one that stands out. He comes through the hole and makes a lot of plays for them.
“It’s going to take a collective team effort to block him anyway. It’s not just the tight ends and (running) backs, there’s going to be some guard help.”
Alabama will not only need blocking help from its running backs, but a good day carrying the ball would not hurt, either.
“Whenever you have a good running game, it keeps a pass rusher like that off balance,” Williams said. “He can’t get up the field as fast if he’s got to worry about the run, so it’s going to be critical that we have a good running game and run the ball early and be very physical in the game.”
One of the biggest sweet spots of the 2008 Alabama football season was the Crimson Tide traveling to the top 10 Georgia Bulldogs and ruining a blackout in Athens after taking a 31-0 halftime lead and winning the game 41-30.
In the midst of his redshirt season, Square did not travel with the team, but still has fond memories of it.
“It was a real good game on our side,” Square said while cracking a wide smile filled with triumph.
Having accumulated three SEC losses in 2010 and missing the SEC Championship game in 2011, the berth Alabama earned this season is one that the seniors on the team are thoroughly enjoying.
“It’s a big thing for our team,” Williams said. “As a senior class it’s a big thing because the last time we were here, we were all freshmen. We remember how that game felt.”
Other seniors, however, prefer playing out of the dome and preferably on natural grass.
“I prefer grass, but you got to do what you got to do,” Square said. “Guys are faster when they’re running on the turf. It doesn’t give. It’s like pushing off a wall.”