Alabama Football: Defensive keys against Georgia

Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
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Alabama Football: Bennett’s top targets

Georgia will almost certainly have some success passing the ball on Monday night. Brock Bowers is by far the Bulldogs’ most dangerous weapon, followed by all-purpose threat James Cook. Ladd McConkey, AD Mitchell, and Jermaine Burton are all capable playmakers that know their role in the Georgia offense. Running back Kenny McIntosh and tight end Darnell Washington aren’t utilized as frequently, but can present matchup nightmares for opposing defenses.

George Pickens could be an X-factor. After missing most of the season, he made his first big play against Alabama. A month removed from the SEC championship, he should be even closer to 100 percent, but it’s difficult to gauge how much of an impact he could have in the national title game.

The Georgia receivers and the Alabama secondary are very familiar with one another and are pretty evenly matched. Both are considered a relative weakness for their teams, and I don’t think either has a significant advantage over the other. This is why I believe the Alabama pass rush will play the biggest role in limiting Georgia’s passing game.

Alabama Football: Pass Rush to play critical role

If the Bulldogs are forced to be one-dimensional again, Bama will rely on its pass rush to pressure Bennett into costly mistakes and turnovers. Led by Dallas Turner, Phidarian Mathis, and, of course, Will Anderson, the Alabama defense ranks 3rd nationally with 52 sacks. With an impressive showing, it has the opportunity to move into first place in that category. More importantly, it likely wins the game if it can do so.

Next. History indicates uphill battle for the Tide. dark

If Georgia can’t establish the run early, look for Anderson and Turner to pin their ears back and make life difficult for Stetson Bennett and the UGA offense.