Alabama Football has been much improved under defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Though the standard yards-per-game statistics won’t show drastic growth, the Bama defense has been significantly better in terms of playing situational and opportunistic football.
When it takes on Georgia in the SEC Championship, this Alabama defense will face one of its toughest challenges of the season. The Georgia offense has been a top-10 unit in college football all year, spearheaded by savvy signal caller Carson Beck.
Beck has shown great poise in throwing for nearly 3,500 yards and adding 25 total touchdowns. He is seldom rattled, and distributes the ball to a wide variety of weapons within offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s scheme.
In the ground game, Georgia leans on the running back tandem of Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards. The bruising duo has combined for over 1,400 yards with 21 rushing touchdowns. While the Georgia run game is not the imposing force it has been in past years, it is very effective behind the Bulldogs’ massive offensive line.
Junior tight end Brock Bowers is the key target in a balanced UGA passing attack. Despite missing three games with an ankle injury, Bowers leads the team in every major receiving category with 51 receptions for 661 yards and six touchdowns.
Ladd McConkey is probably Georgia’s second-best receiver, but has missed five games in his own right. Transfer additions Dominic Lovett and RaRa Thomas, along with veteran Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, have filled in admirably. Tight end Oscar Delp is an underrated target who can do a lot of the same things as Bowers in terms of versatility.
When Georgia’s entire receiving corps is at full strength, it is one of the deepest groups in college football. Bobo and Beck will do everything in their power to stress the Alabama defense.
Alabama Football, and Kevin Steele’s unit in particular, will be the most difficult test of the year for the Georgia offense as well. Can Bama limit Georgia’s ground game? Can it be the first team all season to pressure Carson Beck and make him uncomfortable?
Nobody has been able to challenge the Georgia offense for four quarters, so how they would respond in such a situation is unknown. Despite some recent slippage amidst injury concerns at key positions, the battle-tested Alabama defense matches up well with the Bulldogs.
This heavyweight bout will all come down to who wins the chess match between these two elite coaching staffs, and, ultimately, who makes the plays on the field.