The Game of the Week is Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The Georgia Bulldogs will travel to Tuscaloosa with their eyes on an upset over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Head coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, but received a negative test on Friday.
That opens the doors to a possible opportunity for Saban to be able to coach tonight. If he gets another negative test on Saturday morning, then that may put him in the clear to coach. This is a fluid situation, so something to keep an eye on.
I think the fact whether Saban coaches is a little overstated, though. If he doesn’t coach, then this quality Alabama team won’t suddenly collapse. They will be fine. Alabama can’t use that as an excuse if they lose without Saban calling the shots on the sideline, especially if it’s because their defense couldn’t stop anything again.
Their defense was shredded by Ole Miss last week for 48 points in a 63-48 win. There were some lapses against Texas A&M and Missouri as well. The performance against Ole Miss was the worst I’ve seen in a long time out of a Saban defense.
We are undoubtedly going to see better from the Alabama defense on Saturday night. There should be more focus and effort going into this pivotal SEC showdown. Alabama might have been looking ahead to Georgia just a little too early. That said, the Crimson Tide are going to see an exceptionally better defense than they’ve seen thus far in 2020.
There is a small shortlist for dependable defenses in the FBS this season. It will grow once the Big Ten returns, but college football is offensively driven. If you’re a fan of defensive football, then you’ll like what the Bulldogs are capable of doing.
On the other side of the ball, you have to like the progress of first-year starter quarterback Stetson Bennett. This should be a good one in Tuscaloosa. Head below for our free Georgia vs. Alabama pick for October 17. 2020.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide NCAAF Betting Odds:
Georgia vs. Alabama Prediction:
Any doubts about Mac Jones at quarterback for Alabama have been answered, but this will be his stiffest test yet. If he dices Georgia up then Jones is going to go from people knowing him as Tua’s replacement to the next big thing in Tuscaloosa.
This is a golden opportunity for Jones to emerge out of the shadow of Tua and make a name for himself on Saturday night. With a wealth of weapons offensively, Jones has been sharp with 8 touchdowns and 1 interception on 79.5% completions.
I’m not surprised in the least that Jones is having success in this offense. Not when this unit features DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is the speedster that has people thinking that Henry Ruggs never left Tuscaloosa.
His ability to stretch the field is going to test the Bulldogs on Saturday night. Jones and his talented receivers will see looks that they haven’t seen against Missouri, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss.
Georgia are statistically the best defense in the FBS, as they’ve conceded just 236.7 yards and 12.3 points per game. If there is any defense in college football that has the talent to disrupt the Crimson Tide it has to be the Bulldogs.
They are one of the very few defenses that I feel confident in holding them down to an extent. Jones and Alabama are going to get their strikes in regardless, but I think the Bulldogs can slow them down just enough.
If Stetson Bennett can pick his spots against a beatable Alabama secondary, then Georgia is going to be in business. Bennett has been able to avoid the mistakes, which is often difficult to do for inexperienced quarterbacks.
He’s passed for 5 touchdowns and no interceptions on 63.1% completions. Last weekend was his best performance yet, as Bennett threw for 238 yards with 2 passing touchdowns, a rushing score, and no interceptions against Tennessee. He ended the game with a 157.8 QBR.
The Crimson Tide defense hasn’t been very Alabama like to open the season. They’re better than what they put on display last week, but still one of the more beatable Alabama defenses that we’ve seen in a while.
Alabama has surrendered 473 yards and 30.3 points per game through three games. There are only 11 teams in the nation worse than Alabama with regard to yards allowed. They’ll be better tonight, but there should still be windows open for Bennett and Georgia to take advantage.
If Bennett can keep his composure in Tuscaloosa, then the Crimson Tide are going to be in for a battle. I’ll put some faith in Bennett to do just that and keep this one close. Georgia plus the points looks like the play.