There’s no other way around it.
If Georgia wins on Monday night, it’ll be equivalent to a 100-year flood of emotion.
If not, regardless of any ‘but the time is coming, soon’ this fan base tell itself, Tuesday morning will be painful and sophomoric ‘1980’ or ‘the Buffalo Bills on college football’ will ensue.
With no further delay, here are keys to Georgia not only beating Alabama, but becoming national champions.
Sack and sack early
One of many overstated things since the SEC title game is Georgia’s lack of sacks against Bryce Young. For the mental mindset of the Georgia defense, it needs to sack Young in the first quarter to not only show that there’s no mental block but also put it in the head of Young and his offensive line that it won’t be a cinch like it was in Atlanta.
The bottom line is that pressuring Young can throw the Crimson Tide off kilter offensively. Georgia needs to do just that.
Roll with the punches
In a game like this, bad breaks are going to happen. It’s a fact of playing Alabama. Turnovers will take place, ill-time calls will happen. Key here? Don’t let those plays turn the momentum of the game and find a way to bounce back.
It’s one of the best traits that Stetson Bennett loyalists have pointed to since early in the year. One of Bennett’s best assets is his ability to extend plays with his legs. Georgia will need Bennett to do that. There are lots of things that need to go right in order to beat Alabama. One is to have your quarterback extend plays with mobility. Look back at any time a team has beat Alabama, and there’s usually been one common trait all the way back to Nick Marshall and more recently, Zach Calzada and Trevor Lawrence – the winning signal-caller was one that could stretch plays out with their scrambling ability. Georgia will need Bennett to do just that.
Alabama torched Georgia deep last time by. But as we saw in the Orange Bowl, the Dawgs can do the same. Alabama has had a few weeks to adjust to Brock Bowers, and you have to expect that the Tide will have a plan to neutralize him. Going back to the Orange Bowl, the Wolverines slowed Georgia in the second half for a time by applying straight pressure up the middle before the Dawgs made them pay deep. The same needs to happen on Monday.
Don’t let up
We’ve all got PTSD. Why Georgia opted to go away from the run in January of 2018 in the second half? The list can go on and on. Perhaps unfairly, Kirby Smart has been tagged as not going for the jugular in big games. This narrative, of course, only appears in games Georgia loses.
The fact is this. Georgia cannot afford to go conservative if it has a chance to do the contrary. If not, that 71 percent of minutes led in the recent meetings will be a painful stat to hear.