This year’s College Football National Championship is a rematch of the SEC championship between Georgia and Alabama. Alabama won the first game between the two teams 41-24, the most points given up by Georgia’s defense this year. Alabama is looking for their seventh national title under Nick Saban, while Georgia is hoping for their first since 1980.
Here are five things to keep an eye on while watching the game.
- Alabama’s offense vs. Georgia’s defense part 2: The Bulldogs defense has given up fewer than 20 points in every game but one. That one game came against Alabama in the SEC Championship game when the Crimson scored 41 against them. Despite that Georgia is second in total defense, third in passing, and third in rushing nationally. Alabama meanwhile is fifth in total offense, eighth in passing, and fourth in points nationally. Will there be a repeat of the SEC championship, or did Georgia learn from that game?
- Can Stetson Bennett do enough for Georgia?: After JT Daniels went down with an injury, Bennett took over the starting job and never gave it back. He has passed for 2638 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Because of the defense’s play, his role was mainly as a game manager. He did have his moments, including a 313-yard, three-touchdown performance against Michigan in the Orange Bowl. If Bennett can have a repeat performance against the Crimson Tide, it might be enough for Georgia.
- What does Bryce Young do as a finale?: In his first year as a starter, Bryce Young won college football’s highest honor, the Heisman Trophy. The sophomore quarterback has 4503 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He added another three touchdowns on the ground. He has also completed over 70% of his passes in eight games this year. In the SEC championship against Georgia he passed for 421 yards and three touchdowns. With one game left, does Young save his best performance for last?
- Can Will Anderson be stopped?: Will Anderson has been a force for Alabama’s defense all year. The All-American has 97 tackles and 17.5 sacks on the year. One of those sacks came against the Bulldogs in the SEC championship. If Georgia wants to have any success on offense, they must find a way to prevent Anderson from making plays. If they can’t, Anderson will be a problem for the whole game.
- How well can Georgia run the ball?: Zamir White and James Cook have been a nice running back duo for the Bulldogs. Put of the reason that Stetson Bennett hasn’t been asked to do much is because of their running game. White has rushed for 772 yards and ten touchdowns on 147 carries. Cook, meanwhile, has rushed for 651 yards and seven touchdowns on 107 carries. Georgia has an opportunity to shorten the game and keep Young off the field is by getting the running game going. Doing that will give them a chance to come away with a victory.