College Football Playoff nationwide championship: Keys to the game for Alabama and Georgia

Georgia and Alabama will clash for the College Football Playoff nationwide championship Monday evening in Indianapolis. Here are five issues to perceive concerning the matchup:

Georgia secondary in line of air assault

Alabama has roughed up Georgia’s secondary the final two occasions they’ve long past up in opposition to it, even with a largely revamped community there this season.

The Bulldogs gave up 421 passing yards and three touchdowns to Bryce Younger in the SEC championship game loss and 417 yards and four touchdowns in a conventional season defeat in Tuscaloosa in 2020 to Mac Jones.

The Bulldogs have to find an respond to slack down Crimson Tide game-breaker Jameson Williams.

“Trusty gotta lock in, manufacture what we in general manufacture, don’t are attempting and fabricate too great,” cornerback Derion Kendrick said. “And factual all people kind performs, factual top collegiate level. So all people goes to kind performs. Or no longer it is about what you manufacture subsequent play.”

Williams grabbed 10 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the 41-24 Tide accumulate Dec. 4, in conjunction with touchdowns of 67 and 55 yards.

“We must the least bit times talk so we don’t contain those forms of busts in the straggle game,” inside of linebacker Quay Walker said.

Williams has 1,507 receiving yards — third on Alabama’s single-season checklist — and 15 receiving touchdowns.

Alabama misplaced junior John Metchie to an ACL wander in the SEC championship game after he had six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Ja’Corey Brooks stepped up with four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in the semifinal accumulate over Cincinnati.

“With John being down, obviously creating extra opportunity for the youthful guys,” running again Brian Robinson said. “I really feel savor they were doing a limiteless job. So I factual really feel savor we can roughly play again for Metchie, the build we need them, from some guys on the personnel.”

Kendrick said Georgia will bring the equal technique to the game but a favorable perspective.

“You’ve got bought to exit there, manufacture what we manufacture due to we didn’t play a appropriate game the least bit on the defensive aspect of the ball,” he said. “We now contain bought to relief the offense out as properly.”

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Inserting stress on Bryce Younger

Georgia entered the SEC championship game allowing 6.9 choices per game and surrendered 41 choices. One touchdown came off a Stetson Bennett accumulate six, but Georgia’s straggle mosey didn’t contain a single sack.

“We bought really, really shut a couple occasions,” Walker said, “but at the reside of the day, it’s essential to well well contain factual bought to manufacture.” 

Georgia has averaged 3.5 sacks in its other 13 games — in conjunction with four in opposition to Michigan in the Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs infamous fourth in the nation in sacks per game.

The problem is closing on Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Younger and his mobility.

“He did a appropriate job of transferring spherical in the pocket, of making time,” coach Kirby Good said. “He is de facto formulation extra elusive than folks give him credit score for. Extraordinarily appropriate athlete. Has elite spatial awareness. He knows the build folks are, the build his folks are, the build he’s stable, the build he’s going with the ball beforehand.”

Good said Georgia mixed up its pressures but to no avail, since the Bulldogs defenders who bought in the backfield couldn’t bring Younger down.

“They did a appropriate job selecting those pressures up,” Good said. “And at the reside of the day, there could be four or five guys which will almost definitely be one-on-one up there. Any individual’s bought to accumulate one-on-one. And a extensive range of occasions it’s essential to well well presumably presumably be better at stress in the occasion it’s essential to well well presumably presumably be no longer on the self-discipline as long and also it’s essential to well well presumably presumably be winning some third downs.”

Some Georgia gamers said they had been gassed.

The Crimson Tide averaged 9.6 yards per are attempting in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs’ opponents are averaging 5.5 this season, 2d-most effective nationally, in accordance to CFBstats.com.

“We now contain bought to acquire to the quarterback,” start air linebacker Nolan Smith said. “There could be nothing else about it. Closing game, we didn’t manufacture that. And I know a extensive range of folks felt wound after that one. I lend a hand myself and my room accountable and moreover the D line. … We must the least bit times find a formulation. I imagine in our coaches. I belief in the knowing that we now are talking over nonetheless so that you just can fabricate that.”

Alabama’s offensive line is beat up after its semifinal accumulate over Cincinnati.

Trusty guard Emil Ekiyor exited the game with a shoulder ruin and true kind out Chris Owens sustained a lower body ruin.

“For our offensive line to play properly and be efficient — whether it be a mosey, whether it be a straggle… I judge most performs are going first of all how properly manufacture we manufacture up entrance in opposition to an well-liked entrance seven unit who’s proven that every body three hundred and sixty five days long,” Alabama coach Cut Saban said.

Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said before the game that Georgia’s entrance “is mainly among the finest entrance we’ve faced. It’s fascinating due to how they’re going to line up and what they’re going to manufacture and it turns into roughly a fight of leverage and physicality.”

It contain to be that Monday evening.

Georgia offensive line vs. Will Anderson

Georgia offensive tackles Jamaree Salyer and Warren McClendon kept Bennett just appropriate quite a lot of the time in opposition to Michigan.

Vaunted straggle rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo and teammates didn’t myth a single sack.

Now right here comes Will Anderson Jr. again, who leads the nation with 17½ sacks and 34 1.2 tackles for loss. Within the important game, Anderson had one sack, two tackles for loss and six tackles.

“He is to take into accounta good rusher, twitchy, performs so onerous, excessive motor, physical toughness,” Good said. 

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Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said Georgia wants to legend for the build the 6-foot-4, 243-pound Hampton, Ga., native is, and no longer factual as a rusher.

“He does a truly appropriate job, if you happen to acquire into the zone-read game, the build he tries to hit you at the junction point and tries to disrupt from the initiating aspect,” Monken said. “And he performs with relentless effort. I judge he has a gargantuan ability-role.”

Georgia learned motivation in Michigan’s offensive line winning the Joe Moore Award for the nation’s most effective unit up entrance. It helped pave the most effective scheme for an offense that assign aside up 528 yards of total offense and 34 choices.

“Any person that made that resolution that’s loads smarter than me, but now we contain bought a hell of an offensive line, too,” Good said, “and our guys carried out with a chip on their shoulder.”

Stetson Bennett spherical 3 with Alabama

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett is 13-3 as a starter, in conjunction with 0-2 in opposition to Alabama.

In two games in opposition to the Crimson Tide, he’s 47 of 88 for 609 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions.

“I believed I carried out all true in the SEC championship game,” Bennett said. “I made about a mistakes that it’s essential to well well presumably presumably’t manufacture in opposition to a appropriate personnel. However I moreover made some really appropriate throws, appropriate choices. So my important focus going into the Michigan game used to be cleaning up on the mistakes and contain doing what I had been doing properly.”

Bennett used to be 20 of 30 for 313 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions in opposition to Michigan, hitting downfield completions to James Put collectively dinner and Jermaine Burton, who had a 57-yard take. He moreover showed he’s a probability out of the pocket when he bought loose for a 20-yard fabricate.

“His ability to switch out of the pocket, I judge that’s one among his most fascinating and strongest skills he has,” Anderson said. “He can lengthen performs alongside with his fingers as properly. However we factual have to savor him. I judge that’s essentially the most fascinating section of his game is his legs and him running all across the self-discipline.”

Georgia converted on 10 of 16 third downs in opposition to Michigan after going factual 3 of 12 in opposition to Alabama.

Monken said Bennett’s troubles in the 2d half in opposition to Alabama overshadowed what he called “well-liked” first halves.

“He has all the pieces we must be winning offensively,” Monken said. “The important turnover a three hundred and sixty five days ago used to be a batted ball that used to be out of his contain watch over. The 2d interception used to be a tipped straggle on an reside lower that went at the moment to them. The third one used to be a unfortunate resolution. So the final analysis is I can manufacture better as a coordinator to build him in better plan to succeed in success.”

Brock Bowers no widespread freshman

All thru the important quarter of the Orange Bowl, feeble NFL All-Legitimate tight reside Greg Olsen took to Twitter to heap some praise on Brock Bowers, the Georgia freshman.

“Brock Bowers is mainly among the finest young TE I’ve viewed in a LONG time,” he posted. “He’s a 1st spherical accumulate if he could well well presumably come out as a TRUE FRESHMAN! #particular”

Happily for Georgia, Bowers nonetheless has two college seasons before he can turn decent.

He role a myth for touchdowns in a single season with 12 and leads the personnel with 52 catches for 826 yards, each program bests for a appropriate reside.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Bowers had 10 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown in the SEC championship game in opposition to Alabama.

“I judge this guy is one among the premier gamers in college soccer,” said Saban, who coached NFL first-rounder OJ Howard and 2d rounder Irv Smith at Alabama. “I know he’s factual a freshman. However this guy’s bought huge size. He is a appropriate blocker. He is physical. He is aggravating. And he’s bought extensive receiver skills in every formulation, form or affect, which makes it complicated being a bigger guy for bigger guys to conceal him, and it makes it moreover complicated for smaller guys to conceal him.”

Bowers has topped the Bulldogs in catches in 9 games this season, in conjunction with the final four. He had six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown in opposition to Michigan.

“This guy is factual an shapely soccer player the complete formulation spherical,” Saban said. “They manufacture a truly appropriate job of featuring his skills as properly. And he’s been extremely productive in a extensive range of systems. I know all people continuously knows the passes he catches, but moreover a truly appropriate blocker and does a appropriate job in his section of executing no topic he wants to manufacture to relief his teammates contain success as properly.”

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