Alabama Crimson Tide vs Georgia Bulldogs Championship
The 2017-18 college football season comes to an end tonight in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The perennial championship favorite Alabama Clemson Tide take on the champions of the SEC in the Georgia Bulldogs. It is two teams that are basically carbon copies of each other. Winning with defense, running the football, and passing games that are limited but show flashes.
But what will decide this game? Could it be how true freshman QB Jake Fromm reacts to the Alabama defense? Will the offensive line and star backs of UGA turn it into a track meet? Or will it be business as usual for the Crimson Tide defense? We will not know the answer until the game is going on, but there is value, especially for bettors, in looking at the interesting stats that decide the winners.
5 Stats About Alabama Crimson Tide vs Georgia Bulldogs
1. Saban Vs Former Assistants
The student becoming the master is not a concept that Nick Saban is familiar with. Yes, you have heard it a million times, “Nick Saban is 11-0 against his former assistants…” The problem is most people stop there. It is an impressive stat all its own, but when you look at each of the meetings individually it is really mind-boggling.
For example, Saban’s average margin of victory in these games? 25. Smallest margin of victory? 14. Two Touchdowns. Not Close.
That trend of blowouts may end tonight. Kirby Smart has eleven years under Saban to his credit, and maybe had the closest strategical relationship of any of his assistants.
2. Georgia’s Unconventional Run Game
It is no secret that Georgia wants to run the football. And with 317 yards on the ground, they are doing a damn good job. But they don’t pound the rock like your normal run-heavy offense. They do not want to pound it in the A-gap every play, they can, but they don’t want to. The Dawgs average 143 yards per game outside of the tackles, with over 200 of these yards against Oklahoma. The only problem is, Alabama is a top flight run defense who only gives up 3.3 yards per carry against runs outside of the tackles. This battle of strengths that may decide the game.
3. Turnover Differential
When you look at a box score after a game, look to the turnover category. Then look at the final score. You will almost always see a correlation. Almost as cliched as “defense wins championships”, winning the turnover battle almost always puts you in a position to win. Georgia sports a good differential of +5. Alabama, however, is on another level. Their +13 was tops in the SEC this season and tied for 5th nationally. Freshman QB Jake Fromm must continue to take care of the football against a nasty Tide defense, while also making plays downfield.
4. Low Scoring Slobberknocker?
When you think Alabama, Georgia, and the SEC, you think defense, running the ball, and hard-hitting grown man football. That is no longer the case when these two teams get together. In the last 6 meetings between the two teams, the game has gone over 5 times. The last six games finished with totals of 52, 70, 49, 71, 60, and 48. Obviously, those games have no bearing on the players on the field today, but with today’s total only at 46 it seems like something that should be taken into account.
5. Underdogs in the College Football Playoff Title Game
Being the betting favorite has guaranteed you nothing in the title game since the beginning of the College Football Playoff. In the first game, the touchdown favorite Oregon Ducks got their doors blown off by Ohio State. The next season, the Tide were favored by a touchdown against Clemson. Alabama won, but failed to cover. One year later, the rematch was on. Alabama was again a touchdown favorite but was not so fortunate to hoist the trophy again. Tonight, the Tide and 3.5 point favorites, with a third chance at a title in three seasons.