Football Atlanta - Online

#1 Bulldogs Face #3 Alabama in SEC Championship Game


By Don Stone - Georgia Football Magazine and Football Atlanta

  We've been here before. Mercedes-Benz Stadium has held its share of glory and heartaches for the Georgia Bulldogs, especially when Alabama is on the field. We all know about the fourth quarter double digit lead that UGA lost in the final minutes to the Crimson Tide.
  But, this season has seemed different starting with the impressive opening day 10-7 win over Clemson. The defense has been the star of the team holding one opponent after another to less than 7 points per game while the offense tacked on 40.
  I have to admit, I've been apprehensive multiple times throughout the season. And each time, in retrospect, there didn't seem to be a reason to be worried.
  When Georgia hosted South Carolina, there was concern since the Gamecocks have played them tough over the years. But, a 40-13 victory quickly removed those doubts.
   Two weeks later, it really looked difficult as the undefeated Arkansas Razorbacks came to Athens. But, UGA easily dispatched Sam Pittman's hot team with their second straight shutout 37-0.
   After Alabama lost at Texas A&M, Georgia ascended into the #1 spot in the country and never let go. They headed to Auburn, who had been playing well. But, no problem with another win 34-10.
   Another hot SEC team came to Athens with undefeated and 11th ranked Kentucky. But, the defense again held a good team in check winning 30-13.
   There was more concern as the Dawgs headed to the annual hostilities in Jacksonville to take on the team that came close to beating Bama earlier in the season and had beaten Georgia in 2020 on the way to an SEC East title.
   Again, no problem with a 34-7 domination. Within a few weeks, head coach Dan Mulen would be out of a job.
Another hot team was Tennessee displaying one of the most explosive offenses in the country. The Vols got up early. Then, the Bulldogs took over and never looked back en route to an impressive 41-17 win.
   Now, they take their 12-0 record into the SEC Championship Game to exorcise the Crimson Tide demons. For the first time in a dozen years, Alabama enters a game as an underdog.
   On the surface, they have not looked impressive, needing 4 overtimes to barely hold on to beat Auburn 24-22 the previous week. Similar close calls with narrow win margins have occurred at Florida (31-29) against LSU (20-14) and Arkansas 42-35. Except for LSU, whom UGA didn't play, all of those teams were dominated by Georgia.
   Does that translate to a win for the Bulldogs. It should. But, its Alabama. And as someone said, until Georgia can prove they can beat the Tide, its hard to say they will. I'm thinking, like the Braves, this is their year. Georgia 31, Alabama 17.