SEC Championship Game: Alabama Beats Georgia At “Grown-Man Football”
These two teams absolutely punished each other, using brute force as their greatest weapon, and showed again why the SEC is the top conference in college football. The most highly sought after recruits in the country consistently choose to play for SEC schools and these coaches teach their athletes to compete in the most physical way possible.
Teams that rely on finesse rather than power are entertaining to watch and are becoming more prevalent both in college and in the NFL. The majority of teams in the pros have gone from running more rushing plays to pass plays over the past few seasons, and the result has been more electric shootouts and godly-like performances from quarterbacks than ever before.
But as impressive as A.J. McCarron’s composure and Aaron Murray’s accurate throws were on Saturday, it was the running game that made the difference in the SEC Championship Game.
Todd Gurley ran for 122 yards on 23 carries while the Crimson Tide ran the ball 51 times compared to 21 attempts to get the ball moving through the air. As close as Georgia came to pulling out the win in the final seconds, the Crimson Tide were able to achieve victory by running the ball for 350 total yards.
When the coaching staff for Georgia reviews this game, they’ll look at their team’s inability to stop Eddie Lacy or T.J. Yeldon. However, with this loss, the Bulldogs have given up double-digit leads in back-to-back SEC title games so the label of “choker” seems fair.
Last year the Bulldogs were embarrassed by the Tigers, giving up a 10-0 lead and then ultimately getting blown out, 42-10. They turned the ball over three times in that beat-down and were certainly worthy of ridicule after the game.
However, this Georgia team gave Alabama all it could handle for the SEC title and proved to be one of the best teams in the country.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish may be able to knock ‘Bama off in the BCS Championship Game en route to trying to re-establish themselves as a dynasty, but there is no shame in giving up an 11-point lead to Nick Saban and Alabama. They are the biggest empire there is in college football and Georgia was five yards away from taking them down.