No. 1 Alabama faces Georgia in Atlanta on Saturday in the 2018 SEC championship game with the College Football Playoff in sight. It’s the second meeting this year between these teams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium after Alabama won the 2017 national championship in January.
1. Can Jake Fromm match Tua Tagovailoa?
The Georgia quarterback beat Alabama over the top for an 80-yard touchdown in the second quarter back in January, but spent most of the day throwing shorter passes. The Bulldogs scored 20 points in regulation against Alabama last time, but will likely have to score more than that to keep up with Alabama’s record-breaking offense.
2. Does Alabama win the line of scrimmage?
Alabama’s passing game gets much of the attention but the offense is at its best when the running backs are also breaking off big gains. Georgia has used a tandem of Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift to lead the SEC in rushing by a healthy margin. If either team’s offensive line or defensive line finds an advantage up front, the other side could be in for a rough day.
3. Do Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields play a factor?
Fromm and Tagovailoa will be the headliners, but it’s possible these two quarterbacks could have a say as well. Alabama still has some gadget plays with Hurts that it hasn’t used since before his high ankle sprain against Tennessee. Fields has played in 11 games and accounted for four rushing touchdowns and four passing touchdowns. Either, both or neither might have something to say about the outcome on Saturday.
4. How important are special teams?
Joseph Bulovas had a solid day for Alabama against Auburn. He’ll need to keep that momentum up if the SEC championship game is closer than most of Alabama’s contests this year. Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship is perfect on extra points and has made 19 of 22 field goals. A bigger threat might be punt returner Mecole Hardman, who leads the SEC with eight returns of 20 or more yards. Jaylen Waddle and Josh Jacobs could also make a special teams play for Alabama.