Three things to know going into Alabama football's showdown with Georgia
Bryant-Denny Stadium could be playing host to an SEC Championship Game preview as the Crimson Tide hosts SEC East favorite Georgia on Saturday.
Here are three things to know going into Alabama football's highly-anticipated matchup with the Bulldogs.
Jordan Battle will miss the first half
The most experienced player Alabama had at its deep safety position, Jordan Battle, will miss the first half after being ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter of the Ole Miss game. There is not predetermined replacement.
Battle started alongside Daniel Wright for the first three games, but Wright was replaced by DeMarcco Hellams in the second half of the Ole Miss game. Playing Hellams as a full-time safety would force Alabama to find a replacement for him at the money position in its dime package. UA also has Eddie Smith as an option at deep safety.
Battle is second on the team with 15 tackles.
Najee Harris is in rare air
After five touchdowns against Ole Miss, Harris has 10 for the season, making him one of just two FBS players — joining Lamar Jackson — since 2000 to run for 10 in the first three games.
Only eight players have run for 11 touchdowns in their first four games of the season, and only three have run for 12. One of those three was Jackson on his way to winning the 2016 Heisman Trophy.
Harris is 18 yards from passing Johnny Musso for ninth in school history in career rushing yards. He is unlikely to make up the 346 yards needed to reach Damien Harris in eighth on Saturday, but once he passes Damien Harris it would begin a cluster of backs he could pass in quick succession.
Bad in Bryant-Denny
Alabama and Georgia have played each other six times in Nick Saban’s 14 seasons in Tuscaloosa, but only one meeting has come in Tuscaloosa. That was a 26-23 overtime loss in 2007; the next five meetings, all in Georgia, Alabama won by an average margin of 10.6 points.
UA hasn’t beaten the Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa since 1994, losing meetings in 2002 and 2007. In 2002, Georgia won a kick from Billy Bennett, days after the late former Auburn coach Pat Dye said Georgia was “not man enough to beat Alabama.”
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson