The Alabama Crimson Tide is one victory away from playing in the National Championship game, but it won’t be easy. After steam rolling the Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl, the Tide locked in an invitation to the SEC Championship game and their opponent will be the Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia vs. Alabama odds: the odds have yet to be issued at every book, but ESPN Insider Dave Tuley has suggested that the Crimson Tide will be at least (-7) point favorites at a minimum and could even go to (-7.5).
— Dave Tuley (@ViewFromVegas) November 25, 2012
This makes sense with the popularity of the Crimson Tide, but the Bulldogs have enough talent to make this a very close game.
Alabama struggled against LSU and lost to Texas A&M this season and the main theme for both games was strong quarterback play. Johnny Manziel’s game against the Tide propelled him into the Heisman spotlight in the biggest victory to date for the young quarterback.
In the LSU game Zach Mettenberger was 24 of 35 for 298 yards and if not for a last minute drive, the Tigers would have won.
So now the Bulldogs will send out Aaron Murray in an attempt to beat the Tide and claim the SEC Championship. Murray does not get the hype of some of the signal callers in the country but he is a talented field general.
Murray was dominating in the rivalry game against Georgia Tech hitting 14 of 17 and two scores. He now has 89 touchdowns in his career tying Peyton Manning for 2nd-most in SEC history. Murray also became first SEC player with three consecutive seasons with 3,000 passing yards or more. In fact his numbers from November border on ridiculous.
Aaron Murray’s November: 71-97 (73.2%) 1,137 yds (284/game). 13 TD, 0 INT. 11.72 yards per attempt. That last number is ridiculous.
— dawgsonline (@dawgsonline) November 25, 2012
If Georgia has any criticisms this season it is the schedule. The Bulldogs played two tough games this season. They lost on the road at South Carolina and defeated the Florida Gators in late October. That is the only time that the Bulldogs played against ranked opponents all season long.
The Tide’s offense will enter this game without one of their big play makers. Deep threat Kenny Bell will miss 5-6 weeks with a broken leg he suffered in the game against Auburn. ESPN points out just how valuable he is to this team.
Bell is second on the team in receiving yards (431), sixth in receptions (17) and tied for third with three receiving touchdowns. The Tide are saying all the right things about his injury.
“He’s a playmaker for us, but we’re going to have some younger guys step up and make plays,” quarterback AJ McCarron said. “We’ve had guys go down all year long, so it’s not going to be anything new. We’re just going to get somebody to step up and make plays in his position.”
The truth be told, the Tide’s wide receiving unit is already depleted by injuries. The team will have to turn to freshmen Marvin Shinn and Cyrus Jones to step up and contribute on offense.
This will be a very exciting SEC Championship that will come down to the wire as two talented teams face off on the football field. The Bulldogs have a very good shot of upsetting the Tide and taking the points is the way to go.
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