Georgia’s defense throttles opposing running backs, boasting a deep and formidable front, playmaking linebackers and star defensive backs. The offense has a solid running game and a quarterback who seldom makes big mistakes.
The third-ranked Bulldogs, in fact, look more like vintage Alabama than Alabama these days.
The second-ranked Crimson Tide enters Saturday night’s Southeastern Conference game with a soaring passing game and a defense that is much more generous than in the old days, circa 2013. Georgia is more old-school.
I would agree theyre a little more like the old Alabama way, a little more grind it out, said Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin, who helped transform the Tide into a more explosive, pass-happy offense starting in 2014. Not as explosive. Then play phenomenal defense.
The similarities are no coincidence, of course. Georgia coach Kirby Smart was defensive coordinator for four Alabama national championship teams and some of the most dominant defenses in recent memory. Meanwhile, Alabama coach Nick Saban, is sidelined for this game after a positive test for COVID-19.
But Saban has pivoted from his old ways and built championship-caliber teams employing a much different formula emphasizing tempo and downfield passing more while the defense suffers partly as a result.
The talent and the results haven’t changed much.
Alabama is fresh from a 63-48 win over Kiffin’s Rebels, a score that would have been unheard of for a Tide team a few years ago.
Bama also leads the nation in scoring offense at 51 points per game. Georgia, by contrast, has the nations top run defense and yield’s the second-fewest points per game at 12.3. That’s about a quarter’s work for Alabama so far.
There’s some similarities” to those Tide defenses, Saban said on his radio show Thursday evening. “I think they’ve progressed and they do some things that are a little more unique than what we did back in that time, because it’s been about five years ago.
But we had those kind of players on defense. And we did a lot of the same basic things. I think they’ve added some things, especially on third down, that have been very effective…
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