The Quad: Danielson's Take: Alabama vs. Georgia
Here's the real skinny: Against every good offensive line they've faced, Georgia's defense has been quite generous in the running game. They've given up 230+ and 300+ yards to teams that like to run the football and if you know anything about Alabama, they like to pound the rock.Just look at their schedule. They played Ole Miss at home, before Ole Miss really got going; Auburn, which is a disaster; they crushed Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. When other teams were playing big games Georgia was playing nobody.That’s one side.On the other side of ball, Alabama was considered hands-down the best team in the country, almost unbeatable. But when an opponent had a competent quarterback, Zach Mettenberger of L.S.U. or Johnny Manziel at Texas A &M, they had trouble. You wonder if Alabama has some holes in their game. They’re not as elite as they appear.So you go into the game and the two teams have a lot of question marks. Can Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray do what Mettenberger and Manziel did? He has lost his top two receivers. Will it matter? And can Georgia’s Jarvis Jones upend AJ McCarron, the Alabama quarterback, so much that it determines the game?
The game of football is won and lost on the line of scrimmage. In the college game, that's even more so. If you depend on the quarterback to win games for you, you'll win most but anytime you face a squad that blocks and runs better, you're in trouble.
On the flip side, UGA's offensive line has struggled against some of the better defenses they have played and it shows in Aaron Murray's stats. Likewise, Alabama has sometimes struggled to protect AJ McCarron against the better defensive lines it has faced.
This shouldn't come down to QB play. Instead, it should come down to who can establish the run and who is better at stopping it.