Georgia football: 3 simple things the defense does to beat Alabama

Robert Beal Jr. reacts after a play against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)
Robert Beal Jr. reacts after a play against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Georgia football
Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jordan Davis in action against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. (Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Georgia football must get them off the field and limit yards per play

Buckle up because this slide gets down and dirty with numbers from the four games Georgia football needs to watch the film from the Tide’s season.

The Dawgs must limit Alabama on Saturday, force some three and outs, and the Dawgs must be successful on third down.

On paper, Alabama has impressive stats, earning 150.3 rushing and 341.83 passing yards a game and 492.2 total offensive yards. They average 6.6 yards a play, 4.0 yards a rush and 9.28 yards an attempt.

While those numbers look good, there were four games where the Tide struggled against opponents — the Florida, Texas A&M, LSU and Auburn game. One of those matchups resulted in a loss, and by now, we all know there should have been a second loss in there as well.

In those four games, Alabama’s average per play was below their season average. Against the Gators, the Tide saw 5.05 yards a play, 3.25 a rush, and 6.86 a pass.

Alabama finished with 91 rushes on 28 carries and starting quarterback Bryce Young went 22-of-35 for 240 yards. The Tide also saw 11 penalties for 75 yards.

In the Texas A&M loss, Alabama saw 6.09 yards a play, 4.5 a rush and 7.69 a pass. These numbers are the only ones right on track with the season average. However, those eight penalties were pretty costly to Alabama and were why they fell to the Aggies.

LSU did the best job at limiting them, at least on the ground. The Bayou Bengals held Alabama to six rushing yards on 26 carries but allowed Young to go 24-of-37 for 302 passing yards.

Alabama averaged .23 yards a rush, 8.16 yards a pass, and 4.2 yards a play. Not to mention, the Tide recorded nine penalties against LSU as well.

Lastly, the Auburn game saw Alabama struggle for three quarters and then find a way to force overtime and ultimately win. The Tigers held Alabama to 71 rushing yards on 37 carries, and Young threw 52 times and 317 yards to make something happen.

Auburn forced Alabama to punt seven times, a season-high for the Tide, and for the second time this season, Alabama saw 11 penalties in a game.

On the season, The Tide also converts 53.98% of their third downs, which is No.1 in the SEC. In these four games, though, they were pretty successful, which is likely why they won three out of four. Alabama converted 53% against Florida, 50% against Texas A&M, 30% against LSU and 36% last week against Auburn.

To get to my point here finally, Georgia needs to get them off the field on third down and limit them to under six yards a play. While Alabama overcame those things against these other teams, Georgia has a better defense than all of them.

If LSU had the depth, they would have likely beaten the Tide. Georgia has to find a way to suffocate the Tide and can do so by stuffing the run and limiting longer plays. The Dawgs are far more disciplined than Alabama, so it could possibly get ugly if the Dawgs can limit and force mistakes.

Georgia needs to tackle well in open space and force punts because the less time that explosive offense is on the field, the better.