Five important things Georgia football fans should know about Alabama

Nick Saban talks with Kirby Smart before the SEC Championship game. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Nick Saban talks with Kirby Smart before the SEC Championship game. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
6 of 6
Georgia football
James Burnip and Will Reichard react after a successful field goal. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Kickers matter — Will Reichard

The standing joke was that Nick Saban could create any player to an NFL standard, except he couldn’t find a kicker if said kicker were standing right in front of him.

Well, that joke was no more when Will Reichard came along. After years of missed field goals and extra points, Crimson Tide fans could learn to breathe each time the kicker took to the field.

In fact, in last year’s national championship-winning season, Reichard was perfect kicking 14-14 field goals, with a long kick of 52 yards, scoring a total of 126 points across the season. Yes, Alabama had found their kicker.

Except in 2021, Reichard has not had anywhere near the same season he had last year. Currently, Reichard is 18-23 on field goals, a 78% completion rate, including that high profile “laces in” 44-yard field goal miss in the Cotton Bowl.

While we fully expect the national championship game to be much tighter than the SEC Championship Game, this game could go to overtime, and a field goal or extra point making the difference — 78% completion, Bama fans will be watching through their fingers.

Related Story. Why Georgia should not be National Championship favourites. light

So, there are reasons for optimism that Georgia football can overturn that SEC Championship defeat. Still, they should consider it disingenuous, given that the Georgia defense may be the best college football.

But in a game where the margin is razor-thin, every slight advantage can make the difference. So maybe it is geography, injuries, or a missed field goal that makes the difference. Waking up on Tuesday morning as victors, Georgia football fans will not care.