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Alabama’s Nick Saban once again bested his former assistant, Georgia’s Kirby Smart. (Crimson Tide Photos)

Georgia football-Alabama: Live updates, injury report, practice news for 2021 SEC Championship Game

The Georgia Bulldogs take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 SEC Championship Game. Below you can find live updates, an injury report and the latest practice news for the game.

This is the fourth time in the past five season Georgia has played in the SEC championship game. Alabama won this game last year, beating Florida 52-46.

Georgia football-Alabama live updates, practice news for 2021 SEC Championship Game

1:30 p.m. Thursday update: Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Alabama coach Nick Saban are set to meet with the media shortly. Follow along for live updates.

  • “We’re excited to be here. Great opportunity for our football team. Our players are excited about that. We tell them all the time they’ve earned this opportunity.” -- Smart on playing in the SEC championship.
  • “We’re hopeful to have all four of those guys and be able to play. We feel good about them. It will boil down to how they are in warmups.” -- Smart on Jamaree Salyer, Kearis Jackson, Chris Smith and Kendall Milton.
  • “Coach and I are very appreciative of our relationship. I think you appreciate the job he does and I think I appreciate it more when the fact that you’re gone than when you’re there. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”
  • “I think both guys have improved throughout the year. Knowing where your help is, man to man. They’ll be tested. Nobody has really been able to cover these wideouts. And their quarterback is an excellent distributor.” -- Smart on Kelee Ringo and Derion Kendrick.
  • “We self-scout every week. We want to be able to do what our kids know. They’ve got a video projector too.” -- Smart on self-scouting this week.
  • “Mindset has been great. You want to make sure you curb your enthusiasm. You don’t want them to leave the battle out on the practice field.” -- Smart on the mindset for Georgia this week.
  • “I haven’t really thought about it. There is a lot of change. I don’t spend a lot of time speaking about things outside of my control. We all know this game, especially in the SEC, the amount of pressure on coaching staffs is immense. It’s not for everybody. Guys find that out when they get in our league. You better have quality staff, a great administration and the ability to deal with challenges year round.” -- Smart on coaching in the SEC.
  • “He’s done a good job in practice. Getting confidence back, he’s beginning to become himself.” -- Smart on George Pickens.
  • “Talent. They have tremendous talent. They have really good edge rushers. They’re able to push it on two sides. They push it on the edge and up the middle.” -- Smart on Alabama’s pass rush.
  • “Our schedule is pretty much Wednesday and Thursday nights are scheduled in season. The focus is on the game obviously and getting our guys so they can be at their best for this game.” -- Smart on recruiting this week.
  • “He’s got tremendous spatial awareness. He’s done a tremendous job in terms of teaching him and attacking defenses.” -- Smart on Bryce Young.
  • “You want to dominate the fourth quarter. A lot of that has to do with depth and conditioning.” -- Smart on beating Alabama in a four-quarter game.
  • “Stetson has gotten a lot better through experience. He’s gotten the ability to throw to some skill players. It’s kind of been different in each game. His improvement has really come through our offensive staff and his commitment to getting better and growing.” -- Smart on Stetson Bennett.
  • “He’s got really good toughness, great lower body strength, those things combine to make for a good tight end. He’s composed. It doesn’t matter to him if he’s playing in the backyard, playing or team in practice or doing it against Clemson in the opening game.” -- Smart on Brock Bowers.
  • “Probably the most consistent team, the most dominant team all season long. It’s certainly a privilege and an honor to us to be in this game. It’s going to be a great challenge to our team to play what I feel is the best team in the country.” -- Nick Saban on playing Georiga.
  • “We’re doing somethings with him today in practice and we want to see how he responds.” -- Saban on Brian Robinson.
  • Mentions starting center Darrin Delacourt is day to day. Jalyn Armour-Davis also in wait and see mode for Saturday.
  • “I think both guys do a really, really good job with their offense. I don’t think their offense changes much. Stetson Bennett is quick, fast. He’s made plays with his feet a little more. Both guys do a good job of executing their offense.” -- Saban on having to prepare for both of Georgia’s quarterbacks.
  • “Kirby has done a marvelous job. It was a long time we worked together. He did as good a job as anybody I’ve had on this staff. He’s bright, he’s smart, he’s enthusiastic.” -- Saban on Kirby Smart.
  • “Probably as good a tight end as we’ve faced all year. He’s difficult to guard. Good size, very athletic. He’s very challenging to guard.” -- Saban on Brock Bowers.
  • “He’s really smart, he sees what the defense can do. I think those things develop with knowledge and experience. He’s been outstanding.” -- Saban on Stetson Bennett.
  • “He was a good coach, a good recruiter, hard worker. Great personality. There’s nothing bad that I could think of in terms of what they did here. I think he’ll continue to do well.” -- Saban on Billy Napier.
  • “They’ve got a lot of diversity in what they do. They’ve got a lot of good skill players and running backs. He has a lot of quarterback efficiency. It’s not a different offense, I just think it’s an offense that is really difficult to defend. It’s a good system, it’s well implemented and the players do a good job of executing it.” -- Saban on the Georgia offense.
  • “Whatever is more effective in terms of getting to the quarterback. When guys are really good runners, you want to contain them. I don’t really have a choice, you just like to have effective pressure. Saban on whether he’d prefer a dominant edge rusher or interior lineman.

6:15 p.m. Wednesday update: Georgia center Jamaree Salyer and wide receiver Ladd McConkey will meet with the media on Saturday.

  • “He’s a phenomenal player. He has a huge impact on our offense.” -- Ladd McConkey on George Pickens.
  • “I’m looking forward to getting out there and competing with them” -- McConkey on the Alabama defense.
  • “He’s the same George, going out there making plays and having fun.” -- Ladd McConkey on George Pickens.
  • “We’re approaching this week like every other. Letting it all out. We’re not approaching this game with the mindset that aw if we lose we can still get in the playoff.”
  • “He’s still out there making plays.” -- McConkey on Kearis Jackson.
  • “I really remember the 2017, 2018 game. Those guys came up a little short but the way those guys competed is something we’re trying to do. Just have to finish it off.” -- Ladd McConkey on past Georgia games against Alabama.
  • “My mindset is just to lean on my brothers. Try not to be Superman.” -- Sedrick Van Pran on playing in the SEC championship game.
  • “Just trying to key in on a couple of moves the Alabama guys use a lot.” -- Sedrick Van Pran
  • “Of course you dig down a little deeper for this game. You want to be an SEC champion. You want to dig down deep so that you don’t let down anyone in the building.” -- Sedrick Van Pran on playing in the SEC championship game.
  • “Quay Walker, Jamaree Salyer, Nakobe Dean, Justin Shaffer. This group has been led heavily by the seniors.” -- Sedrick Van Pran on the leaders on this team.
  • “It’s a major jump for us. Everyday we go against guys who are taking game-like reps.” -- Van Pran on playing Georgia’s pass rush in practice everyday.
  • “It was kind of a heartbreak for me because those guys had it up until the very last minute, the very last seconds.” -- Van Pran on the 2018 National Championship Game loss to Alabama.
  • “He’s feeling very optimistic. I really do feel good about him.” -- Sedrick Van Pran on Jamaree Salyer’s status.

6:25 p.m. Tuesday update: Georgia players Quay Walker and Travon Walker are set to meet with the media.

  • “With him being in the open field, we have to make sure we get him down. He’s pretty much like a point guard.” -- Quay Walker on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.
  • “It was real, real hard. For me, it was really Alabama as well. It was hard to de-commit from there. I feel like I would’ve fit in if I went there. I had really, really great relationships there.” -- Quay Walker on being committed to Alabama before flipping to Georgia.
  • Quay Walker says he doesn’t plan on watching the College Football Playoff rankings show.
  • “It’s hard to tell them days before signing day.” -- Quay Walker on him backing off his long-time commitment to Georgia.
  • “No matter what game it is, we treat them all the same. We just have to go out there and execute and everything else will take care of itself.” -- Quay Walker on the SEC championship game.
  • “Either we’re going to prove them right or prove them wrong. We have to do what we have to do.”-- Quay Walker on preseason expectations.
  • “There’s always room for improvement. There’s never anything we can not get better at. We push on it every day at practice.”-- Walker on getting better.
  • “We take full pride in it. Sundays coming in watching film. Monday’s in practice coaching guys up. We take it in control This is a player-led team. And if we want to get to where we want to go, it has to be player-led.” -- Walker on it being a player-led team.
  • “We don’t overlook anybody. We have to do what we have to do.” -- Quay Walker on the Alabama offense
  • “Just keep the main thing the main thing.” -- Quay Walker on what Kirby Smart tells the team.
  • “Just keep improving off the mistakes we made off the course of the season. Don’t try and do anything extra.” -- Travon Walker on how the Georgia defense can maintain its standard.
  • “Speed is something you can’t really coach. So you can do a lot of it.” -- Travon Walker on pass rushing and getting after the passer.
  • “With time, everything went his way. He stuck into it and I wish him the best. He’s a great quarterback.” Travon Walker on Stetson Bennett.
  • “Broderick is a guy that came on a long way from camp. He gives me my best and so I give him my best so that we can get him ready for Saturdays.” -- Travon Walker on Broderick Jones.
  • “The wide receivers that the have. They can extend plays and make plays happen.” -- Travon Walker on what stands out.
  • “I really want to beat them bad. It means a lot more to win this game but at the end of the day its still football. We lost to them last year. It would mean a lot just to get a win.” -- Travon Walker on whether this game means anything more.
  • 11:30 a.m. Monday update: Georgia coach Kirby Smart is set to meet with reporters shortly. Georgia players will Stetson Bennett, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean will also speak with reporters.
  • “Just incredible atmosphere to play in. Excited for our players to get an opportunity to play in it. Very important to keep your composure, have a plan of attack and execute.” -- Smart previewing the SEC championship game.
  • “Jamaree is going to practice today. Had a setback last week. I thought he was going to play against Georgie Tech. If he’s healthy, I feel good about Jamaree. But Broderick has played a lot of snaps in tough SEC environments.” -- Smart on Jamaree Salyer and Broderick Jones.
  • “They’re the unsung heroes in terms of everything to do. Outside of Darnell, they’ve been healthy. I think coach Hartley has done a tremendous job in run blocking. We don’t leave them out on an island often but they do a tremendous job. They’re a big part of our success on offense.” -- Smart on the tight end position.
  • “The guys have bought in. We have good depth.” -- Smart on replacing Adam Anderson in the Georgia pass rush.
  • “That’s what it’s about. People have always talked about our defense this year, it’s about the players. I’ve got an immense amount of respect for Nick and what he’s done. But he’ll be the first to admit it’s about the phone calls Monday through Thursday and the official visits.” -- Smart on facing off against Nick Saban.
  • “We create adversity.” -- on the practice atmosphere at Georgia.
  • “What puts them over the top is the distruitor. What he doesn’t get enough credit for is how he gets the ball out. He’s like an elite point guard. He almost baits rushers. He makes the guys around him even better.” -- Smart on Bryce Young
  • “He’s an unquestioned leader because of the way he works. That group of he, Quay and Channing, the work so hard it raises the standard of everyone else” -- Smart on Nakobe Dean.
  • “I think we’ve seen all good quarterbacks have rough days. He has to understand the plan, you have to avoid adverse situations. Experience, that’s the No. 1 thing to grow from.” -- Smart on what Stetson Bennett has grown from since the last Alabama game.
  • “Hopeful to get him back. Going to try to work him back in some this week. It’s a confidence issue with MCL. I know he looked a lot better on Wednesday than he did when he was warming up on Saturday.” -- Smart on Kendall Milton.
  • “We think Kearis is going to be fine. We’ll see how he plays and goes out this week.” -- Smart on Kearis Jackson.
  • “I think we’ve got good players on offense. I think Monken has done a good job. We’ve had to do it different ways. The huge difference is the use of tight ends, opening up the offense.”
  • “They were a tremendous football game. We’ve improved, we’ve recruited well. Our kids are playing with confidence. THey’ve done a good job from a leadership standpoint. The strength of this team is the team.”
  • “We’re hopeful he’s able to go today. He did some running yesterday but I won’t know more until I see him at practice.” -- Smart on Chris Smith.
  • “I’ve said all my career that to win SEC championships is almost as hard. It’s one of our goals.” -- Smart on entering the SEC championship as a perceived playoff team.

5 p.m. Sunday update: Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Alabama coach Nick Saban will meet with the media to preview the game.

  • “Excited first and foremost to be in this game. The atmosphere is incredible. I think the SEC administrators have done a tremendous job keeping this game as big as it has.” -- Smart on playing in the SEC championship game.
  • “We’ve overlapped two or three opponents. He’s a tremendous athlete. He plays with so much passion and toughness. When I see him play, he reminds me of Rashaan Evans. He strikes people. He’ll be a keep part of the game.” -- Smart on Will Anderson.
  • “We got a lot of things to continue to work on. I know the type of skill were up against at quarterback. They’re not recruiting plays that can’t play in the SEC over there.” -- Smart on what he’s seen against Alabama.
  • “Every year is independent of the previous. People want to try and make it that. Our job is to go play and do the best possible job we can.” -- Smart on the past Georgia-Alabama games.
  • “I don’t know. I think you have to find that out. We make for adverse situations in practice every day. They go and compete. We go and ask how they can go compete. If they compete every play like it’s independent of the previous.”-- Smart on Georgia not facing adverse situations.
  • “That’s the best advertisement we can have. To go out there and play well.” -- Smart on playing in the SEC championship game.
  • “This team has responded with all that we’ve challenged them with. They’ve done it each and every time. I feel like this team, it wasn’t fully recruited by our staff. All these guys have been recruited by our staff.”-- Smart comparing Georgia to the 2017 Georgia team.
  • “They’ve had great focus thus far of the season. THey’re listening. They’re focused. They’re driven. It’s not going to be lackadaisical. It’s one of those, hey look we’ve been looking to be at our best. The big challenge is can execute when you need to.” -- Smart on the maturity level with this Georgia team.
  • “They’ve got one of the best players in the country in the transfer. He’s a weapon out at wide out. Slade Bolden has been there forever it feels like. Jacorey, the guy that made the play last night, we’ve known him for a while.” -- Smart on the Alabama wide receivers.
  • No update on the status of Kearis Jackson.
  • “I think it can be parlayed however you want it to look. I’m a big believer in strain. If you strain you get used to straining. It’s one of those things however you want to look at.” -- Smart on Alabama playing a tough game last week whereas Georgia played Georgia Tech.
  • “He’s composed at all times. Has great presence in the pocket. Knows where all his outlets are. Much like a point guard in basketball. Just a quick release.” -- Smart on Bryce Young.
  • “He started as a walk-on and now he’s playing for the SEC championship. You go back and look at the newspaper articles and media outlets when he had to play Baker Mayfield. He started as a quarterback that played as the role of Baker Mayfield. Smart with the ball did a lot of good things. He wanted to go play.” -- Smart on Stetson Bennett.
  • “It’s rare to see a tight end do the things that he’s done. No moment has been too big for him. We knew from the Clemson game he was going to be a weapon. At that position, it’s kind of unique.” -- Smart on Brock Bowers.
  • “Georgia has the No. 1 team in the country for good reason. They’ve been the most consistent team.” -- Nick Saban on Georgia.
  • “He has a lower-body pulled muscle. We’ll see where he’s at. I can’t really tell you anything more than that.” -- Saban on Alabama leading rusher Brian Robinson.
  • “You never know how players are going to respond to those type of things. We got to go through the process of getting ready for the next game.” -- Saban on playing a tough game against Auburn last week.
  • “I think the guy is one of the most dominant players in college football. The No. 1 thing you can look at is how hard is he to block and he’s really hard to block. He’s about as good a player I’ve seen in a long time.” -- Nick Saban on Jordan Davis.
  • “I think what has happened in the past doesn’t have much impact on what has happened in the future. You gotta play well in this game. That’s the challenge we all have.” -- Saban on past games impacting the game against Georgia.
  • “It wasn’t always pretty, we didn’t always execute perfectly but eventually we found success in overtime.” -- Saban on the Auburn game.
  • The fact that they have five different players that have multiple sacks, there’s nine different players that have two sacks. There’s a lot of issues. They got good linebacker, good secondary. This is not a one-man wrecking crew. A really, really good group of players that have the ability to make plays.”-- Saban on the Georgia front.
  • “Obviously it wasn’t very good. We didn’t do a very good job of pass blocking. We didn’t do a good job of finishing blocks on the running plays. Did a much better job in the second half.” -- Saban on the Alabama offensive line.

The No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs will take on the No. 3 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, December 4 in the 2021 SEC Championship Game.

Georgia is coming off a 45-0 win over Georgia Tech, moving the Bulldogs to 12-0 on the season. The Bulldogs are the only unbeaten team in the Power 5.

Alabama meanwhile needed need four overtimes to beat a 6-6 Auburn team on Saturday. The Bulldogs beat Auburn 34-10 earlier in the season.

The Bulldogs have not played a game within 17 points since the first game of the season. Alabama on the other hand, played one-score games against its last three SEC opponents.

This is the third time Georgia and Alabama have met in the SEC championship game. Alabama won both prior matchups, beating Georgia in 2012 and 2018. Alabama also beat Georgia in the 2018 National Championship Game, which was played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Georgia has not beaten Alabama since 2007.

Georgia last won the SEC championship back in 2017, when the Bulldogs beat Auburn.

“The stage and the television audience and the national audience you get, it’s tremendous for our school, for recruiting, for everything,” Smart said on Saturday. “It’s one of the greatest events in a great location. Where football is king, all across the south.”

This game does have College Football Playoff implications, with Georgia holding the No. 1 ranking and Alabama sitting at No. 3. The Crimson Tide likely need to win to make it into the College Football Playoff, while Georgia should be in regardless of the outcome.

Georgia football-Alabama injury report

George Pickens (probable, knee), Jamaree Salyer (questionable, foot), Kearis Jackson (questionable, ribs), Chris Smith (doubtful, knee), Kendall Milton (questionable, knee), Arian Smith (out, knee), Tykee Smith (out, knee), Trezmen Marshall (out, knee), Rian Davis (out, quad), Jalen Kimber (out, shoulder), Tate Ratledge (out, foot)

Georgia football-Alabama game time for 2021 SEC Championship Game

The Georgia football-Alabama game is set for a 4 p.m. ET start.

Georgia football-Alabama TV channel for 2021 SEC Championship Game

CBS will broadcast the Georgia football-Alabama game. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl will commentate on the game.

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