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Winners and losers from Georgia’s win against Georgia Tech
Winner: Jake Fromm, sophomore quarterback
Fromm had perhaps his best game of the season on Saturday. He was clinical, efficient and pretty much perfect. He threw only 16 passes for 175 yards. But four of those went for touchdowns. He finished the day with more touchdown passes than incompletions. In the seven drives that Fromm led, six ended in touchdowns and the seventh was a field goal at the end of half only because there wasn’t enough time for a touchdown.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 24, 2018
Since his debacle of a game against LSU, Fromm has been incredible. He’s thrown 11 touchdowns to just 1 interception. His improved play is a reason why the Georgia running game has really opened up in recent weeks, as teams can no longer stack the box against the Bulldogs. Fromm really struggled in the second half of last year’s national championship championship game, so he’ll obviously need to play very well if Georgia is going to beat Alabama on Saturday. But if Fromm plays like he did against Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs are going to beat Alabama.
Loser: Georgia’s bowl possibilities
Heading into the SEC championship game, Georgia really only has two realistic destinations for its bowl game.
Let’s talk about the first option: Should it beat Alabama, the Bulldogs will make the College Football Playoff. With Notre Dame having already completed an unbeaten regular season, and Clemson favored to beat lowly Pitt in the ACC championship game, Georgia will likely be the No. 3 team. Since Clemson will head to Miami as the No. 1 team — Alabama drops to at least No. 4 or out of the College Football Playoff entirely—that means that Georgia is most likely take on Notre Dame in Dallas on Dec. 29.
Here’s the second bowl scenario, if Georgia loses on Saturday: Thanks to LSU’s loss to Texas A&M, Georgia is most likely locked in to finishing as the second-highest ranked SEC team, even with a loss to Alabama. And an unbeaten Alabama will make the College Football Playoff, that moves Georgia to the Sugar Bowl where it will play the highest ranked non-playoff team from the Big 12. That will be either Oklahoma or Texas.
Should the Longhorns beat the Sooners again — Texas won the first matchup 48-45 — Georgia would play the Longhorns on Jan. 1. Should Oklahoma win and not make the College Football Playoffs, the Sooners will see Georgia again. The two teams played in the Rose Bowl last year where Georgia came away with a 54-48 win in overtime.
Winner: Jonathan Ledbetter, senior defensive lineman
Ledbetter had the best game of his Georgia career Saturday. He finished the game with 9 tackles, with 5 of them being solo stops. Ledbetter’s performance was a big reason why the Bulldogs were able to hold Georgia Tech to its worst rushing performance of the season. The Yellow Jackets entered the game averaging 354 rushing yards per game. Georgia held them to 128 rushing yards in the 45-21 win.
It’s great to see Ledbetter shine after the off-field issues he struggled with earlier in his career. After his DUI arrest in 2016, it was fair to wonder if he’d finish his career at Georgia. But he’s grown and matured from those incidents and become a key piece for Georgia. Saturday will likely be a day Ledbetter remembers for the rest of his life.
Loser: Georgia’s special teams
Looking ahead to the Alabama game, most would agree that the Bulldogs have a decided advantage over the Crimson Tide on special teams. Alabama’s kickers have missed 8 extra points this year, the most in the country. Alabama also had a punt blocked on Saturday against Auburn.
Georgia, meanwhile, touts one of the best kickers in the country in Rodrigo Blankenship. But Saturday was not the best day for Blankenship. His first kickoff of the game went out of bounds. Then he and the Bulldogs surrendered a kickoff return for a touchdown. Georgia’s kickoff unit has been shaky this year, but it hasn’t been a huge problem because Blankenship is one of nation’s leaders in touchback. Blankenship also missed a 48-yard field goal on Saturday, his third missed field goal of the season.
If the Bulldogs are to beat Alabama, they are going to need to have a decided advantage in the special teams department. It did last year when Georgia nearly beat Alabama in the national championship game. Blankenship will need to be at his best Saturday.
Winner: College Football fans
The SEC championship game on Saturday is the game that the college football world wanted. Mighty No. 1 Alabama taking on a true challenger in No. 4 Georgia. The winner goes to the College Football Playoff. It would be nice get this kind of championship game in every conference.
Unfortunately this year, the Georgia-Alabama game is the only true “winner-takes-all matchup” of championship weekend. The Big 12 features No. 5 Oklahoma against a three-loss Texas team. The ACC championship game has No. 2 Clemson playing a 7-5 Pittsburgh team. And the Big Ten championship game sees No. 6 Ohio State play 8-4 Northwestern.
At the beginning of the season, a lot of people projected the SEC championship game would be a College Football Playoff play-in game between Alabama and Georgia. Both the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide held up their end of the bargain, and now college football fans will be rewarded for it with a game fit for the national championship on Dec. 1.
Best stories from around DawgNation
- Alabama’s Nick Saban breaks down Georgia football QBs Jake Fromm, Justin Fields
- Georgia football a double-digit underdog to Alabama in SEC Championship Game
- While very uncertain about his future, 5-star Jadon Haselwood plans a final UGA trip
- Bulldogs rise in AP Poll after clobbering Georgia Tech
- Quick look: SEC Network’s D.J. Shockley, Jordan Rodgers show Alabama, Georgia offenses
- The best social media reactions after Georgia’s blowout win over Georgia Tech
- REPORT CARD: No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs play well but carry ‘absolutely nothing’ into Bama game
Dawgs on Twitter
NICK CHUBB STRAIGHT UP MOSSED HIM 🏈
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 25, 2018
— Brian Herrien (@brianherrienn) November 25, 2018
Y’all don’t lift weights?? https://t.co/5uEWMmsbGx
— Keith Marshall (@Truthh4) November 24, 2018
For Life ❤️ https://t.co/H8W5OFB9wG
— Jon Ledbetter ™ (@LedbetterDE15) November 24, 2018
Good Dawg of the Day
This is Buster. He’s sending out invitations to his 13th birthday party. Would love it if you could come. There’ll be a bouncy castle and everything. 13/10 #SeniorPupSaturday pic.twitter.com/Au9HpJzb23
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) November 24, 2018