ESPN’s Greg McElroy explains why Georgia can play its best football game of the year on Saturday
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Former Alabama QB Greg McElroy makes the case for Georgia
For some, it’s a foregone conclusion on Saturday that Alabama is going to beat Georgia. The Crimson Tide have won every game this season by at least 20 points. Alabama also shutout LSU, a team that beat Georgia by 20 points back on Oct. 13.
But one ESPN analyst, and former Alabama quarterback, is making the case Georgia is going to make things extremely difficult on Saturday.
Greg McElroy, who quarterbacked the 2009 Alabama squad to a national championship, explained why Georgia is going to be a very dangerous team for the Crimson Tide on Saturday.
“Georgia right now, no one is giving them a chance. This team has talent,” McElroy said on his SEC Network show Thinking Out Loud. “I appreciate Georgia in the sense: 1. They’re going to commit to running the ball 2. They’ve got a quarterback who had success at times last year as a true freshman and 3. That defense is not going to be scared or shy about trying to do things on the perimeter to eliminate the space that the Alabama wide receivers love to create.”
McElroy added that because Georgia is such a big underdog in this game, 13.5 points, that it could galvanize the Bulldogs to come out and play their best game of the season.
“A talented team that it is in desperation mode with their back against the wall, they might come out and play their best football,” McElroy said.
McElory did also point out that Georgia’s lack of a pass rush this season could be a big problem against the Crimson Tide. Georgia finished the regular season with only 20 sacks, which was tied for 12th in the SEC. Alabama meanwhile led the SEC in sacks with 40. Alabama has also given up the fewest sacks in the SEC, as the Crimson Tide have given up only 11 on the season.
Of course Georgia nearly beat the Crimson Tide last season, falling 26-23 in overtime. That game was also played in Atlanta, where the SEC Championship game will be played. Kickoff for the game is set for 4 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS and heard on WSB 95.5 FM/750 AM.
Deandre Baker will have the eye of NFL scouts
Georgia defensive back Deandre Baker has probably been Georgia’s best player this season. And NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has singled out Baker as the Georgia player that a number of NFL types will be looking at on Saturday.
“Baker is my No. 2 corner in this class, but he’s right there with LSU’s Greedy Williams,” Kiper said. “He has all the tools to be an elite, shutdown corner in the NFL, and I expect him to be a top-15 pick in April.”
Baker did a great job limiting then Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the national title game last year, as the now Atlanta Falcon finished the game with a season-low 32 receiving yards. This time around he will likely be paired with Jerry Jeudy, who led the SEC in touchdown catches and was second in receiving yards with 1,079. Additionally, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has only been intercepted twice this season.
Baker is a Thorpe Award finalist, which goes to the nation’s top defensive back, and will certainly have his hands full on Saturday. Kiper added that for Alabama, the most interesting prospect is defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.
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