Final Feelings: Beating the Bear... 2018 UGA vs. Alabama

November 30, 2018

Dylan’s Final Feelings

So in all honesty, I completely forgot I had to write this. Dean texted me about it earlier today and I set aside time to do it, but then I went to my IM basketball game (we got killed) then I completely forgot about it. Now I'm sitting downtown in Magnolias watching Golden State-Raptors typing this on my phone, so let's get this. 

Earlier today I watched a clip of Collin Cowherd talking about his playoff predictions. He said Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. That's good prediction. Honestly, it's what I think it will be. But what he was saying was that Alabama was automatically in. 

Wait a second. They still have to play one of the top three teams in the nation (despite what CFP Rankings say). That isn't just some walk in the park. If you're saying otherwise then you should watch more college football. 

I made this comparison in our last Riding Home, but Alabama is the Empire with the Death Star. This season, they've just been going down blowing planets up and shit (LSU being Alderaan). The Death Star is the most powerful thing in the galaxy, no doubt, but it had its weakness. It may be small and hard to notice, but it was there. 

Georgia here is the Rebellion. They're an underdog in this fight, a significant one to those watching from outside the fanbase, but they know they can win this game. 

And it's true, the Bulldogs can absolutely win this game, but they need to be able to run the ball. That is my biggest thing for this game. If Georgia wants to win, that cannot do it solely on the arm of Jake Fromm. He is at his absolute best when the run game is open, and they need him to be his absolute best on Saturday. Georgia needs to get more than 100 yards rushing to compete in this game, I think they'll need 150 or more to win. That's no easy task, but it's not impossible at all. 

That being said… I think the Empire takes this game, 31-27. The offense is too explosive and I think the defense will be able to keep D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield at bay. This will be Tua’s worst game yet, but I still think that statline looks like two TDs, an interception and more than 200 yards passing, which is still solid. Alabama’s running game is going to five UGA’s front-seven issues, and I believe that will be the difference in this game. 

As for the Horns, they're going to lose this weekend. They can't beat Oklahoma twice in a season. It was a miracle they didn't blow it in the first matchup. But Texas fans don't even care, they think (and probably are) they're going to the Sugar Bowl and are already looking forward to that game. 

And the Aggies this weekend will probably enjoy their weekend sitting at home. At least I hope they do. 

Allright, that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to type on my phone. I went through a Tropicalia as I wrote it, which is exactly what I need. It's been a work filled. A comm law quiz, a paper in Religion1001. I was up till about 2 a.m. on Tuesday writing up the Cortez Hankton Story. But tonight, well, I needed tonight. Even if it meant typing this up in the middle of it on my phone, I’m more than happy to do it for y’all.

Matt’s Final Feelings

It was another great week at the DeBary house. And how could not not be? It’s Georgia and Alabama week.

The rest of the college football world can hate it all they want, but it doesn’t get any bigger than this. This is the game everyone has been waiting for since September. 

The media and “analysts” will tell you Georgia has not shot in this game. Hawaiian Jesus broke Georgia’s hearts in January in the same building. How how in the world can Georgia win this time around?

Simply put, they need to play their best game of the year. They certainly have the weapons to make plays on offense, but the Georgia defense will have their hands full. As good as Tua is, the weapons around him are also dangerous. Yes, Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker might be the best in the country, but guys like Tyrique McGee, Eric Stokes, Mark Webb, Tyson Campbell and all the safeties will have to play fundamentally sound football. Those Alabama receivers are the real deal and they’ve got a bunch of them. It will be a tough task for this secondary, especially if Georgia is unable to get pressure on the quarterback.

Offensively, Georgia should be fine in my eyes. Have you seen Georgia’s offensive line this year? Yes, they’re a little banged up, but this is as good a group as any in college football.

Alabama can’t stop Georgia’s rushing attack. They can contain it for a brief period, but they can’t completely stop Georgia on the ground. Georgia needs to get the ground game going early on to open up some passing lanes and big play opportunities for Fromm and his weapons on the outside.

Look for Mecole Hardman and Tyler Simmons to have their names called in big ways on 
Saturday. Speed kills and Georgia has plenty of it on offense. If Georgia wants to score with Alabama, these weapons on the outside need to use their speed and make some big plays down the field. 

This Alabama team is very much like the 2016 Atlanta Falcons in a way. Dean and Dylan will hate this but it’s true. Believe it or not, my 2016 Birds put fear into the other team. They had games won before they stepped on the field. They had an incredible offense with a ton of weapons to go along with a very stout defense. Just like this Alabama team. 

But we all saw the Super Bowl that year. The unbeatable Falcons lost in the final game. We won't go into details about the biggest collapse in American sports, but it happened.

This Alabama team can be beaten. That’s why you play the game. Georgia is the clear underdog in this game, but you can bet this team is accepting that role with a smile. They want the chip on their shoulder. They want the feeling that nobody thinks they’ll win. 

Overall, this game is going to be a WAR. I don’t think Alabama is going to blow out Georgia. I think Georgia covers, but I do think the Tide will come out with a close 34-30 victory.

So if Georgia loses on the last play or in overtime, does Georgia still get in the playoff?
They probably won’t, but Georgia will still have a better resume than Oklahoma and Ohio State. 

As for the other games, Clemson will destroy Pitt. That game should be cancelled. That entire conference is embarrassing and I don’t see it getting any better anytime soon. Clemson will be in the playoff for many years to come. There’s no excuses over there.

Oklahoma will cover and beat Texas. They still have zero defense, but it’s so tough to beat a team twice in one season. The Sooners will get revenge in a big way, but still give up at least 40 points to Texas.

Ohio State will SQUEAK past Northwestern. That will come down to the final drive or two. Sure they beat up on Michigan, but the Buckeyes still have major flaws. I’m expecting a close game here.

In the end, I still think Oklahoma will find their way into the playoff and grab that 4 spot. It might not be fair, but that’s the way it’s going to be. 

Now that Thanksgiving is over, It’s officially Christmas time. I’m big on Christmas. Love it. But like many people reading this, I hate shopping. I especially hate shopping for clothes and trying them on.

Anyway, I went shopping for pants this week and noticed something. I’ve been a size 34 my entire life but the pants these days are made differently. They’re all too tight. I don’t know what this 36 nonsense is. I grabbed a snug 34 and went on my way. 

There’s also too many people at these stores. I went to the outlet mall on Tuesday thinking nobody would be there. Turns out the whole damn town wanted to come out and shop that day. Everyone walks slow, everyone has a crying kid with them, it’s a mess. I need to learn how to on-line shop in 2019. 

My brother is proposing to his girlfriend next weekend which is pretty cool. I’ll have a sister for the first time in my life. They both enjoy having fun and throwing down beverages so the wedding should be awesome.

Dean’s Final Feelings

Numbers on the wall - that’s what Kirby wants. 

And the more numbers the better. The general public doesn’t see the inside of Georgia’s football facilities, if they did they would know what numbers on the wall means. 

Each number is a championship, and Georgia has 13 of them on the left wall of the football meeting room. One was added this week last year. The Dawgs have a shot to add another one Saturday… if they can beat No. 1 Alabama. 

Easier said than done, but the opportunity is there for sure, and Kirby knows it.

Alabama should win this game. But we’ve seen wild things happen championship weekends. 2007 - No. 9 Oklahoma beats No. 1 Missouri, and No. 2 West Virginia loses to unranked Pitt. 2006 - Unranked UCLA shocks No. 2 USC to open the door for the Gators to back in. 1996 - 7-4 and unranked Texas stuns No. 3 Nebraska in the 1996 Big 12 Championship Game… and the Gators back in again. 

We can’t know what will happen on Saturday. By Friday afternoon the betting line was swinging wildly - you could get Alabama -11.5 all the way to 14. The game is moving. That upsets happened decades ago is irrelevant to Saturday. That the line is fluctuating is irrelevant to Saturday. But my point is that while Bama is favored and should win this game - Georgia, the No. 4 team in the country - is more than capable of winning this game. 

Matt and I spent about ten minutes with David Pollack Friday afternoon - and his entire point was that if you can’t or don’t score 30 points on Alabama you’ve got no shot. He added that its not just Georgia who can’t slow down the Tide - “Don’t get it twisted,” he told us… “No one can.”

Alabama wins, take the Dawgs and the points and hope for turnovers to bail you out. This is a good Georgia team that just happens, like the Tide, to be playing a National Title-level game in what amounts to the quarterfinals. 

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