For the second time in three years, the No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) and the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (12-0) will face off for the SEC Championship trophy Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
For the first time this season, Alabama enters a game as an underdog. The Crimson Tide stumbled through the start of the season, losing to Texas and posting less-than-impressive victories over South Florida and Ole Miss. Just when it appeared the Tide would roll into Atlanta, Alabama needed a last-minute miracle to survive their rivalry game against Auburn last week.
Meanwhile, Georgia rolls into Atlanta on a 29-game winning streak. The Bulldogs have won every game this season by more than 24 points on average, but Georgia limped into the championship contest with a stunningly close 31-23 victory over rival Georgia Tech.
With a CFB Playoff berth on the line, which team will leave Atlanta with their next SEC Championship trophy? Discover our prediction on this contest as well as which players will make an impact in the game below.
The progress Alabama QB Jalen Milroe has made this season is remarkable. After struggling in his first few contests, Milroe cemented his role as the Crimson Tide starter by completing 66% of his passes for 2,526 yards and 21 TDs to only six INTs.
In big games, Milroe has used his feet to open up the offense. Against Texas, LSU and Auburn, Milroe ran for a combined 306 rushing yards on 53 carries and four rushing TDs. That’s roughly 70% of his season yardage total in three games.
Most QBs have not had success running the football against Georgia. Just last week, Georgia Tech’s Haynes King ran for just 24 yards – below his season average of 54 yards per game – against the Bulldogs. Despite the grim outlook, Milroe will need to be effective running the ball for Alabama to score, so expect the Tide’s QB to surpass the 39.5 rushing yards mark.
Despite missing nearly a month of action, Georgia’s top receiver this season was future NFLer Brock Bowers. The Bulldogs TE recorded 661 receiving yards on 51 receptions and six TDs, all team best totals in 2023.
Expect Bowers to add to those totals this weekend against Alabama. While the Crimson Tide defended the pass well, teams were able to sneak TE receptions against Alabama’s interior defensemen. Against Kentucky, the Tide yielded 70 receiving yards to two TEs on just three catches, exposing the vulnerability that Georgia will, too, on Saturday.
In the second half of the season, Georgia’s two-headed tailback combo terrorized defenses. That’s largely due to the emergence of Kendall Milton, a Bulldog RB that has 349 rushing yards and five rushing TDs in his past three games.
While Alabama will key in on senior RB Daijun Edwards – the other half of this dynamic running duo – to slow down the Georgia offense, the Tide can’t stop both Edwards and Milton. Expect Milton to easily eclipse the 55.5 rushing yard mark to successfully cover this player prop bet.
The last time that Georgia tasted defeat was December 4, 2021, in the SEC Championship game against Alabama. Since that time, the Bulldogs have reeled off 29 straight wins with 24 of those victories by double-digit margins.
Expect Georgia to add Alabama to this impressive win streak in a game that will not be closer than six points when the final horn sounds.
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