Nick Saban cleared following third negative COVID-19 test report
The SEC and Alabama's team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson announced Saturday afternoon that Nick Saban has been cleared to coach the Georgia vs. Alabama game tonight. The SEC released a statement explaining its testing protocols and how three negative tests were reported 24 hours apart.
"Consistent with the Conference's COVID-19 management requirements, PAE, the third-party provider secured by the SEC to standardize and provide testing for the 14 member institutions, has utilized the authorized laboratory in processing and reporting the three tests 24 hours apart as necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Task Force policy regarding the handling of asymptomatic PCR positive tests."
Here's the official statement from the SEC:
How to watch Alabama vs. Georgia
It's time for the most anticipated game of the season — at least to this point. It's No. 2 Alabama against No. 3 Georgia, where the Bulldogs try to end a five-game losing streak to the Tide and emerge as the SEC favorite.
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 17
- TV channel: CBS
- Streaming: CBSSports.com
- Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Previewing Alabama vs. Georgia
Georgia has come about as close as you can get to beating Alabama in recent years. On Saturday, the Bulldogs get another chance.
Three of the last four meetings have been classics. In 2012, Georgia reached the 'Bama 5 as time ran out in the SEC Championship Game. In January 2018, Alabama rallied to stun Georgia in OT to win the national title. In December 2018, the Tide came back again to shock Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
The Bulldogs probably think 2020 could end differently. QB Stetson Bennett took over during the opener against Arkansas and has come through. UGA won big against ranked Auburn and Tennessee in consecutive weeks, with Bennett up to 689 passing yards and five touchdowns without an interception. On defense, the stingy unit is allowing only 12.3 points per game — and only 38.3 yards per game on the ground.
Alabama's offense will be a great test. QB Mac Jones has passed for 1,101 yards in just three games, while RB Najee Harris has already scored 10 touchdowns.
But there are major concerns about the defense. For so long, Alabama's defensive dominance helped it bully the rest of the SEC and other. This season, the Tide is surrendering 30 points per game — and Ole Miss totaled 647 yards just last week.
But if the game turns into a can-you-stop-me contest, can Georgia keep up? The Bulldogs' rushing attack has been inconsistent, which is something Alabama hasn't worried about with its offense.
Throw in coach Nick Saban testing positive with COVID, and it's been an unusual season in Tuscaloosa, even if Alabama keeps on winning. And even if Georgia does finally beat Alabama, there's a chance it may have to do it again in December for the SEC crown.
AP Poll update
Only Clemson ranks ahead of Alabama and Georgia in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. Here's what the Week 7 rankings look like:
|AP Poll||Ranking||Coaches Poll|
|Notre Dame||4||Notre Dame|
|North Carolina||5||Ohio State|
|Ohio State||6||North Carolina|
|Oklahoma State||7||Oklahoma State|
|Texas A&M||11||Texas A&M|
|Iowa State||20||Iowa State|
|Kansas State||22||Kansas State|
|Virginia Tech||23||Virginia Tech|
Alabama and Georgia play at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. Here's the Saturday's Top 25 schedule:
Saturday, Oct. 17
- No. 1 Clemson at Georgia Tech | 12 p.m. | ABC
- No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama | 8 p.m. | CBS
- Louisville at No. 4 Notre Dame | 2:30 p.m. | NBC
- No. 5 North Carolina at Florida State | 7 p.m. | ESPN
- No. 7 Oklahoma State at Baylor — POSTPONED
- No. 8 Cincinnati at Tulsa — POSTPONED
- LSU at No. 10 Florida — POSTPONED
- No. 11 Texas A&M at Mississippi State | 4 p.m. | ESPN
- Pitt at No. 13 Miami | 12 p.m. | ACC Network
- No. 15 Auburn at South Carolina | 12 p.m. | ESPN
- Kentucky at No. 18 Tennessee | 12 p.m. | SEC Network
- Boston College at No. 23 Virginia Tech | 8 p.m. | ACC Network
Alabama vs. Georgia: Series history
The Crimson Tide have won the last five meetings, often in important games. In 2012, Alabama held off Georgia to win the SEC Championship Game. In January 2018 (2017 season), the Tide defeated UGA in a thriller to win the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. In the most recent meeting, Alabama rallied to stun Georgia at the 2018 SEC title game.
Alabama leads the series 40-25-4. Here are all the meetings since 2000:
|Dec. 1, 2018||Atlanta, GA (SEC Championship)||Alabama||35-28|
|Jan. 8, 2018||Atlanta, GA (CFP title game)||Alabama||26-23 (OT)|
|Oct. 3, 2015||Athens, GA||Alabama||38-10|
|Dec. 1, 2012||Atlanta, GA (SEC Championship)||Alabama||32-28|
|Sept. 27, 2008||Athens, GA||Alabama||41-30|
|Sept. 22, 2007||Tuscaloosa, AL||Georgia||26-23|
|Oct. 4, 2003||Athens, GA||Georgia||37-23|
|Oct. 5, 2002||Tuscaloosa, AL||Georgia||27-25|
Alabama vs. Georgia: How they stack up
Both Alabama and Georgia are 3-0. Here's how they line up, statistically:
|3-0||Record (all SEC games)||3-0|
|No. 2||AP rank||No. 3|
|51.0||Points per game||36.0|
|560.3||Yards per game||420.0|
|322.3||Pass yards allowed||198.3|
|150.7||Rush yards allowed||38.3|
1,101 yards (8 TDs, 1 INT)
|Passing leader||Stetson Bennett
689 yards (5 TDs, 0 INT)
347 yards (10 TDs)
|Rushing leader||Zamir White
209 yards (4 TDs)
396 yards (3 TDs)
|Receiving leader||Kearis Jackson
300 yards (1 TD)
27 total tackles (3.5 TFL)
18 total tackles (2 TFL)