Last Updated 6:38 PM, October 18, 2020

Alabama dominates second half, beats Georgia 41-24 in huge SEC game

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Week 7 AP poll breakdown: Notre Dame, Ohio State move up ahead of Big Ten's return
2:20
3:29 am, October 18, 2020

Alabama dominates second half, beats Georgia 41-24

So much for that halftime deficit. So much for Georgia finally solving the Alabama puzzle.

Alabama's receivers, quarterback Mac Jones and, yes, even its defense, owned the second half as the No. 2 Crimson Tide pulled away from No. 3 Georgia 41-24 on Saturday night. It's Alabama's six consecutive win against Georgia.

As expected Jones had a huge game, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns while receivers Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and John Metchie III each made huge plays. Both Smith and Waddle topped 160 receiving yards. And on the ground, running back Najee Harris powered his way to 150 yards and a score.

For a while, Georgia's defense helped Stetson Bennett and the offense take a 24-20 lead at the half. But the Bulldogs slumped in the second half by going punt-punt-interception-interception-missed field goal. Bennett closed with 269 passing yards and two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions.

It all added up to too much for Georgia to keep pace. Instead, Alabama defeated the Bulldogs again as coach Nick Saban moved to 22-0 against his former assistants.

Alabama outgained UGA 564 to 414 and forced three turnovers.

Alabama vs. Georgia stats
2:55 am, October 18, 2020

Alabama's big-play offense, defense control third quarter

Going in, Alabama expected big numbers and points from the offense. But the defense has emerged in the crucial third quarter.

Georgia's offensive possessions have gone punt-punt-interception, a significant stretch that allowed the Tide go surge ahead by 10 points.

The Alabama receivers continue to add highlight catch after highlight catch, as Jaylen Waddle's 90-yard touchdown catch gave the Tide the lead. Waddle is up to 161 yards, with DeVonta Smith at 147 yards.

Georgia will now have to try and keep pace with Alabama.

 

 

2:04 am, October 18, 2020

Georgia 24, Alabama 20 | Halftime

Georgia is halfway home to ending a losing streak to Alabama at five games — barely. The offense is a big reason why.

After throwing an early pick, and despite some lingering problems throwing over the Alabama front, Bulldogs QB Stetson Bennett has been solid at 177 yards and two touchdowns. He's completing under 50 percent of his passes (12-for-25), but he's made big throws when needed and has gotten a boost from the ground game. Kendall Milton and Zamir White have combined for 61 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

Alabama's offense has also been strong, even after an early Mac Jones interception. Jones is up to 224 yards and two touchdowns. RB Najee Harris is putting together another impressive game with 80 rushing yards. 'Bama is on pace for just under 600 offensive yards and is averaging 7.3 yards per play.

One stat that could be telling: Georgia is 5-for-9 on third-down conversions. The second half will depend on which defense steps up.

Here is the Alabama vs. Georgia box score
1:04 am, October 18, 2020

Georgia run game opens up offense to pull ahead

After an unexpected, turnover-heavy start, Georgia has surged ahead.

After both Alabama QB Mac Jones and Georgia QB Stetson Bennett threw interceptions, the Tide went ahead briefly. But then the Bulldogs established the run.

UGA running backs Kenny McIntosh and Zamir White found room as the Georgia offensive line pushed aside the Alabama defensive line and linebackers, especially on a 10-yard White TD run.

Georgia struggled earlier in the season on the ground, particularly in the opener at Arkansas, but the Bulldogs have room early tonight. That opened up the passing game, where Bennett found James Cook for an 82-yard touchdown connection.

11:36 pm, October 17, 2020

Alabama vs. Georgia: Pregame

Is tonight the moment when Georgia finally beats Alabama and emerges as the SEC favorite? Or is Alabama still Alabama?

Those are only two of the questions going into tonight's game. One thing we do know: Nick Saban has been cleared to coach tonight's game after fulfilling the SEC's COVID-19 testing requirements.

Through two games, QB Stetson Bennett has more than steadied Georgia's offense while the UGA defense overwhelmed Auburn and Tennessee in key moments. Alabama has seen a different run to 3-0, as QB Mac Jones and RB Najee Harris have scored in bunches to make up for a defense has hasn't looked consistently strong.

Also, around the country today, the big surprises have involved the SEC. South Carolina picked off Bo Nix three times in a 30-22 win against No. 15 Auburn. And Kentucky opened the scoring with two pick-sixes to rout No. 18 Tennessee, 34-7. It's only Oct. 17 and only four SEC teams have one or fewer losses: Alabama (3-0), Georgia (3-0), Florida (2-1) and Texas A&M (3-1).

But there's a long way to go, no matter who wins in Tuscaloosa tonight.

4:26 pm, October 17, 2020

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

5:25 pm, October 15, 2020

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

Click or tap here for a complete list of Week 7 TV info.

Alabama Athletics Alabama fans Alabama is hosting Georgia for the first time since 2007, though the teams have played five games since.
7:14 pm, October 15, 2020

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.

 

5:18 pm, October 15, 2020

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
Clemson 1 Clemson
Alabama 2 Alabama
Georgia 3 Georgia
Notre Dame 4 Notre Dame
North Carolina 5 Ohio State
Ohio State 6 North Carolina
Oklahoma State 7 Oklahoma State
Cincinnati 8 Penn State
Penn State 9 Florida
Florida 10 Cincinnati
Texas A&M 11 Texas A&M
Oregon 12 Miami
Miami 13 BYU
BYU 14 Auburn
Auburn 15 Wisconsin
Wisconsin 16 Oregon
SMU 17 Tennessee
Tennessee 18 SMU
Michigan 19 Michigan
Iowa State 20 Iowa State
Louisiana 21 Louisiana
Kansas State 22 Kansas State
Virginia Tech 23 Virginia Tech
Minnesota 24 USC
USC 25 Minnesota

Alabama and Georgia play at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. Here's the Saturday's Top 25 schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 17

5:05 pm, October 15, 2020

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:

Date Location Winner Score
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
4:55 pm, October 15, 2020

Alabama vs. Georgia: How they stack up

Both Alabama and Georgia are 3-0. Here's how they line up, statistically:

Alabama vs. Georgia
Alabama STAT Georgia
3-0 Record (all SEC games) 3-0
No. 2 AP rank No. 3
51.0 Points per game 36.0
30.3 Points allowed 12.3
560.3 Yards per game 420.0
385.0 Pass yards 248.0
175.3 Rush yards 172.0
473.0 Yards allowed 236.7
322.3 Pass yards allowed 198.3
150.7 Rush yards allowed 38.3
Mac Jones
1,101 yards (8 TDs, 1 INT)
Passing leader Stetson Bennett
689 yards (5 TDs, 0 INT)
Najee Harris
347 yards (10 TDs)
Rushing leader Zamir White
209 yards (4 TDs)
Jaylen Waddle
396 yards (3 TDs)
Receiving leader Kearis Jackson
300 yards (1 TD)
Dylan Moses
27 total tackles (3.5 TFL)
Defense Azeez Ojulari
18 total tackles (2 TFL)