Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Beating Bama

The Alabama Crimson Tide have been the oft-disputed, yet primarily confirmed Kings of College Football for over a Decade.  Over the course of that run, the University of Georgia (which has also experienced a sustained level of success rarely seen in the program over that span) has continually slammed its head against the wall that is the Tide.  2012.  2017. 2018. 2020. 2021.  5 games which all ultimately had title (either Conference or National) implications, have all gone the way of Bama.  The narrative is locked in, Georgia just can't beat Bama.  The common knowledge will tell you that there's a very simple reason for that - Georgia's offense is just flat out never good enough to do it.  The only recipe to beat Alabama is to outscore them in a shootout.  It's obvious.  

Since falling to Alabama once again on December 4th, the UGA football team has come under incredible fan scrutiny, with continued calls for the benching of Stetson Bennet and replacing of him with JT Daniels.  To their credit, the loudest of these fans have been consistent with their criticism of Stetson all season - it's hardly a new development.  Through game after game, no matter the result (all wins), it was said that Stetson would fail when presented with a better challenge.  He would not be able to "keep up" with the better offenses in the country.  If put in the situation of needing to move the offense and score, he just wouldn't come through.  

And it seems that was the case.  When it all came down to needing to drive down and score consistently, this team was not able to do it, and people are very willing to place all of that blame on Stetson Bennett.  People are willing to do that, mostly, because they believe that the guy sitting on the bench is far and away better, and has the tools to sling balls all around the field against Bama while Stetson just plain can't.  And like we said - you have to beat Bama in a shootout.  You have to chase them down and outscore them.  

It's what you HAVE TO DO. 

I find that hard to believe.  So, the idiot that I am, I decided to look into the narrative a little bit.  

In the past 6 seasons (I decided to stick to the Kirby Smart era of UGA football because a: he wouldn't have been at Bama to have anything to do with their results and b: that's where the majority of the heartbreak has existed), Alabama has lost a total of 6 games.  So, let's see what kind of information we can glean from those 6 losses. 

In four of the six losses suffered by Alabama in the past 6 years, the winning formula has been "get a lead, hold it."  In one loss, it was a see-saw the whole way, and in exactly one out of the six losses, a team has been able to chase Alabama down after falling into a big hole.  

Ok, so that's been in the games they lost.  But we're talking six seasons worth of games here, so there must have been a number of close games in which Alabama was simply able to out-leg the other team.  In those 6 years, Alabama has won a total of 9 games within 7 points or less.  They haven't been dealing with a large number of shootouts.  

In those close games, Bama has 4 lead-and-holds,  4 basic comebacks,  and 1 incredible strugglebus performance wherein they were able to topple #AuburnSucks after mustering 3 points from their offense in 57+ minutes.

For the vast majority of the remainder of the 6 seasons we're talking about, Alabama has completely dominated the other team... much like the 2021 UGA Bulldogs did for 12 games.  They get a lead, suffocate the other team, and they keep their offense on track, efficient, and able to score.  It's the Saban blueprint.  

But, can the Saban Blueprint work in the playoff setting or do you need a high-flying offense that can simply rack up massive points, and allow your team to be the one team that outpaces Bama in a shootout?  

Well, in 2020, OSU averaged 43ppg prior to playing Bama, and got whipped 52-24.  With Justin Fields.  Most would say Justin Fields was a better QB last year than any QB on the UGA roster is right now. 

In their 2017 Semi-Final, Bama built a 10-3 halftime lead over Clemson, and then extended that lead ultimately winning 24-6.

In 2017, UGA controlled the National Title game for most of the way, but couldn't hold off a late charge, falling 26-23.

In 2018 Semi Final, OU with Kyler Murray couldn't chase down Bama after the Tide took a 21-point lead into the half, ultimately losing by 10.

In 2018, Clemson opened the National Title game with a 3-out but then grabbed a pick-6.  Gave up some big plays in Q1, but the defense settled in during the 2nd quarter, and then they completely controlled the game.

2018 is an interesting example for me.  Kyler Murray led a big-time scoring offense from the BIGXII... but he had a BIGXII defense on the other side of the ball.  Oklahoma got pantsed.  That same year, Clemson rolled up on Bama with a strong defense, and held Bama to their lowest scoring output in postseason play, and their 3rd lowest over the entire 6 years (14 in a L to AU 2017, and 10 in a W over LSU 2016).   The same Bama team showed up for both of those games.  Their defense gave up 34 points to OU, and 37 points to Clemson (Clem also scored on that pick-6).  

The difference, was DEFENSE.  

The narrative out in the world right now is that you have to have a quarterback that can "keep pace" with Bama's high scoring offense in the playoffs if you want to beat them.  The truth is, Bama has only lost two post-season games since 2016.  Both were in the National Title Game against Clemson.  One was a massive 4th Quarter comeback by DeShaun Watson and the Tigers.  The other, was a knockout performance by one of the nation's top defenses and a consistent offensive push.

I'll say this for the Dawgs - they have a better chance of the defense showing up and playing like they did for 12 games this year, than they do of JT Daniels coming off the bench and suddenly being DeShaun Watson.

It's a rare thing to hold Bama under 20.  It's a rare thing to win a national title.  If the Dawgs can do the first, I believe they will do the second.  That, my friends, would be Beating Bama.

Go Dawgs.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Not all great Rushing Defenses are the same.

It has been suggested that one of the key matchups of Saturday's SEC Championship Game will be that of Alabama's defense against the UGA rushing game.  Many have said that Alabama's Rushing Defense is on par with UGA's, some have even said BAMA is better.  

I'm having a hard time with the "Bama is better" concept.  Here's why: 

UGA's D is third in the nation in rushing yards per game, at 78.92 while Bama's is fourth, 80.58 

Bama's YPC average is 2nd at 2.42, while UGA is third... at 2.49.

UGA leads the nation in TDs allowed on the ground, with 2.  Bama places 5th, with 8. 

When you look at only the Power 5 competition, the difference grows a bit... 

UGA's D is fourth in YPG, at 75.2 while Bama sits 6th at 89.78.  

UGA's P5 YPC is 2.39, good for 4th in the nation.  Bama is at 6th at 2.67. 

So, all of this would seem to suggest that the two teams are, mostly even in a rushing defense perspective. 

But, I did see a couple of interesting things when looking at the statistics.

Of the 947 yards the UGA defense has allowed on the ground this year, 603 of them have come when UGA has been ahead by 15 or more points.  Now, I don't know when the official "garbage time" barrier begins and Kirby starts rolling folks in, but with THIS defense, a lead of 15 is essentially garbage time.  UGA has given up the lions' share of its rushing yards, basically after the outcome of the game is decided. That would suggest, for me, that when the younger pups get in, perhaps they aren't as great at stopping the run. 

But then I saw something ELSE in the statistics as well. 

Surprisingly, the distribution of rushing attempts against UGA has been fairly constant, quarter over quarter.  Common thinking would predict that with UGA having such big leads in their games, opposing teams would abandon the run in favor of passing to catch up.  But, UGA has defended 97 1Q rushes, 96 2Q, 90 3Q and 98 4Q rushes.  Perhaps teams TRIED to throw in the third, but then resigned themselves to slogging on towards defeat in the 4th, I dunno.  

But, what I further noticed was this... the YPC average against our defense is lower in the 2nd half, than in the 1st.  As the game goes along, UGA is better able to stop the opposition's runs.  (There may also be greater number of sacks in the 2nd half, which could account for that, but I don't have access to that detail).  

Still, when I look at BAMA's Run D, what I find is that like us, they have a fairly consistent number of attempts to deal with 98, 104, 100, 92 ... but that their YPC goes UP in the 2nd half. 

Teams have found it easier to run on Bama in the 2nd half.   

This bodes well for a UGA offense that has averaged 6YPC in the 3rd Quarter, and 5.26 in the 4th.  Simply put, if UGA is holding a lead in the 2nd half, I expect a heavy dose of the run game to help salt it away (especially with a 5.58YPC when leading by 15+).  

UGA's overall 5.39 YPC is good for 9th in the country, right alongside Florida.. who gashed Alabama for 244 yards.  

I don't believe these two teams have equal rush defenses, and I know UGA's rushing offense is far better than any Bama has seen in months.  I suppose only time will tell if the Dawgs' rushing attack (oddly maligned by many fans) can impose its will on the Tide. 

I like their chances.

Go Dawgs. 

I've seen this before, Redux

What's Past, is Prologue, they say.

A generational football unit destroying anything and everything in its path, meets another traditional power whose own accomplishments have been tarnished somewhat by slips and stumbles, but is still respected.  Many Johnny-come latelies can't help but gush with overwhelming exuberance about the King of the landscape, but there are a few out there who've studied the teams, who have done their research, who understand the intangibles, and who aren't afraid to utter the word "upset" in dark corners of booster parties. 

This is the David V Goliath story - the plucky upstart looking to defy all odds and defeat the tyrannical rule of the anointed.  It's something I've seen before.  It's a hope to which I've fallen victim.  

I remember well, going into the 2019 SEC Title Game, having a great deal of excitement for a UGA squad who had held opponents to under 11 points per game.  They were great.  They were seemingly unflappable.  They couldn't be denied, assuredly.   They had defeated 3 ranked teams.  No opposing team had crossed the goal-line three times.  They had 3 shutouts.  That defense was STOUT.  Sure, they had found a way to lose to a South Carolina team playing above its own heads, but that was not of great concern.  It was the OFFENSE's issue on that day, anyway.  Had the offense taken care of business, that would have been a win.  

Lining up across the field from that D (one that was better than most UGA had trotted out in a while), was an LSU offense that was lighting up the SEC West.  They scored, and they scored in bunches.  But, they hadn't faced a Defense the likes of which they'd be seeing that night.  And of course, they had a defense which was serviceable... but gave up a lot of points in its own right.  Most folks were predicting an LSU victory, but those who forecasted an upset could see a world where UGA, able to get more pressure on Burrow than other teams, and able to play balls in the air better than other teams, would make the necessary stops and then hand the keys to Fromm and company, and the underrated 33ppg offense would come out ahead.  

Of course, those folks were wrong.

Those folks were very, very wrong.  

The UGA offense which had been flying under the radar was flying under the radar for a reason - they didn't have the weapons that would be necessary to consistently put pressure on a serviceable LSU defense.  Add to that the fact that UGA's primary weapon for blowing the top off a defense was in street clothes in the first half due to a maturity lapse a week prior, and you had a recipe for disaster.  

UGA couldn't move the ball consistently in Q1, as pass after pass fell incomplete... and LSU had little issue running its highly efficient offense against our Defense which, quite honestly, had not see anything like the talent it currently faced.  UGA fell behind 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, then played the 2nd quarter to a 3-3 tie.  Some, including myself, thought the game was still in reach.  Things would most certainly improve as Pickens came into the game, and we would right the ship as our defense had now weathered the storm. 

But we hit Pickens on only 1/3 targets on his first drive... and missed a field goal.  LSU added a TD 4 plays later.  Then we threw an interception.  The wheels had officially come the hell off.  

All season long, UGA had been a very good football team.  They had been battle tested, and come out ahead in all but one instance - against a plucky squad playing out of its mind on a day when UGA didn't show up its best.  They had crushed the directional schools, and won some close SEC matchups they maybe shouldn't have.  But they were the one team that could give LSU fits, or so was some of the chatter out there.  And LSU, well... LSU hadn't really suffered.  They hadn't been tested.  They would surely wilt under the strength of the team that had been playing for titles in recent years, and therefore would be more prepared to handle the immense pressure of the day.  

Only, they didn't. 

They didn't, because they had a truly transcendent unit.  They had the best unit in all of college of football, and it wasn't close.

Many of us wanted to ignore what we saw, and believe in what we envisioned.  We wanted to give them the "but they haven't played nobody" tag.   We wanted to think "Oh, it's gonna be different WITH US"

But it wasn't.

And on Saturday, that's what Bama faces.  So many out there are preaching the intangibles, the mystique, the "But UGA hasn't seen anything like this" and the "Bama has been tested, and UGA hasn't"... as Bama limps into the SECCG missing one of their primary weapons (or at least, with him severely hampered), a beat up and maligned OL, and a Defense that, while being "pretty damn good"... has given up a buuuuuuunch of points to teams with less functional offenses than UGA's (UGA P5 Scoring: 9th, TN: 18, MISS: 25, ARK 45).  Many want us to ignore what our eyes have watched for 12 games thus far.  They want us to believe that the best unit in football suddenly won't be, and that a very good team who has suffered some hardships will overcome all of that, to pull the upset.

But like I said, I've seen this before.    

Go Dawgs.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Let's Lie with Statistics

Stats Lie.

They do.  They can be manipulated, spun, crafted into whatever narrative the person presenting them wishes to tell.  They have no basis in reality insofar as reading tea leaves and making predictions go.  "Stats as Predictors" is something I absolutely abhor.  They tell a story of the past, not the future.  They tells us what we may not have seen, but not what we WILL see.    


So, screw it, why not use them to lie to myself and all of you lovely Dawgfans?  Here we go.  Let's get to lying.  

Georgia and Alabama face off in a few days time, and all this hullabaloo will be settled.  Either the Dawgs will win yet again, cement themselves as the #1 team for the remainder of 2021 and head into 2022 ready to capture their first National Title since 1980.  Or, BAMA will win (yet again), and setup a potential rematch with a freshly besmirched Dawg team, either in the Semi's or the Finals of the Playoff.  

Now, I can't tell you what the future holds.  But, I can tell you what's in the past.  I'm not interested in the 2017 past, though.  Not interested in 2018 either.  2020? Couldn't give a damn.  These two teams were not involved with any of those games. 

I'm interested only in the past of 2021.  You see, the most common argument being regurgitated by UGA fans regarding the two teams is that UGA has been completely demolishing teams and BAMA has been struggling with them.  They say the eyeball test against the best levels of competition shows UGA to be superior to Alabama.  They say that Bama simply hasn't seen a defense like ours, and that UGA doesn't care what offense it sees - they will all be chewed up and spit out. 

How in the world can folks be so confident when they spout fluff like that?

Well, the two teams played 4 Common Opponents this season.  So, let's take a look at how those games shook out.

So, these are the scores of the games, and the differential between actual and expected Margin of Victory for both UGA and BAMA.  In three of these four games, UGA's differential is vastly superior to Bama's... but Bama's ability to outdo us against the best offense we faced (TN is the #9 scoring Offense in the country, y'all) can't be ignored.  I mean, sure, Bama allowed TN to score 7 more points than they did against us.  And sure, the game was close until about 12:42 in the 4th, when Bama extended a 7 point lead to 14, and never looked back.  And sure, UGA dominated Tennessee for the entire game and allowed a second touchdown with 3 minutes to go in the game, in Knoxville (BAMA-TN was in Tuscaloosa).  Sure, all of that is true... but TN's differential IS higher than ours, so they definitely played a better game against TN than we did. 

Still, we're not done lying yet... because we haven't begun to use this data to PREDICT anything.  So let's do that shit.   

First, we have to determine some kind of trend in order to apply it.  And again, we can only use trend data from THESE four games.  We can't bring in the Wollymocker games against the likes of Charleston Southern or Mercer .. and we can't bring in Struggle Bus games like Clemson and LSU... those hardly seem like fair comparisons.  No, we will only lie with THIS data set.  So, here goes:

What THIS is showing, is the percentage of points allowed and scored by UGA and BAMA in comparison to the 12-game average points scored and allowed by these four common opponents.  You can see that, on average, UGA is allowing 25% of the opponents' average points scored, while BAMA is allowing 85% of the opponents' average points scored.  The offenses are much more similar, with UGA (national rank 6) scoring 146% of these opponents' average points allowed, while BAMA (national rank 5) is ripping off 147%. 

Now, this would lead some people to believe that these offenses are similar in their production, but anyone who watches the games knows that Alabama has a vastly superior offense to UGA's, and there's no way our guys can keep up with them.  They're Elite, and UGA just isn't, y'all.  But we're lying with statistics, so we're making it look like they are. 

So, what do these numbers tell us in a predictor fashion?  Well, for that, we'd compare these trends to the two teams' 12-game averages.  

So, what we have here, are two tiny data sets.  One, UGA's predicted points on offense, and allowed.  And BAMA's predicted points on offense and allowed.  

Oddly enough, those two data sets present some strikingly similar results.  


They are dirty, dirty bastards which have nothing to do with reality.  There is no way on God's Green Earth that the 12-0 Georgia Bulldogs who have barely played a football game into the fourth quarter this year could possibly be 21 points better than the World-Beater Crimson Tide who have, most recently, gone to 4 Overtimes with a 6-6 Auburn team led by a one-legged quarterback and a bunch of transfer portal defenders.  That is NOT possible.   

There is no way that the final score of the 2021 SEC Championship Game will in any way resemble a UGA victory, 31-10. 

Nope.  Not gonna happen.  But it's been fun lying about it. 

Go Dawgs.

I don't get a vote.

Individual player awards in College Football are ridiculous, I think we all know this.  

Don't get me wrong... it is wonderful to celebrate the excellence in achievement by these athletes.  It's even fitting that these awards can often go to players on teams who weren't necessarily in the running for great team accomplishments.  Though, those teams are usually well-represented in award season because it only goes to figure that the teams who are able to win at a high level do so because their players perform at a high level (even if the high level at which they perform is completely maligned by their own team's fanbase and its incredibly self-deprecating nature... but I digress).  Still, the idea that players can achieve while their teams do not, is worthy of consideration.  

It does not stand to reason that the best individual player would HAVE to be on the best team in the nation.  I think we can all agree on that, and be ok with it. 

However - 

When it is clear to the vast majority of people who follow the sport closely (fans, pundits, opposing coaches, NFL players and alumni, Ethyl who sweeps the clippings at the barber shop, etc) that one of the nation's best players at a particular position happens to also play on the nation's best team... and that player is left off a finalist list, it causes a touch of rancor. 

I will give you one example.  The John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's "Best" Tight End. The stat lines for the finalists are below.

Player, School: Receptions - Yards - TDs

Jalen Wydermeyer , Texas A&M:   40 - 515 -  4
Charlie Kolar, Iowa State:   58 - 723 - 5
Trey McBride, Colorado State:   90 - 1121 - 1

Now, no one is going to confuse any of those schools with the best in the country, and their accomplishments are worthy of note.  But there was another tight end on the semi-final list who is arguably (in the most conservative use of the word) better than all of these fine young athletes at playing that position.  That young man's name, is Brock Bowers.  Now, I am not the only UGA fan to be flummoxed by the inexcusable decision to leave Brock Bowers off the finalist list for this award.   In fact, Twitter was abuzz with folks calling out the selection committee for leaving him off when he scored TWO MORE touchdowns to add to his ridiculous freshman season.

Brock Bowers, Georgia:   37 - 652 - 10 

Also, his 2 receptions of 70+ yards trail only Bama WIDEOUT Jameson Williams.

I'm pretty sure he's left off the list because he's a freshman and has years left to win this award.  Wydermeyer lost out to Pitts last year, so he's my odds-on favorite to win, despite not leading in any category... because our world is currently soft AF, and that's the type of thing I expect (just like the talk of including a 2-loss Alabama or OSU in the playoff, but again I digress).  Still, I think you can come with me on the short trip to crazy town that is the decision to leave Brock off the finalist list.  Asshats. 

And don't even get me STARTED on the Heisman.  The idea that this award might go to ANY Quarterback this season is patently ridiculous.  If it's me?  I'm looking at the story of the season, and right now the story is... Look at the damn Defenses, stupid.  The best player in the country is very likely one who doesn't get to know what the play is before it starts, but reads and reacts and puts an end to it at a higher level than anyone else.  

QBs are gifted every tool, every call, and penalties tailor-made to protect them... and still, the best ones are being shut down by really good defenses this year.  

Get over yourself, Heisman.  Look on the other other side of the ball. 

And Mackey... admit your stupid mistake and elevate Brock to the level he has earned. 

That's what I'd do.  But I don't get a vote. 

Go Dawgs.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

I've seen this before.

A lifetime ago, in a small town in West Georgia, before I ever thought I might get a snap of playing time in Athens... I was a senior on a football team that went 10-0 in our regular season.  Every offensive snap that mattered started with my hand on the football.   Seemingly every fourth quarter ended with me and the rest of the starters resting on the sideline.  Now, I'm certain that memory has been engorged with the lifeblood of the years between then and now, and that there surely was a game or two where we had to play the full span, but I really don't remember it. Not during the season. 

Our offense scored 346 points that season.  Our defense surrendered 63.  The ability of that unit to squash their opponents in the way that they did left me in awe.  Still, almost none of those guys ended up playing major D-I football.  We had some good corners, some good linebackers, some good D linemen... but they weren't the type who jumped off the page statistically.  They were a dominant unit, though... and as the season wore on, we'd watch the upcoming opponent on film and I'd think - those guys aren't going to be able to beat us.  

Much like the goals Kirby has mentioned in his pressers, our guys had a board on the wall with their season and game-by-game goals... and it was incredible to watch them get checked off.  They reveled in their ability to hold opponents under 14 points, to hold rushers under 50 yards, to cause turnovers.  They loved each other, they loved playing football together, and they loved doing their jobs.  They were THE unit - and as a member of the offense, I got to watch them decimate other teams, and look forward to the moments they'd give us the ball back so we could go to work.  I never doubted them, and they didn't let me down. 

Now, some of you may be thinking... "what in the world does this have to do with 2021 UGA?"  And, admittedly, there are many thousands of people who have many thousands of fond memories about their old playing days, and the parallels may not be quickly ascertainable.  But, throughout this season, I have maintained a fairly quiet confidence about this team (though visitors to Senator Blutarsky's "Get The Picture" blog may have caught me getting a bit effusive in my appreciation for our chances).  It honestly dates back to the very first game of the season.  Someone with whom I am close, who coaches football, posed the question, immediately following the game: 

"Are Georgia and Clemson's defenses that good, or their offenses that bad?" 

I won't get into the full details of the conversation that followed, but the basic summary is: The defenses are good - Georgia's front 7 is elite, but its defensive backfield is still a question, and our offense is very banged up and will improve.

I then also said, "I mean, this is your job, and my casual hobby... but to my eye, Clemson's defense benefited from a drastically slimmed down UGA offense.  What we saw did not resemble Monken's dynamic offense from the end of the season... and I don't mean by result... I mean by design."  

We would go on to learn that JT was hurt, and as a result Monken may have shied away from play calls that could get him into trouble.  A week later, Bennett blew the doors off UAB (a pass defense which is statistically better than Michigan State's, I might add).  Then JT dominated South Carolina.  Then they both eviscerated Vanderbilt... and since then, Stet has done what has been needed while that DEFENSE has been the story. 

The question of whether the defensive backs would be able to stand up has thus far proven to be a big fat YES, due in no small part to how well that front 7 has played.  They are an unbelievable UNIT, and it's incredibly hard to gameplan against a very strong unit.  You can gameplan around a game-changing DT.  You can use motions and route concepts to beat strong coverages.  You can neutralize LBs with personnel groupings and play-actions... but when the entire unit is solid, and plays to their assignment and standard... that's tough to beat. 

And I've seen that before. 

We were 9-0 going into our final game of the season, against... I think maybe a 9-0 Rival?  They may have been 8-1... I don't recall.  What I DO recall, is that the final game of the season would be the Region Championship... and those dudes were VERY confident.  You see, they had been a playoff team the year before, while we were ... well... not.  But each year is a new year.  On Wednesday night, two nights before the game, I ran into some of their players at a Shell gas station just blocks from our High School.  They were talking a whole lot of trash to me about how they were going to show everyone what frauds we were, and that they were the kings of our small town (man, the things that we think matter when we're 17, huh?).  I just said "Ok."  That was insufficient to them, so they continued to goad me.  Calmly, I explained to them that we play all the same teams... and that we had been completely dismantling those teams, while they were playing competitive football against those teams.  I was confident.  This game was not going to be close. 

As the first quarter came to an end, and our offense switched to the other end of the field, I walked over to one of my opponents, a guy with whom I had won a little league championship at age 11.  "Hey Mete, good to see you man - never thought we'd be in this game when we were kids, huh? (again... age 17... thinking I'm no longer a 'kid')."  His response to me was, well, NSFW but it concluded with "we'll see where y'all at in the fourth quarter."  I pointed to the scoreboard (21-0) and said, "Mete, I won't be playing in the fourth quarter." 

I wasn't. 

We won that game 52-6.  Their star RB was able to get a late score against our defense with no decals on their helmets (the 9th graders didn't earn their decals unless they dressed with the Varsity during the season).  

Now, understand that I am in no way comparing Alabama Football to the cross-town rival we played that night.  And I am in no way saying the University of Georgia is going to win the SEC Championship Game by a score of 52-6, with our starters resting in the fourth quarter. 

What I am saying, is that Georgia and Alabama have played 4 of the same opponents, and that UGA has dominated them while Bama hasn't quite done that.  Georgia's defense has done a phenomenal job of disrupting everything an offense wants to do, while Bama's offense has shown the ability to be disrupted.  Georgia's offense has shown the tendency to exploit a defense's weakness and score a bunch of points.  And Alabama's defense has shown areas to be exploited. 

I have watched every single game this season without a touch of nervousness.  Even when it was 3-0 late in the second against Florida, I knew the outcome was already assured.  In the first quarter of that game, Richardson completed a pass on a quick curl, and they got a first down.  In that moment, I said, "that is going to be a pick six later in this game" (I guessed 3rd quarter, and Nakobe got it ahead of schedule).  I knew it was going to happen.  That's the confidence I have in this defense, and in Kirby and Dan.  Because though I played a little football many years ago, I am now just a fan who watches... and if *I* knew that was going to be there, I knew damn well that Kirby and Dan and Nakobe and the rest could see it.  

Do I care about the "monkey on our back" that is Alabama?  I do not. 

I've seen this before.  

Go Dawgs.