As the biggest game of the year in the Southeastern Conference approaches, many fans and pundits of the game have noticed how Alabama and Georgia are so strikingly similar to one another.
Indeed, both teams feature powerful running back tandems, efficient quarterbacks and destructive defenses. With so many similarities between Alabama and Georgia, the game could really go either way. But, just for fun, let’s take a look at how each of these teams compare in crucial areas of the game, starting with the most critical position in all football: the quarterback.
Both Aaron Murray and AJ McCarron have been stellar for their respective teams, and have greatly minimized their mistakes. Indeed, Murray and McCarron rank first and second nationally, respectively, in passer rating. Murray is turning a 177.1 passer rating, to McCarron’s 176.3.
Unfortunately for Alabama and Georgia, both teams have had their share of bad breaks in terms of injuries. Alabama has lost three wide receivers this season, most recently in Kenny Bell, the Tide’s best deep threat and second-leading receiver.
Georgia has also lost Marion Brown and Michael Bennett, the Bulldogs’ leading receivers at the time of their injuries. It’ll be interesting to see how the remaining receivers step up in a big-game situation.
Thankfully for both teams, they can rely on strong running back tandems to help take pressure off the passing game. Alabama’s rushing game is paced by Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, who’ve accumulated 1,001 and 847 rushing yards and a total of 24 rushing touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have turned in 1,138 and 720 yards respectively and 22 total rushing touchdowns.
Regardless of these teams’ respective offensive firepower, the defenses aren’t anything to take lightly either. For comparison’s sake, we’ll look at Georgia’s two biggest playmakers on defense and look at Alabama’s counterparts, starting with Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo and Robert Lester.
Rambo, considered one of the nation’s best safeties, has hauled in three interceptions this year, while Lester has turned in four. Rambo has been more instrumental in the rush defense for his team, however, turning in 59 tackles so far, to Lester’s 34. Even so, Lester has made more plays in the backfield, turning in more tackles for loss and sacks than Rambo.
However, Rambo is not Georgia’s biggest defensive threat. That accolade goes to Jarvis Jones, widely considered one of the best defensive players in the nation. Jones is a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators, turning in 19.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks this season.
Individually, Alabama doesn’t have any individual player that’s comparable to Jones. No need to fear, however. In just about every major statistical category, Alabama leads Georgia. How? Alabama’s style of play, especially at linebacker, isn’t meant to accentuate the talents of one player. Rather, Alabama plays more as a cohesive unit.
So, there it is. Like looking into a mirror, isn’t it? Well, with all the similarities between these two teams, it’ll be interesting to see which one of these programs can come out with a win. Regardless, it’ll sure be a fun one to watch.