WATCH: Alabama’s Nick Saban previews SEC Championship against Georgia
Southeastern Conference championship
No. 1 Alabama (12-0, 8-0, No. 1 CFP) vs. No. 4 Georgia (11-1, 7-1, No. 4 CFP) at Atlanta, Saturday, 4 p.m. EST (CBS)
Line: Alabama by 13.
Series record: Alabama leads 39-25-4.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
At least one spot in the College Football Playoff, that’s for sure. Defending national champion Alabama might even claim a berth in the four-team playoff with a close loss to the Bulldogs, depending on the outcome of other conference championship games. At the very least, the loser of this game gets a nice consolation prize: a trip to the Sugar Bowl.
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa vs. Georgia CB Deandre Baker. Tagovailoa is a heavy favorite to capture the Heisman Trophy after putting up some off-the-chart numbers in his first season as the starter. He completed more than 70 percent of his passes for 3,189 yards, with 36 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Baker is one of the nation’s best defensive backs, a lock-down cornerback who forces teams to look to the other side of the field. Baker has only two interceptions — none since the third week of the season — but that’s because quarterbacks rarely throw in his direction.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alabama: ILBs Dylan Moses and Mack Wilson. These two are tackling machines (127 between them) and will look to make things tough for Georgia’s 1-2 punch at running back, D’Andre Swift and Evander Holyfield.
Georgia: QB Jake Fromm. If Alabama is able to turn the Bulldogs one-dimensional, it will fall on the quarterback to move the ball through the air. Fromm has completed 69 percent with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alabama is playing in the SEC championship game for the 12th time, going 7-4 in its previous appearances. Georgia has a 3-3 mark in the title game, including last year’s 28-7 victory over Auburn. … Alabama has won the last four meetings in the series, most memorably capturing last season’s national title at this same venue with a 26-23 overtime victory. … The Crimson Tide also won the only previous meeting between the schools in the SEC championship game. In 2012, Alabama held on for a 32-28 victory when the clock ran out on Georgia at the 5-yard line. … Georgia’s last victory over Alabama came in 2007, Nick Saban’s first year as the Tide’s coach. The Bulldogs pulled out a 26-23 win in overtime.