‘‘Before that Florida game, nobody thought we could win a big game,’’ Robinson said. ‘‘Well, we did that. So we can mark that off and go on to something else — winning a championship.’’
This game will likely be decided in the trenches, especially by the performance of Georgia’s young offensive line.
The Bulldogs have a sophomore at center (David Andrews) and a freshman at right tackle (John Theus), so they could have their hands full trying to control an Alabama front that is so dominating, not much blitzing is required to get pressure on the quarterback and clog up the running lanes.
But the Crimson Tide was exposed a bit in a last-minute win over LSU and the shocking loss to the Aggies, giving up more than 400 yards in each game. Georgia will be counting on Murray to finally come up big on the biggest stage, a goal that has eluded him during his record-breaking career in Athens. He was awful against South Carolina, completing just 11 of 31 for 109 yards. He threw three interceptions against Florida, but the defense bailed him out.
Showing how much this game meant, Murray — normally one of the most media-friendly players on the team — has done no interviews since a 42-10 win over Georgia Tech last weekend.
Alabama will have to keep an eye on Jarvis Jones, a terror in Georgia’s 3-4 defense. Despite being nagged by injuries and missing two games, the junior linebacker has 10.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He is up for numerous national awards and perhaps has a chance to earn his way to New York for the Heisman ceremony if he comes up huge against the Crimson Tide.
‘‘You certainly have to have a plan to try and help the players that have to block him, so hopefully he can’t just get in one-on-one situations where it’s a difficult circumstance for somebody,’’ Saban said. ‘‘There have been games this year where he has made a phenomenal amount of plays, like sacks and causing fumbles. The guy is probably one of the best defensive players in the country in terms of his play-making ability.’’
Jones and his teammates want to show they match up well with a team such as Alabama.
And mess up that dream matchup in Miami, for good measure.
‘‘All you hear is Bama this, Bama that,’’ cornerback Damian Swann. ‘‘We know we’re just as good as them, if not better.’’
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