No. 13 Alabama surges by No. 8 Georgia

The winning streak is now 18 in a row, but you have to wonder if the Buckeyes will be No. 1 on Sunday in the AP Top 25.


Defensively, Georgia couldn’t push Alabama’s offensive line if they were driving bulldozers.

“What We Learned” is a weekly column examining SEC football from an off-kilter perspective. In a way, this was reminiscent of the Tide’s 43-37 loss to Ole Miss, just reversed.

Alabama didn’t want to trail at any point.

A handful of snaps often determine high-level, higher-stakes games. Both teams turned an uninspired first half performance into one possession games late.

“We just needed to execute the plan”, Saban said after Saturday afternoon’s 38-10 drubbing of then-No. It wasn’t the best conditions to throw and catch for anybody. It’s still just one game. UGA’s offense had to attack early and play with confidence to win and did neither. Georgia put on black jerseys for that fever-pitch night game and promptly took a 31-0 ‘Bama punch to the gut on the way to a 41-30 loss.

Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter, a Norcross grad, had five tackle assists, while Buford grad Dillon Lee posted two tackles and an assist for Alabama.

There was a long drive for a Derrick Henry touchdown. Brandon Harris can’t go 4-of-15 for 80 yards with a pick.

Coker arrived at Alabama past year as the next in line of Saban quarterbacks who do what they’re told.

Moments later, looking nearly giddy after another win in another October, Nick Saban walked under the bowels of this place and jumped into the arms of his wife, Terry, soaked from the torrential rain and glowing from victory. There’s time to rally and get things going again. Just a guy who protects the ball and plays smart. A special teams touchdown and a defensive touchdown were all that separated this one from being within reach in the second half. There’s still reason to think the 2015 Tide maybe isn’t quite up to the caliber of the 2009, 2011 and 2012 teams… but Saturday is the most similar they’ve looked to those squads outside of Tuscaloosa since, well, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

This was supposed to be a knockout game. The Bulldogs might be going back to square one in its search for a quarterback who can lead them to a title. “We are a great defense, and tonight I feel like we showed it”.

Georgia essentially lost this one in two ways: poor play up front and big play opportunities. Also, two plays later, Minkah Fitzpatrick broke free for the flawless punt block that was possibly the biggest gut punch Georgia received.

As for the Vols (2-3, 0-2), they can get a lead on anybody. Ragland’s big hit set those wheels in motion.

Over a four-minute stretch that started midway through the second quarter, the Crimson Tide scored three touchdowns to send the Bulldogs reeling. “We got outcoached and outplayed”. The typically stoic Coker punched the air after linebacker Jordan Jenkins drilled him as Alabama took a 24-3 lead.

“He sprained his ankle”, Richt said. The fireworks might not be there, and it’s not necessarily flashy, but the Aggies keep doing what they need to do. Alabama took advantage of 2 big ones. Ramsey and receiver Terry Godwin appeared to have different plays in mind when Eddie Jackson stepped in for the interception.

But Morgan converted his second attempt, this one from 27 yards, to pull the Bulldogs even at 3-3 with 12:23 left in the first half. “Momentum is big in a game like this”. There will always be ups-and-downs, but this is the type of offense the talent on the field begs for. In total, Georgia quarterbacks threw three interceptions. “I would say we’re just going to have to re-evaluate everything – quarterback play, everything”. Two of those three are operational.

The Bulldogs were heavily exposed in all facets of the game. It’s not my first loss as a quarterback. Again they went to Humphrey down the seam as Geno Matias-Smith was a little late arriving with safety support. In similar fashion to the Wisconsin game, Henry provided the ice-breaker in the second quarter by busting loose on a cut-back run through the middle of the defense for the go-ahead touchdown. It was hard not to be impressed by the 32-point pasting the Bulldogs put on South Carolina. All of this mattered not one whit. They ran the ball on first down for a minimal gain, which was OK.

– Daron Payne quick move on first-and-goal for Georgia led to a holding flag. He also became the first player in the history of the Southeastern Conference to rush for 200-plus yards in three straight games.


But Ramsey fared even worse.

UGA Athletics Alabama quarterback had plenty of time in the pocket in the Tide's win over Georgia on Saturday