"So far, we've practiced well, and I'm excited about getting on to Tuscaloosa." Of course, nobody else was aware of that because Richt made practice off limits to the media.
Like always, Saban has been complimentary of his opponent, “Georgia is an outstanding team."
“Mark Richt has done a fantastic job there in his tenure... each and every year, game to game. We want to try to get it right, and it will take one of our best performances to play against an outstanding Georgia team here this week.”
Coach Mark Richt claims that the Bulldogs have had a successful week of practice behind closed doors. He has some reasons to be excited about his trip to Tuscaloosa. Knowshon Moreno is one of those reasons.
Moreno has been brilliant this year as a true freshman for the Bulldogs. He scored his first collegiate touchdown last week in Georgia's 45-16 blowout of Western Carolina. Most of Georgia's success against the Catamounts came on the ground, as they ran for 140 yards. Georgia cannot let John Parker Wilson do what he did last week to Arkansas.
The D-Line will also need to work on how to contain 'Bama RB Terry Grant. Grant proved 2 weeks ago that he can tear up a defense when he went for 173 yards and 2 TDs on Vandy. 'Dawg receiver Sean Bailey is probably going to have to go against Alabama shutdown corner Simeon Castille.
That means that Moreno's ability to come out of the backfield will be key and someone like Mohammed Massaquoi is going to have to step at the #2 receiver. The Bulldog defense has been pretty solid all year, but is going to be facing their most explosive opponent.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Last week, 'Bama's game was a 60 minute roller coaster ride. They lead 21-10 at the half, 31-17 at the start of the 4th.
Then, Darren McFadden broke loose for 2 TD runs, followed by a 7 yard touchdown pass from Casey Dick to Peyton Hillis.
Arkansas led 38-31.
Then, Saban was faced with a tough decision. It was 4th and 5 with 4:20 left and they could either go for the tie or try to make a field goal and get the ball back.
Saban opted for the FG unit. Leigh Tiffin drilled a 42 yarder.
After halting Arkansas' drive at their own 35, Alabama took over with 2:26 left. Passes to Mike McCoy, Matt Caddell and Keith Brown led to a 4 yard TD pass from John Parker Wilson to Matt Caddell to win the game. Playing in that ought to fire up the tide for this week's showdown in Tuscaloosa.
You can certainly say that Matt Caddell had a huge game against the Razorbacks. "It was an exciting night, huh?" Saban said. It sure was and the Tide will need to play more of a complete game in order to hold off these Bulldogs.
Georgia's Keys to Victory
1. Get Knowshon Moreno the ball in a position to make plays.
2. Keep an eye on Terry Grant
3. Don't get too far behind early. Arkansas proved that you can come back on this defense.
Alabama's Keys to Victory
1. Isolate Sean Bailey and Simeon Castille, and let Castille do his thing.
2. Always have a pair of eyes on Knowshon Moreno.
3. Give John Parker Wilson time in the pocket.
Prediction: 'Bama defends home turf in a barn-burner. Score: 24-23.