Alabama football vs. Georgia: Score prediction, scouting report for SEC Championship Game

Alabama football is in a must-win situation heading into the Georgia game, as in the Crimson Tide must win if it wants to have a shot at making the College Football Playoff.

A win alone in the SEC Championship Game still might not be enough to be part of the CFP, but it will certainly be required. And a win is far from a certainty, considering Alabama must beat the No. 1 team that has not lost a game since the 2021 SEC Championship Game.

No. 8 Alabama (11-1) will face No. 1 Georgia (12-0) on Saturday (3 p.m., CBS) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Here's our scouting report of the Bulldogs, how they stack up with the Crimson Tide, and a score prediction for the game.

REQUIRED READING: Inside fourth-and-31: How Alabama football buried Auburn with 'Grave Digger'

WILL REICHARD STORIES: 15 untold Will Reichard stories: Duck disputes, dog negotiations and his flu prom

Players to know

Stetson Bennett is no longer leading the show at quarterback. Carson Beck took his place this season and has become a solid player for the Bulldogs. This season, he has passed for 3,495 yards, second in the SEC behind only LSU's Jayden Daniels. Beck's 22 passing touchdowns are third in the conference, and his completion percentage is second at 72.43%.

The Bulldogs running game has primarily been a two-man show; seniors Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton have been the top two rushers combining for 1,424 yards and 21 touchdowns.

As far as receivers go, the Bulldogs have a variety of options, but it all starts with tight end Brock Bowers, widely regarded as the nation's best tight end. Even though he missed three games this season with an injury, Bowers still leads the team in receiving with 661 yards and six touchdowns. Other weapons to know are Missouri transfer receiver Dominic Lovett (49 catches, 552 yards, three touchdowns) and, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (29 for 472 and four TDs) as well as Ladd McConkey, a big part of the offense who missed five games this season. The Bulldogs also have Mississippi State transfer Rara Thomas, who has caught 23 passes for 383 yards and one touchdown.

Up front blocking is yet another strong offensive line; Georgia was announced as a semifinalist for the Joe Moore award, given to the top offensive line in the country.

On defense, Tykee Smith is a name to watch. The senior defensive back has tallied 63 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and four interceptions. The Georgia secondary has a handful of talented players, including Javon Bullard, who has tallied 50 tackles with two interceptions and Malaki Starks who has 43 tackles and two interceptions. Kamari Lassiter has the most pass breakups of any player on the roster with eight on the season.

Linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson has missed almost a month with a broken forearm, and he remains week-to-week, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. Dumas-Johnson has tallied 34 tackles and 3.5 sacks this season.

Smael Mondon Jr. is a name to watch at linebacker. He has tallied 60 tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks.

Mykel Williams has been a top defensive lineman, registering 14 tackles, five for loss and 3.5 sacks.

History of Alabama football vs. Georgia

The two programs have played 72 times previously, and Alabama leads the series 42-26-4. Georgia has the most recent win, though. The Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide in the 2022 College Football Playoff championship game in Indianapolis. Alabama is 3-0 against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, however. Nick Saban is 9-3 against the Bulldogs over his career. Meanwhile, Kirby Smart is 1-4.

How Alabama-Georgia stack up on offense

3rd down conversion percentage:

Alabama: 48.7% (12th nationally)

Georgia: 56.6% (2nd nationally)

Passing offense:

Alabama: 231.5 yards per game (57th)

Georgia: 310.8 yards per game (8th)

Rushing offense:

Alabama: 177.6 yards per game (44th)

Georgia: 185.6 yards per game (30th)

Red zone offense:

Alabama: 93.3% (10th)

Georgia: 91.2% (19th)

Fewest sacks allowed:

Alabama: 3.25 per game (t-113th)

Georgia: .83 per game (t-2nd)

Scoring offense:

Alabama: 35.8 points per game (t-17th)

Georgia: 39.6 points per game (8th)

How Alabama-Georgia stack up on defense

Third-down defense:

Alabama: 33.9% (25th)

Georgia: 26.7% (2nd)

Pass yards allowed:

Alabama: 184.2 yards per game (t-15th)

Georgia: 176.5 yards per game (12th)

Red zone defense:

Alabama: 81.8% (t-55th)

Georgia: 90% (t-111th)

Rushing defense:

Alabama: 128.4 yards per game (33rd)

Georgia: 117.8 yards per game (t-26th)


Alabama: 3 per game (t-9th)

Georgia: 2.08 per game (t-64th)

Scoring defense:

Alabama: 17.92 points per game (14th)

Georgia: 15.75 points per game (6th)

Score prediction

Alabama 27, Georgia 23: The Bulldogs have the nation's No. 8 offense in points per game, but it hasn't faced a defense as good as this one. The Crimson Tide ranks No. 14, and the best defense Georgia's offense faced so far this season was Ole Miss at No. 35 nationally. Nonetheless, this game figures to be a battle and could go either way. Still, Alabama's tougher schedule prepares it to find a way to win vs. Georgia.

What channel is Alabama vs. Georgia on?

The game will be on CBS and can be streamed on Fubo. (Click here for a free trial)

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at or follow him @_NickKelly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.

We occasionally recommend interesting products and services. If you make a purchase by clicking one of the links, we may earn an affiliate fee. USA TODAY Network ne

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Score prediction, scouting report for Alabama football vs. Georgia