There are two numbers, other than the score, that explain what happened last night: 350 and 113. Alabama amassed 350 yards rushing, while Georgia ran for just 113 yards. It’s that really scary rushing total – and for a non-option team – that was the difference in the game. In total, Alabama had 512 yards of total offense, and this was the third game in a row that Georgia gave up over 300 yards rushing.
The reason wasn’t just the Alabama Offensive Line, or the backs Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon, but this: scheme.
One thing that bothered me the entire contest was how Georgia’s defense never pressed Alabama’s wide receivers. The cornerbacks played lose and took too many peeks into the backfield. What Georgia should have done was played a run-stop-first game plan, and pressed the receivers to take away the wide-receiver screens. This highlight video shows what Alabama did to Georgia’s Defense, particularly on Lacy’s 41 yard run. In that, Georgia’s strong safety was playing about 8 yards off the ball, and was the last defender between Lacy and paydirt – he got mowed over:
Pressing that formation, and the others, would have reduced the yardage total by about 200, and allowed Georgia to maintain the lead it had. Georgia had no business losing this game, and in the process, gave the second part of the blueprint of what not to do if Notre Dame wants to beat Alabama – and it does.
That’s why Notre Dame will win.