Each day this week, the AJC will take a quick look at a matchup in the SEC Championship game. Today: Alabama’s rushing offense vs. Georgia’s rushing defense.
Alabama’s rushing offense
Key stat: Behind an exceptional and experienced offensive line, led by senior center Barrett Jones, Alabama has averaged 214.2 rushing yards per game, second most in the SEC. Texas A&M is first (235.1) and Georgia third (190.1).
Season high point: Against Missouri, Alabama ran for 362 yards and six touchdowns.
Season low point: Surprisingly, Alabama had its fewest rushing yards (103) against Western Kentucky, which stacked its defense to stop the run but saw quarterback AJ McCarron throw four touchdown passes.
Names to know: Like Georgia, Alabama has a terrific tailback tandem — junior Eddie Lacy, who averages 83.4 rushing yards per game, and freshman T.J. Yeldon, who averages 70.6. Combined, they have run for 1,848 yards, only 10 fewer than Georgia’s Todd Gurley-Keith Marshall duo.
Georgia’s rushing defense
Key stat: Georgia ranks 11th in the SEC against the run, allowing 163.4 yards per game.
Season high point: In a three-game stretch, Georgia held Florida, Ole Miss and Auburn to an average of 59 rushing yards.
Season low point: Inexplicably, just before the aforementioned three-game stretch, Georgia allowed Kentucky to run for 206 yards.
Name to know: Nose guard John Jenkins, whose ability to clog up the middle “reminds me a lot of (All-American Terrence) Cody when we had him here,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
READ ALL ABOUT IT: THE AJC’S COMPLETE (AND CONTINUOUS) SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME COVERAGE