Matchup: Georgia’s passing offense vs. Alabama’s passing defense

Each day this week, the AJC takes a quick look at a matchup in the SEC Championship game. Today: Georgia’s passing offense vs. Alabama’s passing defense.

Georgia’s passing offense

Key stats: Aaron Murray has thrown for 3,201 yards and 30 touchdowns (seven interceptions), becoming the first quarterback in SEC history with three consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons.

Season high point: In his past four games, Murray has thrown 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Season low point: Murray, like his offensive line and the rest of the team, struggled badly in the loss to South Carolina, completing 11 of 31 passes for 109 yards.

Names to know: Georgia’s leading receivers are Tavarres King (34 catches for 704 yards and eight touchdowns) and Malcolm Mitchell (36 catches for 532 yards and four TDs despite playing mostly defense early in the season).

Alabama’s passing defense

Key stats: Alabama leads the SEC in passing defense, allowing 156.7 yards per game. The Crimson Tide defense has given up just six touchdown passes all season; Georgia’s offense, by contrast, has thrown 31.

Season high point: Alabama held Arkansas to 79 yards passing.

Season low point: In its lone loss, 29-24 to Texas A&M, Alabama was burned by Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel, who completed 24 of 31 passes for 253 yards.

Name to know: Alabama junior cornerback Dee Milliner ranks third nationally among active players in pass breakups (32 in three years).

Previous matchups-at-a-glance in this series:

44 comments Add your comment

1eyedJack

November 28th, 2012
9:52 am

1-eyed Jacks or better to open.

Nick who?

November 28th, 2012
9:52 am

Murray is going to light them up!

Bleed Swag

November 28th, 2012
9:53 am

1eyedJack

November 28th, 2012
9:53 am

Up tempo and don’t allow Nicky to substitute or think. Run ‘em ragged.

Bleed Swag

November 28th, 2012
9:54 am

I agree, Murray lights them up….. that tide D is vastly overrated!

Bleed Swag

November 28th, 2012
9:56 am

big key – The swing pass will be a dagger to bama’s D. and I don’t see them making that much of a difference with the rush…. they might have some but not enough…..
GATA – BLEED SWAG

knoxdawg

November 28th, 2012
9:59 am

Chip, need to do an article on what fans feel was UGA’s biggest play of the season. My candidate is the recovery of the onsides kick by Kentucky. Without that recovery we may very well be writing about UF’s passing game vs Bama’s pass defense. Look back at the play and you will see how close it was to going Kentucky’s way.

GZC

November 28th, 2012
10:14 am

Kentucky has a football team?

clint

November 28th, 2012
10:16 am

As a Bama fan I think this is the key area of the game. If Murray plays well then I think it will be a very good game. If Murray doesn’t play well then I think it will be a Bama victory. Bama doesn’t have the pass rushers that SC has or even UGA has for that matter. We will have to bring pressure to get to Murray. How he handles that pressure will be the difference in the game IMO. Murray is efficient enough and UGA has enough athletes at receiver to hurt us if we don’t get any pressure to him.

GZC

November 28th, 2012
10:16 am

One of two things will happen with this game…it will either be VERY CLOSE with the Dawgs coming out by a hair on top or Bama will blow them out of the water. This you can bet on…!

GZC

November 28th, 2012
10:22 am

Either way it goes, I don’t think that ND has what it takes to bump heads with either Bama or the Dawgs. We will see…
Roll Tide, Roll!!!

Long Gone Dog

November 28th, 2012
10:23 am

I disagree with GZC.

Georgia either pulls off a pretty convincing upset or totally lays an egg.

Hope it’s the former and not the latter.

cmac22

November 28th, 2012
10:27 am

knoxdawg – Your assessment of the biggest play of the year is dead on. In determining the MVPs of the season to date, my thoughts are:

1. Jarvis Jones – best LB … and maybe best player …. in the country. I know ESPN, ABC & NBC are in love with Te’o from Notre Damn, but Jarvis single-handily won two games this year – Missouri & Florida

2. Malcom Mitchell – There is a reason virtually no one plays on both sides of the ball ….but Mitchell has done it all year long!

3. Shawn Williams – Thank God this 22 year old had the guts to step up & speak his mind!

4. Connor Norman – his onside kick recovery against Kentucky saved the season. Being that he came from the sideline to the middle of the field to make the recovery is amazing. I know it was Kentucky, but if Norman doesn’t get that ball, the UGA defense doesn’t stop the & the Dawgs lose.

clint

November 28th, 2012
10:30 am

Long Gone Dog,
I don’t know what your definition of “pretty convincing” is but Bama doesn’t get blown out. We don’t lay eggs. Even when we lose the turnover battle (LSU & TA&M) we still find a way to eek out a win and come within a good AJ pass of eeking out another. Bama is too talented and disciplined to get beat pretty convincing.

NCDawg

November 28th, 2012
10:51 am

This is where statistics don’t pass the eye test. LSU lit up that secondary for 300+ yards… they didn’t get TD passes but they threw at will. The Dawgs throw better than LSU…they have better receivers and a better QB. Anybody who watched that game knows those stats DO NOT tell the tale.
We’ll see what happens Saturday.

Joan

November 28th, 2012
10:53 am

Low scoring game: UGA 20 – Bama 17 with game ending in OT. Should be a great game. Let’s hope Georgia figured out from last years SEC Championship game that you have to play two GOOD halfs to win.

Bazooka Joe

November 28th, 2012
11:06 am

Clint – agree 100%. If both teams bring their “A” game, this could be an epic game (and who knows who would win), if Murray doesnt play well, we are done because it turns us into a one dimesnional team which isnt going to cut it Sat.
GZC – I also think the bigger battle is this weekend instead of the NCG. No disrespect for ND, they have had a heck of a year, and if stats I saw were correct played more ranked teams than either us or bama so they are not undeserving of being in the game.
However, I think Bama and Dawgs are more complete teams than they have played.
I’ll be screaming my head off Sat for the Dawgs, but if Bama wins, well then I will be pulling for Bama to knock off the Irish.
Now if it were Auburn or the Gators, would be a different story (and South Carolina is irrelevant so no need to even discuss them).

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[...] the article here: Matchup: Georgia’s passing offense vs. Alabama’s passing defense ← Back to Home Tags: catches, crimson, game, georgia, high, interceptions, murray, [...]

NCDawg

November 28th, 2012
11:24 am

Bazooka Joe – I don’t know what stats you saw about ND but I looked it up for myself. They played only 3 teams that will finish in the top 25. They played 1 top 10 team… Oklahoma and they have proven to be vastly over rated. ND did not play a Top 5 team at all. The Dawgs for all the talk about their soft schedule played 1 and so did Bama.
They have a really good defense and a pedestrian offense. I’ll be interested to see what the line is on that game and what the talking points will be.

MurfDawg

November 28th, 2012
11:39 am

Clint,
I thought I saw an “egg” on the field when Bama was down 20-0 to Johnny Football.
Give bama credit for coming back against LSU,who beat AU 12-10. That was definitely the mark of a champion!!!
See ya Sat!!

Reality

November 28th, 2012
11:54 am

UGA OL vs Bama DL= Bama
UGA DL vs Bama OL= Bama
UGA pass vs Bama pass D= Bama because UGA’s OL will not be able to save Murray’s prancing feet
UGA run vs Bama run D= Bama because UGA’s OL will be beat up by Bama’s DL
Bama run vs UGA DL= Bama because Bama is better than everyone else that ran on UGA (see Ky)
Bama pass vs UGA pass D= UGA because Bama depends on run
Coaching=no contest, Saban destroys the Great Suntanned Precha Man

Who wins? No brainer.

Reality

November 28th, 2012
11:56 am

Give bama credit for coming back against LSU,who beat AU 12-10. That was definitely the mark of a champion!!!
See ya Sat!!

DUMBAZZ YOU FORGOT TO MENTION GETTING YOUR AZZ HANDED TO YOU IN COLUMBIA, YEA THAT WAS A MARK OF A CHAMPION.

Sammy

November 28th, 2012
11:56 am

ANY ranked SEC team that played Bama, lit them up in the passing game.

LSU, Mettenberger had a career best, completed 70% of his passes, hit on almost every 3rd down. Averaged 8.2 yards per pass attempt. Just creamed Bama’s pass defense, made them look silly.

A & M, with a Freshman Qb, completed 78%, and averaged 8.2 yards per pass attempt.

So you have to like UGA in this matchup with the No 1 ranked QB IN both PASSING EFFICEINCY and YARDS PER PASS ATTEMPT IN THE nation IN aARON mURRAY, THE depth at wide receiver, the tight ends, and the oline gving up as few sacks as Bama’s oline.

Murray also dropped the hammer on LSU in 2011 in the 1st half. Very poised for 2 quarters, then Honey Badger did his thing on 2 punt returns, offense had a couple of turnovers, defense couldn’t get a red zone stop, and it was over.

CubanDawg

November 28th, 2012
12:09 pm

UGA did not have a running game last year vs LSU. Different story this year.

NCDawg

November 28th, 2012
12:33 pm

Reality – which reality do you live in? Obviously the one where anyone who plays football for the Crimson Tide is a god. The rest of us live in the reality where Les Mile bumbled away a win and Texas A&M embarrassed Bama at HOME. A&M is ok defensively but not on the level of LSU, Florida OR Georgia. They ran out to a huge lead and only their lack of defense saved Bama from humiliation. That is what anyone outside the cult of Saban saw.
If UGA comes out with the level of intensity they showed against UF, Bama will be in for a brawl. This game is far from a given for Bama. Mark Schlabach is picking the Dawgs 24-21 in his upset special. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a blow out dude… you’ll pass out.

sickdog

November 28th, 2012
12:43 pm

Man who knows which uga team will show up saturday? I just hope we dont get emarrassed!! I hope BOBO and Richt have got a good game plan. Not like the plan they had against SC. I just hope UGA earns respect either way! Noone respects us especially ESPN.

reggie ball

November 28th, 2012
1:10 pm

I guess Clint missed the Utah game, but hey at least saban kept it close with ULM

reggie ball

November 28th, 2012
1:16 pm

Reality, I remember not so long ago when the infallible genius Nick Saban was getting his butt paddled 45-16 in Athens. Alabama and Nick Saban have been on a great run, but the run will soon be over again just like 5 years ago and all the flavor of the week fans will be rooting for A&M next year.

Tim

November 28th, 2012
1:18 pm

The Dawgs will spread Bama out with 3 and 4 WR and get Gurshall in space.

knoxdawg

November 28th, 2012
1:36 pm

cmac22 – u r right. I couldn’t remember #11’s name glad you reminded me. That one recovery on that kick has to be the biggest play of the year. Kentucky would have scored had Norman not made the recovery. It was a perfect kick, executed very well and the kicker set there waiting for it to roll ten yards. It almost did if Norman hadn’t covered it. People forget that it happened. All they see is a UGA win over UF etc…Wouldn’t be having this conversation had that not happened. Like your choices for outstanding players too.

bill arp

November 28th, 2012
1:36 pm

Hate to say it, but I can see our kicker attempting a 40 yarder and trying to kick it out of the stadium only to yank it left and it go out of the corner of the endzone and we lose by 2… That guy still scares the crap out of me!

clint

November 28th, 2012
3:19 pm

Murfdawg,
No that wasn’t an egg, that was a team coming out very flat for the first 15 minutes. I’m sure you and other UGA fans would understand that from last year when you were up after 15 minutes with LSU. Game is for 60 minutes not 15. Laying an egg would have been to lay down and get beat by those 20 points. Again I’m sure UGA fans can relate remember SC this year when they punched you in the mouth and you just took it to the tune of 35-7. That’s laying an egg.

Reggie Ball,
Really…Really….Really…This is 2012. No one was talking about 5 years ago. I’m sure all UGA fans wouldn’t want to even talk about 3 years ago. What were yall 6-6 in consecutive years. I’ll say again if Murray plays well then it will be a good competitive game but if he pulls a 2 interception with a fumble lost like he has it past big games then Bama will win by double digits.

Bank on Alabama

November 28th, 2012
3:33 pm

UGA has the Florida win(thanks to 6 Florida TO’s). UGA, Michigan, and Clemson get destroyed when they are punched in the mouth. Alabama wins by 35 points. No contest.

Jake Dawg

November 28th, 2012
3:36 pm

I thought the biggest play of the year was the 4th down stop against UF, where Shawn Williams fought off a block and tackled the kid so hard I think he broke his collarbone. of course that was before Jarvis Jones punched the ball out of Reed’s hands on the 2. Maybe we need a top 5.

WDE

November 28th, 2012
3:55 pm

Bank on Alabama go ahead and put your trailer up and give UGA 35 there moron.Let us know how that turns out…Vegas has it a a 7 point game….your really are a moron.

Here we Go

November 28th, 2012
5:57 pm

After reading some of the Bama fan comments,they must think this will be a cake walk for them.I need to tell all Bama fans this will be a game that will be talked about by UGA fans as one of our greatest games in Bulldog history. It will also be a game that the Roll Tide will never mention in their history. GO DAWGS!!!! GATA!!!!!!

Bank on Alabama

November 28th, 2012
7:09 pm

WDE I am trying to help you out. First, never bet your trailor. Strange things can happen like UGA beating Florida. I am just saying bet 10 chickens and take the 7 points. 19 chickens in the coop. It is a long way from your heart to your coop.
Vegas was not close the SC/UGA line. Alabama will 1)stop the run. 2)put pressure on Murrey. 3)ram the ball at UGA.
So, UGA, Clemson and Michigan play soft schedules and get ranked high year after year only to lose big in big games.

1969 Graduate

November 28th, 2012
9:13 pm

I thought some of us Georgia fans were delusional until I began reading what some Alabama fans think.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Bama is stout, competent, disciplined, and capable. Bama is also capable of losing to a team which shows up, plays with intensity, has the basic skills, executes, and has both talent and the right mindset.

As good as Johnny Football is – and he’s a great player – the A&M defense had a lot to do with that Alabama lose. Georgia’s defense is a lot better than A&M’s defense.

I think we have a very competent passing offense. That’s assuming our offensive line shows up, and that Murray has a good day, and that Bobo brings a variety of good plays, and doesn’t get stuck either doing the wrong thing over and over, or abandoning the right thing for the sake of variety.

Someone told me about a high school team which won a game in which they played only one play. The same play over and over because it worked. That probably won’t work against Alabama, but I’d be fine if it did. We don’t need any style points.

I think we’ve faced a pass defense better than Alabama’s (maybe) in Jacksonville. I’m not sure Alabama has faced a passing offense as good as ours is currently, although it would be easy to argue that Johnny Football brought a lot to the table.

I don’t see Alabama as a particularly great pass rushing defense, which may be to our major advantage. Aaron Murray might have a career afternoon given sufficient time.

It’s a very hard game to call, but I think we have a real chance of beating the excellent Alabama team. A&M did us a real favor by making the Tide seem mortal.

Go, Dawgs!

alfromdadeville

November 28th, 2012
10:43 pm

Hey Bank on Alabama — while you’re at it don’t forget to mention that Bama played a soft schedule all year until they ran into a couple of good teams –LSU and TAMU. Seem to remember them finishing .500 against decent competition. Should of lost to LSU if Lester had not bungled the game away. Does Bama have a very good football team? Yes they do. Can Georgia beat them? Yep. If Georgia protects Murray and he gets hot then it could be ugly, but I expect it’ll be a TD either way.

globeflyer

November 29th, 2012
8:29 am

The key to this game? If Murray has time to throw, UGA wins. If he is pressured, he will throw at least two picks and the game is up for grabs. Neither team will run the ball “at will”. Watch the Bama defense to see if they get consistent pressure up front; if they do, Bama by two touchdowns. You heard it here….

[...] Matchup: Georgia’s passing offense vs. Alabama’s passing defense [...]

Fla Tide

November 29th, 2012
3:40 pm

So did I get this right, UGA almost lost to UK, some onside kick they recovered, and gave up over 200yds rushing?
…….riiiiiiiiight.

Bulldawg

December 1st, 2012
1:53 am

I keep reading about the SC game (when our team was on vacation), the UK game (and how we gave up so many yards), the GASO game (again, we gave up a lot of yards) and the FL game (winning on turnovers). Yep, all true. I also watched TXA&M put 400 yds up against the Bama D, LSU pound the Bama D into submission and some high school team from AUBURN broke a Bama receiver’s leg? Bama fans – there’s only one thing that counts…. the SCORE at the end of the game. Bama went 11-1 and faced 2 decent teams. UGA went 11-1 and faced 2 decent teams. Let’s see what these monsters do against one another, shall we? Then bragging rights will be earned honestly. Even if Bama holds UGA to 100 yards and UGA gives up 500 – its the final score that will determine the winner. Hold your Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer nonsense until the last whistle and we promise not to show up in our black uniforms.