Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship not only pits Alabama against Georgia, but it’s SEC vs. SEC as well as pupil against teacher. Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart (right) served as an assistant under Nick Saban for the Crimson Tide as well as at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins.
In just his second season in Athens, Smart has Georgia in position to win its first national championship since 1980. For Saban, he'll attempt to win his sixth overall title and his fifth at Alabama.
Here are 10 stats you need to know for Monday's national championship matchup:
11: Consecutive wins by Nick Saban over his former assistants
Five Saban assistants — Jimbo Fisher, Mark Dantonio, Will Muschamp, Jim McElwain and Derek Dooley — have gone 0-11 against their former boss, and they’ve managed to be outscored 427-111 in those contests.
1: Number of true freshman quarterbacks to win a national title
Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason’s opening-game injury set current starter Jake Fromm’s decorated freshman season in motion. Fromm will attempt to become just the second true freshman quarterback in history to win a national championship. Former Oklahoma quarterback Jamelle Holieway is the only freshman signal-caller to accomplish this feat thus far, which he did back in 1986.
3: Consecutive wins by Saban’s Alabama teams over Georgia
Saban undoubtedly has Sept. 22, 2007 etched in his mind, as it’s the first and only time the Crimson Tide have lost to Georgia during his tenure. The Bulldogs earned a 26-23 overtime win that day. Since then, Alabama has gone 3-0, with its most recent win occurring in 2015. The most exciting Saban-Georgia offering came in 2012 when the Bulldogs lost 32-28 in the SEC Championship Game.
1: College Football Playoff appearances by Georgia
While it took four years for Georgia to add its name to the list of playoff participants, the timing couldn’t have been better, as the Bulldogs will play for the national championship in their home state.
91.8: Rushing yards allowed per game by Alabama
The Crimson Tide are not only tops in the SEC against the run, but No. 1 in the nation. In total, Alabama has given up 1,193 yards on the ground in 13 games, which translates to just 2.7 yards per carry. Georgia's ground game enters Monday’s title game No. 1 in the SEC and eighth in the FBS at 267.4 rushing yards per game.
2,462: Rushing yards tallied by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel
Chubb (right) has rushed for 1,320 yards this year, while backfield mate Michel has accumulated 1,142. They are the first duo in Georgia history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in the same season. They combined for 326 yards and five rushing touchdowns (on just 25 carries) in the Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma. Michel also added a TD catch as he was named Offensive MVP.
1: Number of interceptions thrown by Jalen Hurts
Hurts has thrown just one interception in 246 passing attempts in 13 games. His lone pick came against Arkansas back on Oct. 14. Hurts, who has 2,060 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, also is Alabama’s second-leading rusher with 808 yards and eight scores.
13: Number of consecutive starts by Georgia left guard Kendall Baker
While Nick Chubb and Sony Michel have received plenty of accolades and national attention this season, much of the duo’s success can be credited to a talented, tight-knit offensive line. Consider Baker the dean of the Bulldogs’ front, which also includes All-SEC selection Isaiah Wynn (left tackle) and Lamont Gaillard (center).
11.1: Points per game allowed by Alabama
The Crimson Tide are first in the nation in scoring defense, and was in fine form in its convincing, 24-6 Sugar Bowl win over Clemson. The Tigers managed just two field goals and 188 total yards as Alabama’s defense held the defending national champions to just 2.69 yards per play.
7: Number of Grammy Awards won by halftime show performer Kendrick Lamar
On Dec. 19, it was announced that Compton, California, native and hip-hop juggernaut Kendrick Lamar would be the College Football Playoff National Championship’s first-ever musical performer. Sorry, Taylor Swift. The halftime concert will be held at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.
— Written by Elton Hayes, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. A sports reporter for The Meridian Star, Hayes also has been an invited guest on “The Paul Finebaum Show.” Follow him on Twitter @EHDC12.