For Georgia, the time is now and the Bulldogs have zero excuses going into Saturday's home matchup with Alabama. Georgia will go into this game against the Tide undefeated, the favorite in Vegas, and on paper the better team in all three phases on the football field. Head coach Mark Richt has a few big wins under his belt but nothing would be as big as knocking off Alabama and putting what would appear to be an end to the Crimson Tide's College Football Playoff hopes in 2015. All the cards are in Georgia's favor at this point in the season. No pressure, Mark.
Side note: as pointed out by Clay Travis from FOX Sports, if Alabama loses to Georgia, it will be the first time in SEC history that both Alabama and Auburn have started 0-2 in conference.
History in the making? I think so.
So why will Georgia beat Alabama on Saturday? Here are five reasons.
1. Georgia’s defense is playing lights out.
Georgia has looked more than impressive on defense in 2015. Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has taken a talented core of returners from last year and made them even better so far. Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Floyd, Lorenzo Carter, Dominick Sanders and Jake Ganus among others have placed this defense among the best units in the nation. I realize that Georgia has played less than stellar opponents so far in 2015 but from what I have seen, Georgia is an elite defense. They have playmakers at every level and have depth at many of those positions. We could go through the numbers all day but these guys know how to make big plays. And big plays will need to be made on Saturday.
2. The one/two punch of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel is the best in the nation.
Yes, you read that right. Georgia has the best running back combo in college football. And it’s not even close. We all knew just how good Chubb was going to be this year. But many may have forgotten that Michel was ahead of Chubb on the depth chart last year before he got hurt. Now Chubb and Michel have this healthy competition between themselves as to who can score more touchdowns in any given game.
Are you kidding me? These two are actually tallying who can score more? It’s like they’re playing "NCAA Football 2015" but in real life.
Side note: Chubb leads 6-4. And oh yeah, just behind Michel is Keith Marshall with three. Unbelievable.
Couple that with an offensive line that is helping average 257 rushing yards per game and you have the best rushing attack Georgia has seen in a long time. And I didn’t even mention Malcolm Mitchell’s downfield blocking capabilities, which may be among the best by a wide receiver in the country.
3. Greyson Lambert is the better quarterback going into this game.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Okay, I will admit that I have been super harsh on Lambert and his ability to lead this team. And it was warranted. But I’ve got to admit that the last couple of games, Lambert has played very well. I mean, he set national and SEC records two weeks ago. I never saw that coming. He looks poised in the pocket, calm and he is making good decisions with the ball. I knew that putting better talent around him would help and so far it has made him look better. But he will face the best defense that he has played against since Vanderbilt. Against Vandy, he didn’t look so hot but things can change. Lambert will have a huge hurdle to jump come Saturday but if he can stay calm, make good decisions and put his team in a position to win; people will see this team as a legitimate Playoff contender.
4. Georgia’s OC is not in hot water, which takes the pressure off of him.
Lane Kiffin vs. Brian Schottenheimer. What a matchup. Besides Alabama fans wanting to run Kiffin out of town for not running the ball more and those nasty “Joey Freshwater” rumors swirling in Tuscaloosa, this is actually a great offensive mind vs. offensive mind pairing.
Both teams can put up massive points and both have showed that in recent games. But I would think that both coaches are still a little weary about cutting their quarterbacks completely loose. I felt like Jake Coker finally cemented himself as the starter in the game against Ole Miss but then had a subpar day against ULM. On the other side, for as good as Lambert has been, I still haven’t seen him stretch the field like he will need to do against Alabama. That could be Schottenheimer’s decision or it could be he doesn’t trust his quarterback to do that just yet. That Vanderbilt game has to be in the back of Georgia’s mind.
All in all, Schottenheimer knows that he is in a good position as he has probably watched the Ole Miss tape 100 times already this week. Georgia has been given a blueprint as to how to beat Alabama and that was a team that had no run game whatsoever.
5. Special Teams
Alabama has been a train wreck on special teams all year. They fumbled multiple kickoffs in the Ole Miss game; their kicker hasn’t even hit half of his field goals and all of a sudden, their ace punter seems to be losing his mind as well. Maybe it’s just me but we all talk about how important success in all three phases of the game are to winning, so why would I think Alabama has a shot with their special teams playing this way? Both teams are fielding the ball pretty well, except for Alabama during the Ole Miss game, but if it's crunch time, I just trust the Georgia kickers far more than I do Alabama right now. And for good reason.
— Written by Justin Nails, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @justinnails.