It wasn't pretty for Georgia in the first half of its game against Alabama, which it trails 24-3.
The big matchup everyone talked about was Georgia’s running game vs. Alabama’s front seven.
Through the first two quarters it was quite apparent which side won that battle. Georgia’s rushing attack, averaging 257.8 yards per game, was held to just 39 yards in the game’s first 30 minutes. It forced Georgia into being a one-dimensional offense, which made things problematic when Greyson Lambert wanted to throw the ball. Routes were covered and little was able to break open. Alabama’s front came to play and has Nick Chubb’s streak of consecutive 100-yard rushing performances in jeopardy.
Lambert’s first half was brutal while Coker shined.
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Lambert had the aforementioned play to Godwin and another play-action pass go for a big gain to Malcolm Mitchell. But he severely under-threw a ball on the game’s first play from scrimmage that would have gone a long way if he hits Mitchell down the sideline. He struggled tremendously as the second quarter continued, nearly having a pass picked off. It didn’t help that Alabama’s front seven won the line of scrimmage early on and Georgia’s running game couldn’t get going. Conversely, Alabama’s Jake Coker seemed on a mission to silence his critics. He completed his first five passes of the game and was over 100 yards with just less than nine minutes remaining in the first half. One of Coker’s better throws came on a 18-yard pass to receiver Richard Mullaney in the second quarter just before taking a crushing shot from Leonard Floyd.
Georgia’s special teams groups have not been a consistent part of Georgia’s season thus far.
That trend continued in the first half on Saturday. Pinned deep following a three-and-out, Minkah Fitzpatrick sprung free and blocked Collin Barber’s punt with under five minutes to go in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick then picked the ball up and ran into the end zone for an easy score.
It seemed Alabama knew exactly what Georgia wanted to throughout most of the first half.
Receivers were covered down the field when Lambert dropped back to throw. The front seven didn’t need an eighth defender in the box and was able to take care of business against the run, with Chubb only running for over 10 yards once. And when Lambert took shots, he was quite inaccurate, going against the recent trend he’s had of late. Conversely, Georgia’s defense had a tougher time slowing down Derrick Henry , who had a 30-yard rushing touchdown. Georgia’s secondary was out of position a few times, whereas Alabama’s wouldn’t let Georgia receivers get separation.
What an adventure Georgia’s scoring drive was.
It looked like the Bulldogs might be able to post the game’s first touchdown after a roughing the snapper penalty was called on Alabama during a 35-yard field goal from Marshall Morgan. Georgia then somehow managed to mess things up. First, it was a personal foul facemask penalty that backed it up 15 yards. Then, Greyson Lambert fumbled the ball Jeremy Johnson style, but got lucky that Greg Pyke recovered it. With it second-and-goal from the 30, a check down to Nick Chubb lost five yards, setting up third-and-goal from the 35. But Lambert game through with one of his better plays of the first half. He moved up in the pocket and got the ball to Terry Godwin at the 9m, just before getting hit. Morgan made a 27-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3.