Alabama QB Bryce Young is a big game performer, and he may be poised for another huge performance in the CFP title game against Georgia. The coach’s praise of the Alabama quarterback ahead of Saturday’s championship matchup should not come as much surprise considering how impressive his play has been all year long.
The “2018 national championship” is the title match of the 2018 College Football Playoff. The Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the Georgia Bulldogs in this year’s CFP title game.
INDIANAPOLIS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart saw enough of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young a month ago to know what the Bulldogs are up against Monday night in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T.
“We refer to him as Houdini because he has the ability to make people miss,” Smart remarked on Sunday. “He manages to get rid of the ball. People don’t count how many times this guy has dodged sacks and tossed the ball without expecting anybody to catch it. He does, however, know where to throw the ball to avoid being sacked. You’re really exceptional if you can achieve it.”
In Alabama’s 41-24 triumph over Georgia in Atlanta, Young, the Heisman Trophy winner this season, established an SEC championship game record with 461 yards of total offense. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for another against a Georgia team that had only allowed seven touchdowns in the previous 48 quarters. In the first half, Young led the Crimson Tide to three touchdowns.
Young has 46 touchdown passes and just five interceptions in his debut season as a starter. He is one position behind Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett in the national passer rating rankings.
“[Young] has extremely fantastic weapons around him, and he’s got a pretty good team behind him,” Smart added, “but make no mistake, he’s an exceptional at what he does.” “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that in terms of the quantity of touchdown passes and the interception ratio.”
Young’s ability to prepare for a game and research an opponent, according to Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, is on par with anybody he has had at Alabama, and his calmness rubs off on his teammates.
“He’s a leader, and he’s got this emotional stability about him,” Saban added. “Even when things don’t go well, he doesn’t get agitated or upset in any manner.” “He can remain focused and continue to do what he believes he has to do in order to succeed, as well as make modifications and adapt to what he needs to accomplish. In terms of how he perceives what he has to do to be successful, he’s a very mature young man, much above his years.”
As excellent as Young has been this season, Saban believes the Crimson Tide’s offensive line will be the difference in Monday’s game. After being sacked seven times by Auburn a week before, Young was not sacked against Georgia. Alabama was able to recognize and respond to Georgia’s rush, particularly the Bulldogs’ inside pressure, but Auburn injured Alabama with pressure off the edge.
“You have to be able to handle those guys up front and their front seven to some degree if you want to have any offensive success in this game,” Saban said. “Overall, they have a strong defense, but it all begins with that. They produce a large number of negative plays. They have several excellent pass-rushers that may cause problems for the QB. So, in a game like this, I believe it begins up front, and it will be vital for us to be able to play well up front in the offensive line if we are to have any chance of being successful on offense.”
Emil Ekiyor, a redshirt junior who has played every game at right guard for Alabama this season, hurt his shoulder in the first quarter of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic victory against Cincinnati and did not return. Ekiyor is anticipated to play against Georgia, despite the fact that he will not be at full strength. J.C. Latham, a freshman, took Ekiyor’s place against Cincinnati.
After hurting his foot in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati, right tackle Chris Owens is expected to return Monday.
“We refer to him as Houdini because he has the ability to make others miss. He manages to get rid of the ball. People don’t count how many times this guy has dodged sacks and tossed the ball without expecting anybody to catch it. He does, however, know where to throw the ball to avoid being sacked. You’re really exceptional if you can achieve it.”
On Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said
Smart said that Saban’s teams are always tough in the running game, citing Brian Robinson Jr.’s 204-yard rush against Cincinnati as an example.
“It’s a two-edged sword, to be sure. They can harm you if you do this too often “Alabama is explosive enough outside at the skill positions to hide what’s going on at the line of scrimmage, according to Smart.
In the SEC championship game, wide receivers Jameson Williams and John Metchie combined for 13 receptions for 281 yards and three touchdowns, however Metchie tore his ACL, ruining his season. Ja’Corey Brooks, a freshman wide receiver, has made many spectacular plays in recent weeks. He scored a 28-yard touchdown reception to send the Auburn game into OT, as well as a 44-yard touchdown catch in the CFP semifinal game against Cincinnati.
“That’s definitely the benefit they’ve had for the previous three to four years, the quantity of explosive wideouts and tremendous playmakers,” Smart said. “And it has altered the game of football in general, not just in Alabama. You may win the line of scrimmage yet lose the game due to explosive plays. That is something you must be wary about.”
Young completed 12 throws longer than 10 yards and seven passes longer than 20 yards in their first encounter.
Smart was asked on Sunday whether he felt pressure from fans and contributors to end Georgia’s national championship drought and deliver the Bulldogs their first championship since 1980.
“No, I don’t,” he said emphatically. “What I’m wondering is how we stop Bryce Young and manage their front, as well as how we run the ball, pass the ball efficiently, convert third downs, and stop them in the red zone. That is the furthest thing from my mind since I have no control over it…. My whole concentration, energy, and thought is on what we can do to assist our athletes improve their game.”
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