The No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs seek their first big win of the 2015 season on Saturday when they host the 13th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at Sanford Stadium in Athens. Georgia will be facing an Alabama squad that seems poised to put their Week-3 loss to Ole Miss behind them in their biggest road test of the season.
While Mark Richt's squad has jumped out to a 4-0 record, Georgia's victories have come against opponents with a combined record of just 6-9. Still, Georgia has been on a roll that dates back to last season. The Bulldogs have won eight of their last nine games, with the lone loss in that span coming against Georgia Tech in overtime of last season's regular season finale.
Heisman Trophy candidate Nick Chubb continues to lead the way for Georgia. The crafty sophomore, who came on strong in the second half of 2014, has picked up where he left off. Chubb has rushed for 120 yards or more in each game this season, and has already scored six rushing touchdowns and one touchdown reception. He looked particularly strong against South Carolina on Sept. 19, when he consistently found running lanes to pound out 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
Quarterback Greyson Lambert will go up against perhaps the toughest secondary he can expect to see this season. The Tide boast elite defensive backs, as well as a ferocious blitz, which could cause havoc for Lambert. The junior's ability to throw accurate passes under pressure will be a major storyline on Saturday.
The Georgia defense has been strong, as well. Against Vanderbilt, safety Dominick Sanders returned an interception for 88 yards for a touchdown to seal the 34-14 win. The Bulldogs also held South Carolina to just 258 total yards with Sanders intercepting a pass and returning it 33 yards.
Alabama, which has just seven losses since the start of the 2011 season, presents a tough challenge for Georgia. The two programs last met in the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome on Dec. 1, 2012, with the Tide prevailing in a tight contest, 32-28. When Alabama visited Athens in 2008, the Tide jumped out to a 31-0 halftime lead and held off the Bulldogs, 41-30.
This season, Alabama dropped in the polls from No. 2 to No. 12 after falling behind to Ole Miss in the early going and failing to mount a sufficient comeback. Since that loss, Alabama pounced on Louisiana-Monroe, 34-0, to earn a much-needed confidence booster ahead of their first road game of the season.
While Richt relies on Chubb for his effective ground game, Nick Saban's offense is led by bulky rusher Derrick Henry. The junior running back was the key weapon for the Tide against both Wisconsin and Ole Miss, when he rushed for 147 and 127 yards, respectively. Henry has rushed for eight touchdowns this season, and will likely play a significant role on Saturday.
"He's a big back, bigger than the usual back that you play," Georgia nose tackle Chris Mayes said about Henry. "But still at the same time, if you hit him before he gets started, I feel like we have a good chance of stopping him."
The Tide have depth at receiver with six players already tallying over 100 receiving yards. ArDarius Stewart has thus far been the No. 1 target, with 21 receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Kickoff Time: 3:30 PM ET
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: CBS Sports