The Crimson Tide rose to the 10th spot in the poll after a soggy Saturday showdown with the Bulldogs in Athens, GA. Let's revisit Ole Miss' win over Alabama for a minute. But at this point, Georgia is a next-tier team with a lot to work on.
Storyline: For the first time in 72 games, Alabama started a game as the underdog, with Georgia favored by a point. And Georgia had a little something to do with the results in a steady rain.
Georgia's Lorenzo Carter, a Norcross grad, had five tackle assists while Buford grad Dillon Lee posted two tackles and an assist for Alabama.
After once again failing to move, Barber's short punt set the Crimson Tide up at the 45 and on the first play Coker went play-action and hit freshman Calvin Ridley in stride for a touchdown that gave Alabama a 24-3 halftime lead. Until the "Black Bears" learn that running the ball is legal, they aren't a complete team and will have difficulty overcoming mistakes.
"That's not who we are", he said.
Boykin threw for 332 yards without playing in the fourth quarter, and his 74 career TD passes are three more than Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had from 2007-10. We didn't have very many counterpunches for them. It's possible Alabama is, well, pretty much the same ol' Alabama.
"No. I just underthrew him", Lambert said. They dominated every phase of the game, causing four turnovers and controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. "I can't tell you how proud I am".
The only highlight for the home team was Nick Chubb's 83-yard touchdown run in the waning second of the third quarter.
Richt said Sunday on a conference call that Lambert still has the job he won during fall practice after transferring from Virginia. Backup Brice Ramsey was even worse. But if Chubb can keep the streak going through next week and beyond, it'll do something. Nick Saban did this week. "I know how to put it behind us". More than one Twitter wag - remembering that the 2008 game had been a Georgia "blackout" - dubbed the rain-soaked game "The Washout". If we can lose to a Will Muschamp-coached Florida team, there's nearly no doubt we'll have our hands full with Jim McElwain's reinvigorated Gators. If the Bulldogs had any shot at winning, they needed to win the turnover and penalty battles. Coker didn't start against Ole Miss and looked shaky last week against Louisiana-Monroe. The game plan with quarterbacks in this league is simple: don't screw up.
Lambert completed just 10 of 24 passes for 86 yards in a 38-10 loss to Alabama.
"He managed the game well", Saban said. "We got outcoached and outplayed".
If Coker's performance is an indication of an upward trend, so is Alabama's. The Bama defense is still tough as nails, and Coker appears primed to lead the Tide's offense heading into the teeth of autumn. At least on Saturday, that's how it went.
"The dam broke and, unfortunately, we didn't have enough counterpunches to get back in", Richt said. "I thought they played their best game of the year today, obviously against a really good team", Saban said. But as is the case in college football, a single game can drastically alter perception.
That last part is the key.
While Alabama looked great, the pressure isn't off. That September loss to Mississippi doesn't disappear. Kentucky couldn't run the ball at all, which is something it had done surprisingly well to this point. No one even looked at anybody else. Someone asked Saban about establishing an identity. It's going to be another year of weirdness in the SEC East, and Missouri will be partly to blame.
This is what happens when you spend two weeks where everyone questions everything you do, and you find yourself staring at a win-or-walk game and suddenly everything comes into focus. But that's something you develop, a reputation, over time. JK Scott finished with solid stats, but there is clearly something off from previous year as he continues to have issues with shanks. It was a putrid performance when Georgia had a golden opportunity to make a statement. And, although it won't salvage their season, I don't think there's anything that would make Tennessee fans feel better than to beat a reeling Georgia and crush our hopes and dreams.
It won't do much to ease the embarrassment and hurt of Saturday.