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Georgia leads SEC pack in hot pursuit of Alabama

Alabama continues to be king within the Southeastern Convention, if not nationally.

Nothing that occurred within the nationwide championship sport modified that, past serving as a heartening reminder that Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide is not the truth is invulnerable.

The pursuit continues within the SEC, with Georgia once more main the chase pack after coming ever so shut the previous two seasons — in league and nationwide championship video games.

So Tide gamers are motivated by the mantra “never be satisfied.” For Georgia, the catchphrase is “do more.” In the meantime, each can eye one another all through the common season simply in case they meet once more within the SEC title sport.

An Alabama staff that gained each regular-season sport by at the very least 22 factors, needed to rally to beat the Bulldogs in Atlanta with the SEC title on the road earlier than finally getting pummeled 44-16 by Clemson within the nationwide championship sport.

“Our mantra now for our guys that we have as a leadership group is to never be satisfied,” mentioned Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, final season’s runner up for the Heisman Trophy. “Early in the season, we’d been beating teams by a lot. Of course you’re going to get satisfied, because you feel invincible as a team. But never being satisfied is the way to go for us. We’ve just got to keep going until we get what we want.”

Georgia security J.R. Reed says the Bulldogs cannot give attention to a possible SEC title sport rematch with the Tide.

“We can’t look ahead way down the line, because we might not make it there if we look way down there,” Reed mentioned. “We can’t count our eggs before they hatch.”

Groups like Florida, LSU and Texas A&M are able to pounce if both favourite falters. All three, like Georgia and Alabama, have excessive hopes and veteran quarterbacks .

In truth, eight SEC quarterback starters return and 4 different groups may begin graduate transfers.

Whereas Alabama’s nonconference schedule is much less formidable than normal, different potential SEC contenders have some huge ones. Auburn opens with Oregon in Arlington, Texas. Then on Sept. 7, Texas A&M visits Clemson and LSU is at Texas earlier than Georgia hosts Notre Dame on Sept. 21.

So there ought to be loads of drama on the highway to Atlanta.

Listed below are some issues to know concerning the SEC this season:

THE FAVORITES

East: If any staff is threatening the SEC supremacy of Alabama’s program, it is Georgia. The Bulldogs haven’t solely challenged the Tide on the sphere however on the recruiting path. Led by quarterback Jake Fromm , Georgia is the clear favourite to win a 3rd consecutive division title. The Florida Gators are coming off Dan Mullen’s 10-win debut season and Missouri is boosted by the addition of quarterback Kelly Bryant , a former Clemson starter.

West: Alabama stays the favourite, as normal. However LSU’s Ed Orgeron and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher are attempting to construct on stable 2018 seasons when the Tigers gained 10 video games and the Aggies went 9-4. Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi and Mississippi State are breaking in new quarterbacks.

TOP PLAYERS

Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn: Opted to return for his senior season although he is a extremely rated NFL prospect. Centerpiece of what might be one of many nation’s prime defensive strains.

Grant Delpit , DB, LSU: A unanimous All-American and finalist for the Nagurski Award because the nation’s prime defender. Delpit led the league with 5 interceptions but additionally had 74 tackles and 5 sacks.

Fromm, QB, Georgia: One of many nation’s best passers, rating fifth final season. Has 54 landing passes towards simply 13 interceptions in two seasons as starter.

C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida: The newest standout defensive again for the Gators. Has six interceptions over the previous two seasons and returned a pair of them for touchdowns in 2017.

Jerry Jeudy , WR, Alabama: Tagovailoa’s favourite goal gained the Biletnikoff Award final season and is a bigtime deep menace. Laborious to double staff as a result of the Tide has so many weapons within the passing sport.

Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: Was the SEC offensive participant of the yr and misplaced out on the Heisman to Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray in his first season because the starter. He set Alabama single-season passing information with 43 touchdowns and three,966 yards.

Andrew Thomas, LT, Georgia: A second-team AP All-American final season, he is one of many nation’s higher offensive lineman. Helps defend Fromm and pave the way in which for a working sport led by D’Andre Swift.

NEW FACES

Positive, each SEC head coach returns for the primary time since 2006, however there was loads of change amongst coordinators. The league has 11 new offensive and defensive coordinators , with Alabama and Georgia every changing the play callers on either side of the ball.

ON THE HOT SEAT

It could be an excessive amount of to ask for all 14 coaches to outlive for a second straight yr. The warmest seat going into the season belongs undoubtedly to Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, who’s set to start out a freshman quarterback — both Joey Gatewood or Bo Nix — towards a tough schedule.

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