Tide Offensive Line Subdues 'Dawgs

Nick Saban loves to equate a boxing match between two adept punchers as the scenario his team must endure for the inevitable test. Toughness, mental and physical, counts in the athletic arena. Alabama tasted the canvas many times falling behind a relentless Georgia team three times before the final bell concluded the gridiron slugfest.

A 32-28 Tide victory in the Georgia Dome on Saturday at the SEC Championship Game was the consequence of irreparable body blows inflicted by the dominating Tide offensive line and punishing running back duo of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Second-ranked Alabama (12-1, 8-1) outdistanced their own SEC Championship Game rushing record by 50 with a phenomenal 350 yards against the third rated Georgia Bulldogs (11-2, 7-2). Game MVP Eddie Lacy (181 yards) and T.J. Yeldon (153) became the first tandem to rush for over 100 yards in championship game history. The 18 rushing first downs in the championship contest surpassed the 15 achieved by the Tide in the 1999 defeat of Florida.

Georgia proved to be a feisty pack of resilient ‘Dawgs but succumbed on the last play of the game five yards short from claiming their third league title since the formation of the two divisions. As split end Chris Conley fell to the turf after catching the three-yard Aaron Murray pass deflected by linebacker C.J. Mosley, safety Robert Lester pounced on the Georgia receiver as the game clock reached double zero. Alabama had one more counter punch in their repertoire to preserve the win.

A gashing of the Georgia defensive front by the Alabama offensive line quintet of Cyrus Kouandjio, Chance Warmack, Barrett Jones, Anthony Steen and D.J. Fluker ensued in the second quarter with 16 carries for 127 yards after a meager 6 carries and 25 yards in the opening fifteen minutes. The bludgeoning continued in the second half with a 198 yard effort on 29 carries to seal the berth to the BCS National Championship Game to be held January 7th at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. A line touted as one of the best in America lived up to the pre-season billing with a spectacular performance. Listen to three of the principle performers responsible for knocking the ‘Dawg out of the Bulldogs.

Cyrus Kouandjio

D.J. Fluker

Anthony Steen

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