SEC Championship: Who are the game changers? - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

SEC Championship: Who are the game changers?

There's no shame in admitting you have trouble tackling Eddie Lacy - unless you're Georgia and you're trying to reach the BCS title game. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) There's no shame in admitting you have trouble tackling Eddie Lacy - unless you're Georgia and you're trying to reach the BCS title game. (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
Safety Shawn Williams figures to have a busy afternoon against Alabama on Saturday. (Source: Evan Stichler/University of Georgia Athletics) Safety Shawn Williams figures to have a busy afternoon against Alabama on Saturday. (Source: Evan Stichler/University of Georgia Athletics)
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  • UGA approves Sanford Stadium renovation project

    UGA approves Sanford Stadium renovation project

    Tuesday, February 14 2017 11:51 PM EST2017-02-15 04:51:56 GMT
    Courtesy: UGA AthleticsCourtesy: UGA Athletics

    On the day the University of Georgia dedicated the football program's new indoor practice facility, the university's athletic association unveiled it's next major project. UGAA approved a $63 million renovation project for Sanford Stadium that will focus on the west end zone.

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    On the day the University of Georgia dedicated the football program's new indoor practice facility, the university's athletic association unveiled it's next major project. UGAA approved a $63 million renovation project for Sanford Stadium that will focus on the west end zone.

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  • Mississippi State/Georgia SEC Tournament opener postponed until Wednesday

    Mississippi State/Georgia SEC Tournament opener postponed until Wednesday

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 9:10 PM EDT2017-05-24 01:10:33 GMT
    Source: WikipediaSource: Wikipedia

    Game 4 of the SEC Baseball Tournament between Mississippi State and Georgia has been moved to Wednesday at 9:30 am CT. Four games will be played Wednesday and Thursday, three games on Friday, two on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.

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    Game 4 of the SEC Baseball Tournament between Mississippi State and Georgia has been moved to Wednesday at 9:30 am CT. Four games will be played Wednesday and Thursday, three games on Friday, two on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.

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  • LSU baseball sweeps Georgia with a 7-6 win in Game 3 of series

    LSU baseball sweeps Georgia with a 7-6 win in Game 3 of series

    Sunday, March 19 2017 9:31 PM EDT2017-03-20 01:31:27 GMT

    Shortstop Kramer Robertson scored four runs and right-hander Eric Walker struck out a career-best eight batters as the No. 6 LSU baseball team completed the series sweep against Georgia, defeating the Bulldogs, 7-6, Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium Skip Bertman Field.

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    Shortstop Kramer Robertson scored four runs and right-hander Eric Walker struck out a career-best eight batters as the No. 6 LSU baseball team completed the series sweep against Georgia, defeating the Bulldogs, 7-6, Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium Skip Bertman Field.

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(RNN) – It's called the game within the game – a reason to keep your eyes glued to the TV even when there aren't tense moments, and the win isn't on the line.

That unspoken battle becomes more important in any championship situation, especially in the SEC with a BCS title spot at stake.

It usually boils down to an individual player's matchup with someone on the other side of the ball. The result determines which team's players are cheering and which ones are leaving the field with towels covering their bowed heads.

When Alabama and Georgia trade helmet paint on Saturday, there are a lot of players to keep tabs on.

GEORGIA

Shawn Williams, strong safety – Jarvis Jones and Baccari Rambo get their names called the most, but Williams is the team's second-leading tackler and could have a make-or-break play land right in his lap.

AJ McCarron has a surprising amount of trouble following safety movement after the snap, and not even Alabama can make a living running the plays toward Jones and Rambo on the other side of the field. Williams will get a healthy amount of opportunities funneled his way so he had better keep his wits about him.

Jarvis Jones, outside linebacker – His adrenaline kicks to another level when playing SEC teams, which is scary considering he's pretty much always dominant. During league games, Jones leads the SEC in sacks, forced fumbles and tackles for loss. His presence is part of the reason inside linebacker Alec Ogletree leads the team in tackles in only eight games played.

Aaron Murray, quarterback – If Murray was even a little bit mobile or if UGA running backs caught more passes out of the backfield, they could shred Alabama. We don't say that just because Johnny Manziel did it.

LSU (yes the LSU that lost three weeks ago) actually showed everyone else how to take Alabama's strong side linebacker and nickelback out of the play. If Murray plays like the quarterback we know he is, he will hurt Alabama.

Todd Gurley/Keith Marshall, running back – Gurley has separated himself enough as the No. 1 starter that people don't refer to them interchangeably anymore, but Marshall is still capable of doing damage. If Gurley goes for 100 yards, Georgia's chances of winning increase exponentially.

Even if he isn't stellar, giving him the ball 20 to 25 times would soften Alabama up enough to make life easier for Murray.

ALABAMA

Eddie Lacy, running back – Georgia's front seven hasn't done them any favors in the run defense department. Lacy is gaining steam week-by-week, and he's lining up across from a unit that doesn't have the consistency to match its playmaking ability. It'll be a long day for anyone not named Jarvis Jones.

Oh, and by the way... There is this other guy in the backfield named T.J. Yeldon who doesn't look, run or make decisions like a freshman. We're pretty sure you haven't forgotten about him, but we just wanted to make sure.

Adrian Hubbard, outside linebacker – He's not a tackling machine, but a quarter of his stops are behind the line of scrimmage. We can talk all we want about strong man Jesse Williams and C.J. Mosely, but Hubbard is going to get up close and personal several times with Georgia's running backs.

Amari Cooper, wide receiver – We were denied the chance to see what he could do against LSU, the only team with a realistic shot at containing him. But Cooper vs. Sanders Commings (and a few likely double teams involving Rambo) is a battle that's worth the price of admission.

Cyrus Kouandijo, offensive tackle – Congratulations, big man. You get the undesirable task of keeping Jones, the best blitzing linebacker in college football, away from your quarterback. Wish you all the best with that.

If there's anyone who is up to the task, it's the 6'6", 311-pound mountain on the left side of one of the best O-lines in the nation.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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  • Auburn Fan Day offers chance to meet favorite players and coaches

    Auburn Fan Day offers chance to meet favorite players and coaches

    Friday, August 18 2017 9:23 PM EDT2017-08-19 01:23:31 GMT
    (Source: WSFA 12 News)(Source: WSFA 12 News)

    Auburn fans have the opportunity to gather on the plains and meet their favorite athletes and coaches Saturday as Auburn holds its annual Auburn Fan Day. Fans will get the chance to meet the 2017 Auburn Football players and coaches. According to auburntigers.com, head coach Gus Malzahn will be located on the bottom floor of the Auburn Athletic Complex, but the football Tigers won't be the only Auburn University Athletics team at fan day. According to the website, the Aubur...

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    Auburn fans have the opportunity to gather on the plains and meet their favorite athletes and coaches Saturday as Auburn holds its annual Auburn Fan Day. Fans will get the chance to meet the 2017 Auburn Football players and coaches. According to auburntigers.com, head coach Gus Malzahn will be located on the bottom floor of the Auburn Athletic Complex, but the football Tigers won't be the only Auburn University Athletics team at fan day. According to the website, the Aubur...

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  • Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K in Tuscaloosa Saturday

    Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K in Tuscaloosa Saturday

    Friday, August 18 2017 1:45 PM EDT2017-08-18 17:45:39 GMT
    Thomas Plott and his classmates, many of whom will be participating in the Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)Thomas Plott and his classmates, many of whom will be participating in the Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)

    The streets of Downtown Tuscaloosa will be crowded Saturday morning. It’s for a race with an important cause, and a pretty memorable name.

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    The streets of Downtown Tuscaloosa will be crowded Saturday morning. It’s for a race with an important cause, and a pretty memorable name.

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  • More than a coach: Former USC running back Lattimore embraces challenge of leading Heathwood Hall

    More than a coach: Former USC running back Lattimore embraces challenge of leading Heathwood Hall

    Friday, August 18 2017 7:34 AM EDT2017-08-18 11:34:30 GMT
    Former USC running back and Heathwood Hall head football coach Marcus Lattimore shows a play to one of his players duriing practice. (Source: WIS)Former USC running back and Heathwood Hall head football coach Marcus Lattimore shows a play to one of his players duriing practice. (Source: WIS)

    As many of the Heathwood Hall players left the field, Marcus Lattimore kept a few of his running backs and his quarterback to iron out a few wrinkles heading into Thursday’s season opener against Oakbrook Prep.

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    As many of the Heathwood Hall players left the field, Marcus Lattimore kept a few of his running backs and his quarterback to iron out a few wrinkles heading into Thursday’s season opener against Oakbrook Prep.

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