When it comes to any Championship Saturday, no conference championship game is more anticipated each year than the showdown for the SEC title. This season we get a familiar matchup in Atlanta as No. 1 Georgia takes on No. 8 Alabama in the 2023 SEC Championship Game. This marks the second time in the last three seasons the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs square off for the SEC title. For undefeated Georgia, its looking to secure the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff, while one-loss Alabama is out to keep its faint CFP hopes alive.
The Bulldogs are coming off of a close eight-point win over rival Georgia Tech in Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Running back Kendall Milton rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns in his 100-yard game over the last three contests. Quarterback Carson Beck has emerged as a star. He ranks second in the conference in completion percentage (72.4%) and passing yards per game (291.3).
The Crimson Tide survived a big-time scare from rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl last week. Bama quarterback Jalen Milroe hit Isaiah Bond in the back corner of the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 31-yard line to secure the 27-24 win. Milroe currently ranks second in the nation in passing yards per attempt at 10.6 and will provide a big challenge to the Bulldogs' secondary.
Follow live coverage of Georgia vs. Alabama in the 2023 SEC Championship Game all day Saturday.
How to watch Alabama vs. Georgia live
Date: Saturday, Dec. 2 | Time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium -- Atlanta, Georgia
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
Streaming on Paramount+ with Showtime (Try It Free)
Alabama vs. Georgia: Need to know
Georgia's OL has been rock solid: The Bulldogs have been tremendous all season despite fighting through injuries. They rank 11th nationally in tackles for loss allowed per game (3.92) and sixth in sacks allowed per game (0.83). That's a bit scary for an Alabama team that just gave up 244 yards to an Auburn team that had no passing threat to balance out its offense. Was that the anomaly or the start of a trend? Bulldogs offensive lineman Sedrick Van Prann thinks it is the former.
"I think what's unique about them is that although they may run stunts and schemes and different things like that, they're very physical," he said on Monday. "I think up front they control the line of scrimmage well. On the defensive side of the ball, when it comes down to stopping the run, I think they're really, really good for it. They play physical, so on top of having to think about how they move and what indicators tell those things, you have to think about them just striking up front, and that makes things a little bit more difficult."
Expect Milton, Daijun Edwards and the rest of the Bulldogs to pound the rock early to see if Alabama can fix the glitch from last week.
As Milroe goes, so go the Crimson Tide: The evolution of Milroe has been amazing to watch. He has gone from a liability in the passing game, to the bench, back to the starting lineup and into a bona fide Heisman Trophy candidate in a 12-game roller coaster ride for the ages.
"I think his transformation at the quarterback position has helped us transform our entire offensive team," coach Nick Saban said on Sunday. "The confidence that he's playing with, the confidence that our players have in him. I think we've done a pretty good job of trying to utilize the skill set that he has. He's learned that the most important thing at his position is to distribute the ball. He's done a really, really good job of that. I think that's really enhanced the transformation of our offensive team to be much more effective and productive."
Milroe isn't just a runner who hits a deep shot through the air every now and then. He ranks No. 3 in the nation in passer efficiency in the pocket at 189.4. There is not "one way" to slow him down. If he puts on a show against this Georgia defense and leads his team to the College Football Playoff, expect him to be in New York next weekend as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Will Brock Bowers play? The star tight end suffered a sprained ankle during the win over Vanderbilt on October 14. He underwent "tightrope" surgery two days later and returned on November 11 against Ole Miss. He caught 10 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns over a two-game stretch before sitting out last weekend's win over Georgia Tech. Is there a cause for concern?
"He was a little sore. We wanted to be able to use him situationally, see what he could do if he felt comfortable with it," coach Kirby Smart said on Sunday. "Just didn't think he could go. Nothing about who we're playing or anything else. He's got to be able to go compete at the highest level and be able to feel good about what he's doing. We didn't feel that he had that last night."
Bowers leads the Bulldogs with 51 catches for 661 yards and six touchdowns. It'll be interesting to see how Smart uses him and if last week's absence was a little big of gamesmanship leading up to the SEC Championship Game.
Alabama vs. Georgia prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
The Bulldogs will wear down the Alabama defense thanks to a phenomenal rushing performance from the duo of Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards. After all, if Auburn can do it, Georgia certainly can. Quarterback Carson Beck will do enough through the air to keep the Alabama defense honest, which will go a long way toward securing the Bulldogs' second straight SEC title. Alabama will keep it close into the fourth quarter, but a stout Dawgs defense will force Milroe into a late mistake or two as Georgia will cover to move on to the CFP. Pick: Georgia -6
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in conference championship games? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned well over $2,000 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.