After all that buildup, we’re halfway through the SEC’s game of the week. Alabama is currently pounding Georgia, 24-3, in front of a shocked crowd at Sanford Stadium.
Blocked punt quiets crowd
If Alabama holds on to win, you can circle Minkah Fitzpatrick’s blocked punt as the moment ‘Bama began rolling toward victory. With UGA down 10-3 and facing a 4th-and-4 from its own 16, Fitzpatrick broke through the protection and blocked Collin Barber’s kick. The defensive back calmly scooped the ball and walked into the end zone for a 17-3 lead.
Miscues slow the Tide early
Despite the lead, Alabama has made several mistakes. Both teams’ offensive gameplans sputtered out of the gate, but the Crimson Tide were first to get going. Jake Coker hit Calvin Ridley for a 50-yard gain down the right sideline, and ‘Bama was well within striking distance after two more completions.
But three penalties on the drive — offsides, illegal formation and 12 men on the field — forced ‘Bama to settle for a field goal.
Up 10-3 in the second quarter, receiver ArDarius Stewart dropped a 3rd-and-4 throw from Coker to stall a promising drive that would’ve potentially put ‘Bama up two scores.
Jake Coker coming alive
The most surprising development has been Coker’s efficiency. Heading into the third quarter, he’s completed 7-of-8 passes for 158 yards. Most of his throws have been perfect, and he’s been avoiding the kind of silly mistakes that have plagued him this season. Coker’s 45-yard sky-scraping touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley was a thing of beauty, and put an exclamation point on the first half.
On the UGA side, starting quarterback Greyson Lambert was pulled in favor of Brice Ramsey with less than a minute to go in the second quarter.
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) October 3, 2015
Jake Coker with a perfect throw to Calvin Ridley for a 45-yard Alabama TD. Bama leads 24-3 pic.twitter.com/BaXBTs0rQr
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) October 3, 2015
Richt at halftime talks QB Greyson Lambert: "He's struggling. We all are. They're handling us up front." QB change? "We'll talk about it."
— Alex Byington (@abyingtonTD) October 3, 2015