Georgia will run the ball. A lot.
New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer brought NFL experience at running a pro-style offense to Athens, and has done so spectacularly. The Bulldogs returned a host of experienced offensive lineman from a stout 2014 running game, and continue to pump out elite running backs every year.
Speaking of running backs, it would be remiss to start any preview of the Georgia offense without first mentioning Nick Chubb. The 220-pound bruising sophomore took the nation by storm as a true freshman by rushing for 1500 yards and 14 touchdowns while filling in for an injured/suspended/otherwise vanished Todd Gurley. Chubb has improved even beyond his freshman numbers, and has put up 600 rushing yards and six touchdowns in only 4 games, and is averaging an awe-inspiring 8.4 yards per carry. For those of you that keep up with my recruiting articles, Chubb recorded the second highest SPARQ rating (143.91!) in the nation in 2014, and is a once-in-a-decade type of athletic specimen.
Behind Chubb, fellow sophomore Sony Michel has developed into a dangerous speedy complement to Chubb's power. Michel is slippery and quick, and also a receiving threat out of the backfield. He has 223 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on 7.0 yards per carry this year, and 148 receiving yards and 3 more touchdowns in the passing game. Senior Keith Marshall gained almost 800 yards as a freshman alongside Gurley in 2012, but has seen his workload diminish each year ever since. He has, however, put up 125 yards and 3 touchdowns this year, and the veteran has been running with more confidence than in the last two years.
At quarterback, junior transfer Greyson Lambert has only become the 3rd most efficient quarterback (min. 40 attempts) in the NCAA. He has completed 77% of his passes of 733 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, with an impressive 10.8 yards per attempt. Lambert has not been called on to lead this team very much, but also has made very few mistakes. Georgia faithful are complaining a little about Lambert having a tendency to start slow in the 1st quarter, but typically picks up his game after getting in rhythm. Though efficient in overall statistics, Lambert's rating drops significantly when has been called on to make plays on 3rd down. His completion percentage on 3rd down is only 50% on the season, as compared to 83% on 1st and 2nd. Forcing the new signal caller into situations where he will have to make plays on his own will be key for the Crimson Tide defense.
At receiver, fifth-year senior Malcolm Mitchell accounts for almost half of Lambert's air production by himself. Mitchell has more than twice as many catches and receiving yards as anyone else on the team (20 for 306 yards), and has added three scores. The versatile and exceptionally athletic senior and former defensive back feels like he has been with Georgia for a decade, and is finally the go-to receiver for the Bulldogs. Running back Sony Michel is actually second on the team in receptions, followed by true freshman Terry Godwin. Dynamic punt returner Isaiah McKenzie also has been getting some looks at receiver, and is always a threat to score with the ball in his hands. Lambert has thrown the ball around to a plethora of different pass catchers, but Mitchell and Michel are the only two to have shown consistent production
This is Nick Chubb's offense. Make no mistake, Georgia will do everything in their power to establish the run and beat Alabama down with Chubb, while letting Lambert do just enough to keep the defense honest. While the Tide does theoretically match up well with this type of offense, actually stopping it is a whole different story.