Excuse Georgia defenders if they are praying to see less of Jameson Williams in the College Football Playoff title game.
Williams delivered a monster outing in last month’s SEC title game when he caught seven passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in Alabama’s easy 41-24 victory over the Bulldogs.
Williams knows he will be marked man on Monday night in Indianapolis when the teams convene again.
“It’s going to be a very good challenge,” Williams said during Wednesday’s media availability. “I’m pretty sure all those guys will come twice as hard as the first game. We have to play a lot better than the first game, a lot better than the last game (against Cincinnati). We’ve got to go out and play our best football this game.
“I’m looking forward to a great game — national championship. Looking for everybody to bring their best. We just play great football and hopefully we come out on top.”
Williams transferred from Ohio State, bringing two seasons of lackluster stats — 15 catches for 266 yards and three scores — but turned into a force in his first season with the Crimson Tide.
Williams caught 75 passes for 1,507 yards and 15 touchdowns. The scoring receptions tied Williams for third nationally and the yardage stands fifth.
He recorded seven 100-yard outings and twice caught 10 passes, consistently posting big numbers week after week.
With fellow standout receiver John Metchie III (96 catches for 1,142 yards and eight TDs) out with an ACL tear sustained in the SEC title game, Williams will certainly be quarterback Bryce Young’s top option.
Surely the Bulldogs will attempt more disguises in coverage and try to double-team Williams often but offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien isn’t concerned.
“We’re always finding ways to get all of our guys the ball,” said O’Brien, the former head coach of the Houston Texans. “Our guys are really smart. You can move them around. You can do a lot of different things with them.”
Bulldogs defensive coordinator Dan Lanning doesn’t needed to be reminded of Williams’ performance in the SEC title game or that Young threw for 421 yards and three touchdowns. That contest marked the lone time Georgia allowed more than 17 points all season.
“They have talent at wideout, even losing Metchie, those other guys have come in, have shown they’re obviously really capable and successful players,” Lanning said. “But it does change your plan. You’ll have to do some things differently.”
Young passed for 4,503 yards and 46 touchdowns against five interceptions en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. His 421-yard outing against Georgia was his second-highest output of the season behind the school-record 559 he racked up against Arkansas on Nov. 20.
In the eyes of O’Brien, the key to another productive game is keeping Young clean. The Bulldogs hurried Young eight times but didn’t sack Young at all in the first outing.
“That’s an interesting stat,” O’Brien said. “When I watched the film I see it a lot more than that. They’ve got a great front. We’ve got to do a good job against that front. I think Bryce does a really good job of understanding and processing. But it’s a whole different ball game on Monday night.
“They have the players that can make it happen. So we’ve got a big challenge. We’re excited about it. We’re practicing hard, and we’ll be there Monday night but it’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us.”
–Field Level Media