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At one point in this game, Crimson Tide fans might have been a little bit nervous. But it wasn’t long in the game before the Alabama faithful knew that it was in the bag.
Alabama entered the SEC Championship Game against the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs as underdogs, if you can believe it.
Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide aren’t in underdog situations often, and it was evident just halfway through this game when it looked like Alabama was going to run away with it.
To start, Alabama came out slow and the defense looked sloppy. These issues were quickly cleaned up, with the Tide allowing just a field goal in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw an offensive surge by both teams, with a combined 38 points in just one quarter. Stetson Bennett struck first, finding Washington on a 5-yard touchdown pass to put UGA up 10-0.
Alabama quarterback and Heisman front-runner Bryce Young wouldn’t falter, scoring the team’s first touchdown on a 67-yard pass to Jameson Williams.
The Tide defense stood strong and allowed the offense to get the ball back to take a 14-10 lead after a 13-yard touchdown pass from Young to Metchie with nine minutes left in the second quarter.
The lead would increase to 17-10 after a 33-yard Will Reichard field goal, his fifteenth on the year.
At the half, the score would be 24-17 after the two teams traded touchdowns between Bennett and Young.
The Crimson Tide came out of the locker room to start the second half fired up and ready. On the opening drive, Young found Williams again on a 55-yard touchdown pass to take a 31-17 lead.
Alabama held the Bulldogs and forced a turnover on downs after a failed fourth-down conversion at the ALA 19 yard line to end the third quarter, still leading 31-17.
After a pick-six by DB Jordan Battle early in the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide stretched their lead to 21, going up 38-17.
Georgia would answer with a Bennett pass to Brock Bowers to cut into the lead and make it 38-24.
After five plays and just 1:44 taken off the clock, Alabama would give the ball back to the Bulldogs with around eight minutes of regulation remaining.
The Crimson Tide defense stood strong and forced a 4th & 15 with 7:15 remaining. Georgia decided to punt after a false start penalty moved them back.
On the ensuing drive, Young methodically led Alabama down the field, chewing up five minutes and bringing the clock down to 1:58. Reichard would hit on his second field goal of the game, this one from 41 yards out, to put the Tide up 41-24.
Young would finish the game 26/44 for 421 yards and three touchdowns, stretching his yearly total to 43. If this game doesn’t solidify the Heisman Trophy for him, the process is flawed.
As a whole, the Alabama offense gained 537 total yards on the supposed best defense in college football.
Alabama was led in rushing by Brian Robinson, who only got to 55 yards on 16 carries to average 3.3 yards per carry.
Jameson Williams, of course, led the Tide in receiving yardage with 184 yards, he had two touchdowns to go with them.
Alabama’s defense showed up when it needed to. While it allowed 449 total yards, they made key plays when they needed to and even scored seven points for the Crimson Tide.
Stetson Bennett threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns, himself, with an impressive showing in the 41-24 loss.
Georgia’s run game never got going, gaining a total of 109 yards on 30 carries.
The win should propel the Crimson Tide to No. 1 in the CFP rankings, while Georgia should remain in the playoff at any position but first.
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