The Crimson Tide roll over the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to clinch fifth title in nine years
In a game where everything, including the unexpected, happened, the Alabama Crimson Tide came back to win the NCAA D-1 football national championship by topping the Georgia Bulldogs in a thrilling overtime win, 26-23.
The SEC clash for college football dominance was a compelling, smash mouth football game. The Tide was pushing for the fifth title under coach Saban, while Georgia’s Kirby Smart was not only vying to be the first former Saban assistant to knock off the Tide, but also take the Title in year two of his head coaching campaign.
The Bulldogs came out fast on defense, looking like the far superior team, racking in 13 straight points after a missed field goal from Alabama. Georgia started the second quarter with two impressive drives of 50-plus yards which ended in field goals. Despite the lead only at 6-0, the problems for Alabama were also grossly apparent. Bama quarterback Jalen Hurts could not pass the ball, and his team suffered from that throughout the game. Hurts finished the second half with only 21 passing yards and his 47 yards on the ground were the only thing that helped Bama get passed midfield.
Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm looked great in the opening half, putting together three big drives and finally getting his team in the end zone before the half thanks to a Mecole Hardman touchdown. He refused to back down despite the early interception, zipping the ball all over the field.
But as the game went on, you could sense that the tide was changing.
At halftime, some changes clearly needed to be made for the struggling Tide, who had no answer for the Bulldogs defense that was selling out on pressure. Enter here, backup 5-star quarterback from Hawaii: Tua Tagovailoa.
“We talked about the ways we would play him, we had seen him on tape and taking snaps so at halftime there was no question they were going to him, they were struggling and they needed some momentum,” said Kirby Smart to ESPN in a post game press conference, following the devastating loss. “He gave them some juice and swung the momentum back to them.”
On his second drive, Tagovailoa drove 56 yards in seven plays, eclipsing Hurts’ total passing yards in one drive with 44 and finding Henry Ruggs III in the end zone to make it a 13-7 game. Could the Tide be back in this game with merely a second string signal caller? Not if Fromm and company had anything to say about it.
Hardman was set loose on a 80-yard score to put the Bulldogs up 20-7, seemingly