The Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Georgia Bulldogs in an overtime thriller to win the National Championship. The game was an instant classic and one that people will be talking about for a long time. This game was a classic hard-nosed SEC game and it forced each quarterback to make plays with their arms.
Georgia QB Jake Fromm was able to find Riley Ridley on a lot of clutch plays for first downs. And yes, Riley Ridley is the younger brother of star Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley. The Dawgs went up 13-0 at halftime through a series of a few field goals and a touchdown.
The Crimson Tide had been silent on offense and Nick Saban needed to switch things up. Saban brings in true-freshmen Tua Tagovailoa to lead his team to victory. Tagovailoa had played during the season, but he never started or had a meaningful snap. Tua is a great dual-threat QB and it really showed in this game how he was able to beat the Georgia defense with his legs and his arm.
Tagovailoa took the Tide offense down the field and capped the drive off with a touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs to get within a one-score game. Georgia’s offense responded and Fromm threw a deep pass to WR Mecole Hardman to put the game at 20-7. Alabama needed a turnover, and that’s exactly what they got when Raekwon Davis picked off Jake Fromm off of a crazy deflection.
Bama needed a spark in the running game, enter another freshmen, RB Najee Harris. Harris was absolutely clutch in the 4th quarter, driving Alabama down the field while down 20-10. They were able to drive down again and kick a field goal to make it 20-13. The Tide drove it down to the 8 yard line but found themselves in a 4th down situation where they had to go for it. It was the biggest play of the game at that point. Once again Tua Tagovailoa delivered and threw a touchdown pass to who other than Calvin Ridley to put the game at 20-20.
The Bulldogs got the ball back but could not convert on 3rd down with 3 minutes left so they would have to punt. Alabama drove down the field and with 3 seconds left, had the opportunity to kick a 36-yard field goal to win the game. Kicker Andy Pappanastos had already missed a field goal in the game and the nerves got the better of him on this one as well, onto overtime.
The Alabama defense did well on Georgia’s possession, but their kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was able to make a 51-yard field goal making it 23-20 Georgia. Then came Alabama’s possession, and Tagovailoa was sacked to make it a 2nd and 26 from the 41 yard line. Out of nowhere, Tagovaila slings a pass to Davonta Smith down the left side for an Alabama touchdown and Alabama wins the game 26-23.
It was an instant classic, no one was giving Alabama a shot at halftime. The Tide came back with a true freshmen QB and was able to win the game in stunning fashion. And now we enter another debate, is Nick Saban the greatest coach of all time? You decide!