Facing the defending national champions and a bevy of recent misfortune, Georgia snapped its 41-year championship drought and a seven-game losing streak to rival Alabama with a 33-18 comeback win over the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff final.
‘I hope it doesn’t take that long again,’ Smart said of the team’s four-decade championship hiatus. ‘Go Dawgs!’
Quarterback Stetson Bennett delivered the biggest throws of his storybook career – including crucial fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Adonai Mitchell and Brock Bowers – before Georgia’s defense sealed the sweetest victory in program history on Monday night in Indianapolis.
The final blow was delivered by Kelee Ringo, who intercepted an underthrown deep ball by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young late in the fourth quarter. Instead of going down with a little over a minute left, Ringo took off and behind a convoy of blockers went 79 yards for a touchdown that set off a wild celebration by the Georgia fans who packed Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Crimson Tide looked to be in control with 9-6 advantage until the Bulldogs blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt by kicker Will Reichard in the third quarter. Georgia running back James Cook capitalized on the block with a 67-yard run deep into Alabama territory on the next play and Zamir White ultimately followed with a one-yard touchdown run.
From there, things simply unraveled for Nick Saban & Co.
The Bulldogs hadn’t won a national title since freshman Herschel Walker led them there in 1980. If simply snapping the drought wasn’t good enough, doing against No. 1 Alabama (13-2) had to make it feel even better.
‘When you make a DAWG mad, they will bite back!’ tweeted Walker, now a 59-year-old Republican US senatorial candidate. ‘CONGRATS to the @GeorgiaFootball DAWGS!!! #NationalChampionship.’
The win marks a remarkable turnaround for Georgia, which lost the SEC championship game to Alabama, 41-24, on December 4. In fact, Saban’s Crimson Tide had won seven straight against the Bulldogs, including the last four against Smart, Saban’s longtime assistant.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Alex Raskin