The Georgia Bulldogs Win the Natty: a Full Recap of the CFP Championship

Basically the SEC Championship… with a twist

The Georgia Bulldogs Win the Natty: a Full Recap of the CFP Championship

On Monday night January 10th,  the University of Georgia Bulldogs defeated the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff (CFP) Championship by a score of 33-18. Kirby Smart finally defeated Nick Saban for the first time in his coaching career. Previously he was 0-4, and in all four games Georgia held a lead. The Bulldogs were led by senior quarterback Stetson Bennett IV. He definitely redeemed himself after a poor performance in the SEC Championship, likely fueled by nerves. 

Now for a recap of the game:

Quarter 1:

From this beginning, this game was a defensive stalemate. Defense wins championships. The Bulldogs defense was led by linebacker Nakobe Dean as well as defensive tackle Jordan Davis. The Crimson Tide defense was outside linebacker Will Anderson and safety Jordan Battle. Players on both sides made big plays early. Literally on the second play of Alabama’s first drive, Georgia forced a fumble and recovered it for a touchdown. After a lot of review the touchdown was called back and the fumble was deemed an incomplete pass.  Then the Bama defense forced a UGA three and out, Alabama made a 37-yard field goal. At the end of the first quarter, UGA receiver George Pickens made arguably the best catch of the game (pictured here). This was definitely the most boring quarter as the score was only 3-0 Alabama at the end of it.

Quarter 2:

Quarter two was a snoozefest just like quarter one. This quarter was basically a lengthy defensive highlight reel. Both teams would combine for nine sacks total this game, most of these came in this quarter. The kicker’s from both teams put on a spectacle. Tide kicker Will Reichard would make both of his two attempts and UGA kicker Jack Podlesny would go 2 for 2 as well. Those would be his only two field goals of the game. At the end of the quarter the score was 9-6 Alabama and Georgia would start with the ball in the second half. 

Quarter 3:

This is where things started to heat up. This quarter was the peak of each defenses’ game. The gridlock on the gridiron was at its most intense. 

Bryce Young threw an interception early in the third, giving the Dawgs great field position on the Bama side of the 50-yard line. Unfortunately, the interception would not turn into points for the Georgia offense and Alabama started another drive from deep inside their own territory. Alabama then drove down the field and set up for a field goal. The Bulldogs defense would block this crucial field goal and recover it.Right after the block, Georgia running back James Cook (younger brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook) broke off a 60+ yard rush to set Bennett and the rest of the offense up inside the Alabama 15-yard line. Shortly thereafter Zamir White would run in a 1-yard touchdown rush. This was right at the end of the third and it was the only touchdown of the game up to that point. The third quarter ended with a score of 13-9 Georgia.

Quarter 4:

This quarter was unequivocally one of the best quarters of college football played this entire season. Alabama started with the ball and got down the field quickly with a long pass from Bryce Young, putting the Tide inside the red-zone. Bama would bring out Reichart to kick another field goal, this time from 21 yards. Of course he made it (He looked better than most NFL kickers these days), it was now 13-12. On Georgia’s first drive of the quarter Bama would trap Bennett deep in the backfield and force a fumble that was accidentally recovered by an Alabama defensive back. This was one of the most controversial calls of the game. Bama quickly capitalized on the turnover and scored an easy touchdown. They went for the two-point but were unable to convert. The score was now 18-13 Bama. On their next drive, Georgia marched down the field and Stetson Bennett threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell. They were unable to get the two-point conversion and the score was 19-18. The Georgia defense continued its dominant second half and forced the Tide to another 3-and-out. After decent field position from a punt, Bennett and the Dawgs charged into the red-zone and Bennett threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brock Bowers. This touchdown gave UGA a 26-18 lead with 2:37 left on the clock. Alabama returned the kick-off to about the 31-yard line to start off the biggest drive of their entire season. In the beginning of the drive, Bama moved the ball well and quickly gained ground to about the 50. After a couple of short runs, Bryce Young and Co. stood at the Georgia 47-yard line. They decided to go for a big play, unfortunately Young under-threw the pass and it was intercepted by UGA DB Keely Ringo. Ringo then returned the pick and made it a pick-six. The Bulldogs led 33-18 with only 0:54 remaining in the 4th. The game was officially over, the Tide offense went onto the field only once more and Bryce Young was sacked as time expired. After his sack, number 4 on the Georgia defense hit one of the coldest and best timed celebrations in CFP history. Pictured here.

The University of Georgia quenched their 41-year National Title drought. The scene in Athens the same night was an absolute spectacle. People were falling through porta-potties and destroying them. It looked crazy to say the least.