After losing last year’s national championship on the last play of the game, Alabama made sure history did not repeat itself as the Crimson Tide rallied to stun Georgia in overtime, 26-23.
Despite being down 23-20, in overtime, and faced with 2nd and 26 from the 41-yard line, Alabama true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw a perfect pass to DeVonta Smith for the game-winning 41-yard walk-off touchdown. As the confetti rained down on the field, Tagovailoa simply smiled and pumped his fist at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
The freshman sensation completed 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards and also had a game-high three touchdowns in the victory.
Down 13-0 at halftime, Alabama head coach Nick Saban benched his starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in favor of Tagovailoa who came in having hardly played this season, except in garbage time. However, the former five-star recruit showed why he was one of the highest-rated players coming out of high school as he led the Crimson Tide to its fifth national championship since 2009.
For the third straight season, Alabama played in another classic College Football Playoff, while Georgia was playing in its second consecutive CFP overtime game.
Georgia true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm threw for a game-high 232 yards and a touchdown, but had two costly interceptions that kept Alabama alive despite its offensive woes in the first half.
The Bulldogs’ running back trio was held to just 138 yards with Sony Michel leading the way with 98 yards on 14 carries. Nick Chubb couldn’t get anything going with just 25 yards on 18 carries while Swift added 15 yards on four carries.
Alabama was led by Najee Harris and Jalen Hurts who rushed for a combined 111 yards on 12 carries in the win.
Alabama has turned into a dynasty in college football and if a true freshman with hardly any game experience can lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship after being thrust in the title game in the second half, it begs the question if there is any situation in which the Crimson Tide can be stopped.