Just playing right outside their backyard, Georgia surged ahead to enjoy an early 13-point lead without any knowledge of what was to come ins one of the most exhilarating, breathtaking games in the history of college football. Georgia’s defense shutout Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Alabama offense, while Georgia’s freshman quarterback Jake Fromm showed no signs of faltering under the pressure of the national stage.
The action began to unfold in the second half as a bold choice by Alabama Head Coach Nick Saben to bench Jalen Hurts for his freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who had never played at any considerably crucial moments in Alabama’s season. Down by 13 to start the second half, Tagovailoa rolled the Tide back into the game with an impressive drive to cut the deficit to 13.
The Bulldogs then got their lead back on an 80-yard pass from Jake Fromm. After a pair of field goals the Crimson Tide once again showed the masterful tenacity they’ve shown time and time again in National Championship games, tying the game on a seven-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Fromm also was beginning to lose his composure becoming victim to Alabama’s wicked secondary. That wasn’t all for Tagovailoa in regulation. He marched Alabama down the field yet another time and Alabama looked like they were a field goal away from once again reaching the promised land as national champions only to shockingly witness a missed field goal by kicker Andy Pappanstos sending the national championship to overtime.
Following a Georgia field goal, Tagovailoa had one last chance to win the game or send it to double overtime. The first play, Tagovailoa took a hard sack that put into question whether Alabama was even in field goal range to tie it. At the 41-yard line with Georgia in a cover two-defensive scheme, Tagovailoa took a vertical shot downfield finding receiver DeVonta Smith for a touchdown followed by crimson confetti as Alabama stunned the country coming back from being down 13 at halftime to win their fifth national title since 2009.
Georgia was completely stunned, having blown their 13-point lead about a year after the state of Georgia witnessed another collapse from their Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 to the New England Patriots. Alabama had barely found their way into the college football playoffs and now was once again on the podium. Saban had once again found a way to do it, this time by trusting an inexperienced freshman to lead the Tide to his fifth national championship with the program and sixth in his career as the only coach to win in multiple programs, and doing so in thrilling fashion to cap off an exciting year in college football.