Georgia wins first national championship since 1980


Courtesy of The New York TImes

Ben Huber, Sports Editor

The college football National Championship took place on Monday, January 10, between the number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and the number three ranked Georgia Bulldogs. The game started with Georgia kicking off to Alabama, so the Crimson Tide offense took the field led by their Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young. Young threw for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions in 2021. The first drive didn’t start off too well for Young as he fumbled the ball which resulted in a Georgia defensive touchdown. Thankfully for Alabama though, the referees quickly overturned the call and gave the ball back to Alabama. Bama was able to move the ball and ended up settling for a field goal. Georgia’s first drive was riddled with penalties as they couldn’t get much going after getting pushed back due to two delay of game penalties. They were forced to punt back to Alabama who also struggled to get much going on offense.

The next score of the game came in the second quarter when Georgia drove 87 yards before settling for a field goal making the score 3-3. Alabama got the ball back and was looking to capitalize with a score of their own. On the very first drive, Bryce Young threw a 40-yard strike to wide receiver Jameson Williams but sadly at the end of the play he fell to the ground grabbing his knee. Williams was attended to by the medical staff and this injury seemed pretty severe. Coming in the title game this was a huge loss for Bama. After the big play the offense stalled out and was forced to settle for a field goal making the score 6-3 in favor of the Crimson Tide. The next score of the game came by Alabama again after a 61-yard catch and run by Cameron Latu set them up in field goal range, but still the Georgia defense managed to hold them to three. The Georgia offense was able to drive the field on the following possession and score once again another field goal. At the end of the half, the score read 9-6 in favor of Alabama.

Alabama’s defense was able to hold the Georgia offense to only six points in the first half which was a huge accomplishment but they were going to have to play much better on offense if they wanted to win the game. Bryce Young tried to do just that but ended up throwing an interception at the start of the third quarter. Thankfully for them though Georgia could not capitalize off the turnover and score. Alabama bounced back with their next possession and got into field goal range but had their attempt blocked and recovered by Georgia. The Georgia offense was finally able to put together a solid drive that started with a 67-yard run by James Cook. After that, it was smooth sailing and Zamir White made his way into the end zone for a one-yard score. With that touchdown, Georgia took a 13-9 lead. On the next Alabama drive it was much the same for them. They drove down the field but in the end settled for a field goal. This drive marked the end of the third quarter and the score read 13-12 in favor of Georgia.

To start the fourth quarter, Georgia had the ball but when quarterback Stetson Bennett dropped back to pass the Alabama pass rush was all over him. Linebacker Christian Harris stripped the ball from Bennett and recovered the ball at the 16 of Georgia. Bijan Robinson then had a few good runs that set up Bryce Love to throw a three-yard pass to Cameron Latu. The Crimson Tide then attempted to go for two but failed which made the score 18-12 with Alabama in the lead. Georgia got the ball back and they had their work cut out for them. Stetson Bennett threw two ten-yard passes and drew a 15-yard pass interference penalty which set them up at the Alabama 40-yard line. Stetson Bennett dropped back on the next play and found Adonai Mitchell for a touchdown. This drive swung momentum in Georgia’s favor as the defense was able to get a stop on Alabama and gave the ball right back to the offense. Stetson Bennett then drove the field again with a mix of passes and runs to Zamir White. This set Georgia up in a great position so Stetson Bennett could throw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Bowers. The scores were beginning to pile up for Alabama and it did not get better. On the next drive Bryce Love threw an int to Keele Ringo who returned the ball for a touchdown and all of the sudden it was 33-18 in favor of Georgia. At this point there was only a minute on the clock and Alabama had no chance for a comeback. With that Georgia secured their first title in 41 years. The bulldogs soaked it all in as the confetti rained down. The crowd cheered, “Kir-by, Kir-by” for the coach that finally led them to the promised land. Coach Kirby Smart told reporters ”I’ve never been around a group of players that really wanted it so bad and wouldn’t be denied, I told the guys in the locker room, just take a picture of this.’