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Dawgs surf the Tide into 2022 victory

FRI. | 02-18-22 | SPORTS

     On Jan. 10, 2022, the two best teams in college football faced off for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title. The game featured the number one seed, Alabama Crimson Tide, and the undefeated Georgia Bulldogs. 

     Led by star sophomore quarterback and Heisman winner, Bryce Young, alongside the greatest coach of all time Nick Saban, Alabama is a heavy favorite. The Tide had the upper hand going into the game as they had already beaten the Dawgs to win the SEC championship. Although Alabama had already beaten this team before, it was a talented matchup as the Georgia Bulldogs went undefeated in the regular season. The Dawgs were led by former walk-on quarterback Stetson Bennett and veteran coach Kirby Smart. Although the Dawgs’ offense is good, it does not compare to their defense which many consider to be one of the greatest defenses of all time. On average, their defense allowed only 6.9


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points per game. This was destined to be a great game featuring conference rivals, an elite offense, and an even better defense. 

    The game was off to a crazy start; Georgia's elite defense sacked Young for a fumble-turned touchdown. But after the play was reviewed, it turns out that Young's knee was down by contact meaning that the drive continued, and there was no fumble. Alabama continued to march down the field and they scored the first points of the game with a field goal. Georgia's first possessions were a nightmare that started with a sack, followed by a fumble which they recovered, then an incomplete pass and a delay of game to finish off the drive. At the end of the first quarter Georgia only had one yard, compared to Alabama's 76.

    To start the second quarter, Georgia's defense got a stop and it was time for the Dawgs to show that they had a good offense as well. Hoping to get the offense going, Bennett took a deep shot for 52 yards which connected to receiver George Pickens. This was a huge momentum shift for Georgia which allowed them to answer to the Tide and tie up the score 3-3. Hoping to answer Georgia's call, Young threw a deep pass to the star receiver and projected first-round pick, Jameson Williams, which went for 40 yards. Unfortunately Williams went down at the end of the play with a knee injury and never returned to the game.After a made field goal, Alabama went up 6-3. Then, Alabama marched down the field again to score another field goal making it 9-3. Before the half, Georgia needed to add some points on the board. Thankfully, a made field goal by the Dawgs takes them to the half at a 9-6 low-scoring game. 

     On Alabama's first possessions of the second half, Young was picked off for the first turnover of the game. This turnover put the Dawgs into great field position but they were unable to capitalize as the turnover just ended in a punt for Georgia. After a few stops by the teams’ defenses, Alabama got in scoring position and set up for a field goal, which was blocked and the first touchdown of the game came from Georgia's defense. Going into the fourth quarter the score was 13-9 Georgia. 

     On the first possession of the fourth quarter, Young led Alabama's offense into field goal range where they cut the lead to one point. Bennett and his team had the ball in their possession again, but not for long as Bennett fumbled and Alabama got the ball in prime territory. Alabama capitalized off of Bennett's mistake and took the lead with a touchdown, making the score 18-13. With Georgia back on offense, they knew they needed a touchdown to regain the lead. To the Bulldogs’ advantage, Bennett launched a beautiful pass downfield for a 40-yard touchdown, taking the lead 19-18. The Tide offense just needed a field goal to be back on top, but they failed to do so and Georgia was put back on offense allowing them to score another touchdown and gave them the lead 26-18 with only a few minutes left. Alabama needed to score a touchdown and get the two point conversion to tie the game, but unfortunately got neither as Young threw a pick six to end the game. For the first time in 40 years, the Georgia Bulldogs were crowned champion and won the national title.

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