2018 CFB National Championship: ALABAMA vs GEORGIA
2018 CFB NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
GEORGIA BULLDOGS vs ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
This game began with Alabama kicking off to true freshmen Jake Fromm and his Bulldogs. The first drive for Georgia didnt go as planned as Tony Brown would intercept a Fromm pass. Jalen Hurts moves the Tide down to the Dawgs 22 yard line but kicker Andy Pappanatos missed a 40 yarder and they get no points off the turnover. The teams would exchange punts then Georgia would begin to find some traction, working the ball down inside the Alabama 30 yard line as the first quarter of this defensive battle comes to a close.
The 2nd play of the 2nd quarter would be a 41 yard kick from Rodrigo Blankenship to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Kirby Smarts defense has kept the running game under control and with Jalen Hurts struggling they force another Bama punt. On their next possession, they are able to work it down into Crimson Tide territory again and another Blankenship kick makes it 6-0. The highlight of the drive was a 23 yard hook up from Fromm to Riley Ridley.
Hurts start the next drive with a 31 yard run to put bama into Georgia territory, they are unable to put points up and are forced to punt again. The teams would trade punts again the Fromm and his offense got the ball with 1:19 until halftime. They would move down the field quickly and cap the drive off with a TD run by Mecole Hardman from 1 yard out to make it 13-0 as we go to the intermission.
Alabama has made a QB change as true Freshmen Tua Tagovailoa opens for them. A quick 3 & out ensued and they punt it back to Georgia. A good return by Hardman gives them good field position but 2 plays for minus yards sends the ball back to Alabama very quickly. Tagovailoa is a better passer and Bama came out looking long to Ridley but the pass just missed. A great 3rd down scramble by Tua keeps the drive alive and just a few plays later he hits Henry Ruggs lll for a TD pass to make it 13-7. The momentum looks to have shifted but Fromm kills that noise with a 80 yard deep bomb to Hardman to push to lead back to 13 points as we have a 20-7 game.
On the next Alabama drive, Tagovailoa forces a pass on the sprint out and its intercepted by Deandre Baker and Georgia is in business again. The first play of the Bulldogs drive is a tipped pass that’s intercepted by Raekwon Davis giving the ball back to Bama already inside Georgia territory. Some stout defense ends the drive with a 43 yard field goal to make it 20-10. Nick Saban’s team forces a punt to give their offense the ball back. Bo Scarborough makes a good 16 yard run but they can’t get anything after that and have kick it away. A short Sony Michel run takes us to the final quarter.
Georgia comes out trying to pound the ball down the throat of Alabama and has some success but on a 3rd down Raekwon Davis breaks through the line and sacks Fromm to force a punt. Najee Harris comes in and gives the Tide an immediate shot of adrenaline as he rips off a few nice runs to get his team inside the 15 yard line. The Dawgs are able to hold them and they nearly had an interception in the back of the end zone but the DB was bobbling the ball as he went out of bounds. Another Pappanatos field goal makes it 20-13 Bulldogs.
Bama is able to force a huge 3 & out on Georgia’s next drive. Tagovailoa is able to move across the 50 with the aid of a pass interference call against Malkolm Parrish. Saban and his team finds themselves in a 4th & 4 at the 7 yard line with under 4 minutes to play. They go for it and Tua finds Calvin Ridley for the TD to tie the game at 20 with 3:49 left to play. Fromm isn’t able to pick up a first down and they punt it back to Bama with 2:55 to play. A face mask on Georgia moves Bama into field goal range with 1:45 on the clock. A few first downs and Bama is lined up for a Championship winning field goal with 3 seconds remaining and Pappanatos pushes it left and we are headed for overtime.
Georgia gets the first crack at it and they start with 2 Nick Chubb runs that totaled 4 yards then Fromm takes a 13 yard sack. Blankenship kicks a huge 51 yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 23-20 lead. Bama’s first play is a sack for a 16 yard loss. Then Tua Tagovailoa drops back on 2nd & 26 and fires a dart to Devonta Smith for a 41 yard TD and the National Championship.
In a tale of 2 halves we saw the Tide get dominated by Georgia for the first 30 minutes and the game looked like a Bulldogs title was on its way but Nick Saban had the heart to take a chance and pull his starting QB Jalen Hurts. The gamble paid off as true freshmen Tua Tagovailoa came in and boosted himself to legend status as he threw 3 TDs to lead a furious comeback to win the National Championship for Alabama on the final play of the game.
With this his 6th title Nick Sagan now is tied with the great Bear Bryant for championships all-time.
STARS OF THE GAME
Tua Tagovailoa – 14/24 166 yards 3 TDs
Jake Fromm – 16/32 232 yards 1 TD 2 INTs
Calvin Ridley – 4 rec 32 yards 1 TD
Mecole Hardman – 4 touches 90 total yards 2 TDs
Riley Ridley – 6 rec 82 yards
Sony Michel – 14 carries 98 yards
ALABAMA 26 – GEORGIA 23