Alabama’s usual Jekyll and Hyde act ran its first cycle very quickly in the first half. After a quick three and out on offense, the defense looked completely overmatched as Georgia marched down the field and punched it in with a 17 yard run. The offense couldn’t get anything going on the second drive either, and things were looking bleak. Most concerning was Jalen Milroe starting out by missing his first four passes.
Fortunately, the defense started looking like its elite self. They forced a three and out, giving the offense good field position which led to field goal. The score was 7-3 going into the second quarter, and all of the momentum quickly shifted to the Tide. The offense and defense both played lights out in the second quarter, Milroe threw two touchdown passes, and Alabama took a 17-7 lead into the break, aided by a missed field goal from the Bulldogs.
You had to know that Georgia would come out of the locker room swinging, and they did. Alabama was able to force a three and out on Georgia’s first possession but, after yielding an alarming amount of yardage between the tackles in the first half, the interior of the Georgia defense promptly stepped up to shut down Roydell Williams on first and second down. A third down pass fell incomplete, Alabama punted, and Georgia immediately hit a 50 yard pass to get into field goal range. Luckily that’s all they got, and the Tide led 17-10.
The rest of the third was mostly uneventful. Alabama managed one field goal after a Georgia fumble deep in their own territory, and the Tide took a 20-10 lead into the fourth. Things were looking good, but anyone who has watched this team play this season had to have a feeling that things wouldn’t just go cleanly.
Sure enough, Jalen Milroe held the ball way too long and took a nine yard sack to get way behind the chains, then James Burnip inexplicably uncorked a short line drive punt right to the middle of the field. Georgia’s returner caught it on the run and put the Dawgs in prime scoring territory. Sure enough, a few plays later Georgia punched it into the end zone to draw within three.
At that point, it was fair to wonder if Georgia would take control with Alabama’s offense reeling a bit. But, If you’ve watched this team this year, you’d probably expect them to play their best when all seemed lost. Guess what?
Milroe and Isaiah Bond hooked up four times, including one to get it to the half yard line. Alabama took the lead and managed to hang on for dear life.
Florida State is playing Louisville on ABC, Michigan has Iowa on Fox.
We are SEC Champions, y’all. May the committee do what they do.