Kirby Smart and the University of Georgia Bulldogs sit atop of the college football ranks for the first time in four decades after their 33-18 victory over the top-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football National Championship on Monday night.
It marks the third title in program history for the Bulldogs, and Georgia’s first since 1980. The third-ranked Bulldogs also avenged their previous loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship on Dec. 4.
Georgia scored 20 unanswered points in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, threw for 369 yards and one touchdown while going 35-for-57 passing with two interceptions. His second interception of the game, a pick-six by Georgia’s Kelee Ringo, sealed the win for the Bulldogs with less than a minute remaining.
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns while completing 17 of his 26 passes.
The Bulldogs regained a 19-18 lead with eight minutes left in regulation on a 40-yard touchdown reception by Adonai Mitchell from Bennett. The Bulldogs then forced an Alabama three-and-out to get the ball back and added to their lead with a seven-play, 62-yard scoring drive. Georgia wideout Brock Bowers hauled in the 15-yard reception from Bennett to give Georgia a 26-18 advantage with 3:33 left.
Alabama had its share of troubles in the red zone and was forced to settle for four Will Reichard field goals before a fourth-quarter touchdown by tight end Cameron Latu. Latu hauled in the third-and-goal conversion from Young. It gave Alabama a 18-13 lead with 10:14 left in the game.
Georgia running back Zamir White scored the only other touchdown for the Bulldogs on a 1-yard run. It gave Georgia its first lead of the game with 1:20 left in the third quarter. White’s score followed a 67-yard run by teammate James Cook.
The Bulldogs concluded their season 14-1 while the Crimson Tide finish 13-2.