Georgia surges past rival Alabama, winning national title for first time since ’80

The University of Georgia football team surged in a program-changing fourth quarter on Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, scoring three unanswered touchdowns in a 33-18 win over Alabama, securing the Bulldogs first national championship since the Herschel Walker freshman year of 1980.

Stetson Bennett played steady and solid at quarterback for UGA, going 17 of 26 for 224 yards yet no interceptions, but it was the Bulldogs defense that led the way, with a Pick-6 from Kelee Ringo extending Georgia’s lead from eight points to 15 points in the final minute of regulation, clinching the game and igniting celebration’s in the university town of Athens, Georgia, along with several other locations across the Peach State.

Georgia, down 18-13 with 8:09 to play, took the lead for good on a 40-yard connection from Bennett to Adonai Mitchell.  Brock Bowers caught a 15-yard touchdown pass on a well-timed screen play with 3:33 remaining to push the lead to 26-18.

The win by Georgia snapped a seven-game losing streak to Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, with the result giving long-time Alabama assistant, and Georgia alum Kirby Smart his first head-to-head victory over Saban, in the sweetest way possible.

Georgia, having lost to Alabama in December’s SEC Championship Game, knocking the Bulldogs from #1 to #3 in the championship seedings, finishes the season at 14-1, with Alabama closing at 13-2, falling just short of another national championship in Saban’s 15 years of dominance in Tuscaloosa.