ATLANTA– No. 1 Alabama faced its biggest adversity of the season. Trailing by seven, Jalen Hurts entered the game for an injured Tua Tagovailoa. Hurts led two drives and scored two touchdowns to give the Crimson Tide the SEC Championship and an undefeated season.
Play of the game:
Hurts, in relief of the injured Tua Tagovailoa, ran up the middle on a quarterback draw for the go-ahead, 15-yard touchdown with 1:04 remaining on the clock.
Offensive player of the game:
James Ogletree: Jalen Hurts
Cody Estremera: Jalen Hurts
Defensive player of the game:
James Ogletree: Quinnen Williams
Cody Estremera: Shyheim Carter
Fan players of the game:
Offensive: Jaylen Waddle
Defensive: Quinnen Williams
- No team had ever overcome a 14-point deficit to win the SEC Championship. The previous record was 13, held by Tennessee in 1999.
- Tua Tagovailoa threw just his third interception of the season on Alabama’s opening drive of the game. After gains of nine and 14 yards, the Crimson Tide dropped a pass in the end zone, allowed an 11-yard sack, and was intercepted.
- Georgia drew first blood, scoring on a 20-yard pass from Jake Fromm to tight end Isaac Nauta. It was the first time Alabama had trailed at any point since Sept. 15 against Ole Miss.
- On the first play of the second quarter, Alabama tied the game with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Josh Jacobs. The junior running back extended his team lead with his 12th touchdown from scrimmage and 13th overall.
- Georgia continued to move the ball through the second quarter, scoring on a 13-play, 74-yard touchdown drive culminating in a 9-yard touchdown by running back D’Andre Swift.
- After a quick Alabama three-and-out that Tagovailoa was lucky to escape without another interception, the Bulldogs scored again after two nice D’Andre Swift runs and an 11-yard receiving touchdown. It was the first time the Crimson Tide trailed by more than seven points since last season’s national championship game.
- On Alabama’s first play of its next drive, Josh Jacobs ripped off a 59-yard run up the middle. A few plays later he fumbled near the goal line, but had the wherewithal to reach over and grab the ball for a crucial touchdown to get the game back within a score.
- Alabama went three-and-out for the third time in five drives to start the second half, then Fromm placed a perfect ball to wide receiver Riley Ridley, younger brother of Calvin, to again give the Dawgs a 28-14 lead.
- Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 30-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Bulldogs a 17-point lead.
- Tagovailoa was intercepted on a deep shot to the end zone on the following possession, marking the first time in his career he has thrown multiple interceptions in a game.
- On Alabama’s next drive, though, Tagovailoa found Jaylen Waddle on a crosser and the freshman put on the afterburners, sprinting past several Georgia defenders for a 51-yard touchdown. Alabama was back within a touchdown.
- The teams traded punts until the early fourth quarter, when Georgia linebacker Jonathan Ledbetter pushed Alabama offensive tackle into Tagovailoa’s ankle, sidelining the quarterback for the rest of the game.
- Jalen Hurts entered the game, went 4-of-4 on the drive, and threw a game-tying touchdown to Jerry Jeudy, the receiver’s 12th of the year. That is the second-most receiving touchdowns in a season in Alabama history.
- On 4th-and-11 at midfield, tied at 28 with just over three minutes left, Georgia faked a punt, allowing Alabama to take over with good field position.
- On the ensuing drive, Hurts converted another third down and then ran for the 15-yard go-ahead score.
- Georgia could not move the ball close enough for a legitimate chance at tying the game. Two Hail Mary attempts fell short and Alabama became the SEC champion.
- Alabama set a new team record for total offensive yardage in a season, breaking the record from 2016.
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