University of Georgia

National champs! Georgia overcomes Alabama for 1st title since 1980 season

INDIANAPOLIS — The streak is broken.

In any other game, it would have just been Georgia’s seven-game losing streak to Alabama that ended. But on Monday night in Indianapolis, the Dawgs snapped a much more important streak: their four-decades-long championship drought.

Georgia defeated Alabama to win its first national championship since the 1980 season. Two touchdowns and a pick six in the fourth quarter charged the Dawgs to a 33-18 win.

“I’ve never been around a group of players that really wanted it so bad and wouldn’t be denied,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I told the guys in the locker room, just take a picture of this.”

“There’s going to be some property torn up in Indianapolis tonight,” Smart said, paraphrasing the late Georgia play-by-play man Larry Munson.

Fans can always count on Georgia and Alabama to come down to the wire when the two teams play in the national championship game.

Monday night was no exception, but unlike the heartbreak the team experienced in 2018, the Dawgs finally know what it’s like to be national champions.

Former walk-on and now starting quarterback Stetson Bennett was named the MVP.

[RELATED: Bulldog Nation flocks to Indianapolis to cheer on Dawgs in national championship]

The Georgia defense has been one of the top in the country all season minus the SEC Championship in Atlanta last month. However, the Dawgs showed how much they learned from mistakes in that game.

The defensive line came up with goal line stands and blocked field goal accounts. The secondary took advantage of poor throws from Alabama’s Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young.

Offensively, Georgia struggled at times to find a rhythm but made a few plays count when they needed it the most.

After the first half ended with five combined field goals, James Cook burst down the sidelines to set up Zamir White for the first touchdown of the game.

Things went almost went south for Georgia after a controversial call with 11:30 to play. Instead of incomplete pass or intentional grounding, a pass by Stetson Bennett was ruled a fumble and recovery by Alabama.

The Tide retook the lead after the turnover, but Bennett recovered and connected with Adonai Mitchell for the go-ahead touchdown. Brock Bowers added another late in the fourth to seal the win.

“We played a heck of a game against a heck of a team for the first three quarters of the game,” said Saban. “Nobody can take the SEC championship away from this team, the Cotton Bowl championship.

Comments on this article