SEC Championship: Georgia falls to Alabama

ATLANTA — The SEC Championship game is officially underway at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For Georgia, the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff is at stake. For Alabama, the Tide needs a win to make the playoff.

Follow Channel 2′s Zach Klein and Alison Mastrangelo for game updates below.

FOURTH QUARTER

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers ties the school’s single season touchdown record for receptions to cut the lead, 38-24.

Alabama’s Battle returned the second interception from Stetson Bennett for a touchdown.

THIRD QUARTER:

On the opening drive of the second half, Alabama scores on a 55-yard touchdown.

SECOND QUARTER:

Alabama takes a 24-17 lead at halftime. It is the first time the Dawgs have trailed at halftime all season.

Ladd McConkey ties the game up, 17-17.

Alabama takes its first lead of the game with back-to-back touchdown drives.

As the second quarter begins, Stetson Bennett finds Darnell Washington for the touchdown to go up 10-0.

FIRST QUARTER

GAME PREVIEW:

Let’s just go ahead and say it before taking a closer look at Saturday afternoon’s SEC Championship game: Can the Georgia Bulldogs finally get past their Alabama hurdle?

Sure, no matter what the result, the Bulldogs are likely headed to the College Football Playoff, but in order to keep their prospective top seed, they’ll need to knock off the Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium first.

Watch Bulldogs Game Day at 11 a.m. Saturday on Channel 2 for a detailed breakdown of the SEC Championship game.

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The game features the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 ranked teams. Georgia enters the game undefeated with a 12-0 record. The Bulldogs have largely run roughshod over their opponents, winning by an average score of roughly 40-7.

Alabama has struggled at times this season and enters the game with an 11-1 record. The Crimson Tide lost in early October to Texas A&M and have struggled to beat Florida, Auburn and Arkansas this season.

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Game Preview:

Matchup: Alabama 11-1 (7-1 in the SEC) vs. Georgia 12-0 (8-0 in the SEC)

Kickoff: 4 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

Tickets: Game is sold out.

Broadcast: Game is on WSB-AM 750 Radio (Scott Howard, Eric Zeier on the call)

What’s at stake: For Georgia, it’s seeding in the College Football playoff. Will they be the top seed or not? For Alabama, win and they likely will make the playoff, lose and the path becomes much more difficult.

Favored: Georgia is currently a 6.5 point favorite in the game.

Key Players: For Alabama, the health of RB Brian Robinson Jr. QB Bryce Young is a Heisman Trophy contender, he’s thrown for 40 touchdowns this season. Edge rusher Will Anderson and lineman Bryan Young have had huge seasons.

For Georgia, freshman TE Brock Bowers has 10 TD receptions this season and he has been a matchup problem for every team the Bulldogs have faced. Star receiver George Pickens, who was out for most of the season with ACL injury, got some limited playing time vs. Georgia Tech. The more he plays, the more diverse the Bulldogs offense becomes.

Linebacker Nakobe Dean, lineman Jordan Davis and the Georgia defense have created havoc against most teams. The Bulldogs have held all of their opponents this season to 17 points or less. Will they be able to pressure Young into mistakes?

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There is not really much left to be said about this game. The stakes are very clear cut for both teams if they want to have a chance at the National Championship.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has yet to beat his mentor, Alabama coach Nick Saban head to head. Should Georgia win, it would be the second time a former Saban assistant has gotten a win over their former boss.

Channel 2 Action News will have team coverage of the game, the fans and everything surrounding the event this weekend.

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