Alabama Erases a 13 Point Halftime Deficit to win National Championship in OT
The Alabama Crimson Tide are your 2017-2018 College Football National Champions! They defeat the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23 in overtime.
This game wasn't easy on Alabama, the first half was filled with frustrations on offense and defense as they trailed 13-0 at halftime.
When Alabama came out on offense in the second half they had a new leader at quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa is a true freshman from Ewa Beach Hawaii. The lefty had limited experience, yet he performed like a seasoned vet in taking over for Jalen Hurts.
Now, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for the young quarterback, he had to battle a battle tested defense in Georgia. He scrapped and clawed throughout the second half, making a couple mistakes along the way but his big strong left arm was on full display.
The freshman went 14/24, threw for 166 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
Jalen Hurts had 21 yards passing at the half, the sophomore was ineffective unless he was running the football, six carries for 47 yards. As a whole the Bama running game couldn't get much of anything going. Najee Harris lead the way with 64 yards on six carries.
As the game came down to the end, the fourth quarter was getting long in the tooth, Alabama had fought all the way back to tie the game at 20. With 3:39 remaining and Georgia possessing the football, Head Coach Kirby Smart put the ball in the hands of his freshman quarterback instead of his two senior running backs. Nick Chubb wasn't effective but Sonny Michel had been, yet Fromm threw it three straight times. On a third and three he had a wide receiver open and overthrew him. Punt to Bama and you felt like you knew what was going to happen next...
The Crimson Tide did what you expected them to do, drive the ball down the field and they had what they wanted, just seconds remaining on the clock and well within field goal range.
Andy Pappanastos, the senior kicker missed a 40 yard kick earlier in the game but had an opportunity to finish up his college kicking career a hero. A 36 yard kick that I'm sure he's made hundreds of times in his life. Good snap, good hold, and Pappanastos, bless his heart, hooked the kick to the left of the uprights.
So, to overtime we went!
Georgia started with the football and were backed up after Fromm took a bad sack. However, sophomore kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was able to save the day for a moment as he nailed a clutch 51 yard field goal.
Now, Albama's turn. The true freshman quarterback made the same mistake Jake Fromm did for Georgia, he took a massive sack. The Crimson Tide were pinned back at the Georgia 41 yard line and were faced with a 2nd and 26.
Tagovailoa, looking calm, cool, and collected took the snap. He looked right to manipulate the safety and then uncorked a missile down the left sideline and found his fellow freshman receiver in DeVonta Smith for the National Championship dagger.
Alabama wins 26-23. This gives Nick Saban six National Championships, tying Bear Bryant.
What a game, one for the history books for sure.