And the Tide keeps Rollin’! In what can only be described as a game that will go down in Alabama history, the Crimson Tide created a wicked undertow and pulled the national championship right out from under Georgia.
Unfortunately for the Dawgs, the drought could not be ended by an Alabama defeat, but the game they played kept you at the edge of your seat right to the very end. The dominance in the first half was enough to drain all hope from Crimson Tide fans. Freshman Jake Fromm led his team with passion and a fire that had everyone cheering on the underdogs. After leaving the first half 13-0, there was a cloud of doubt lingering over Alabama’s cheering section while the Dawgs kept barkin’.
We could only imagine what was rattled off by coach Nick Saban in the locker room, but his bold choice to pull Jalen Hurts and start freshman Tua Tagovailoa would change the entire course of the game. Back to the start of the second half, Tagovailoa was off to a rough start, but began to rally the points to tie up the game by the end of the fourth quarter. The efforts of the Crimson defense holding the Dawgs at 20 points was key to staying alive.
With the opportunity of a lifetime, and a chance to redeem himself, Alabama’s kicker Andy Pappanastos could have handed Saban his fifth championship and his teammates the game with three seconds left on the clock, but missed wide left. Overtime gave the Dawgs hope and the Tide an uneasy feeling.
Just when ‘Bama thought things couldn’t get worse, Georgia’s kicker Rodrigo Blakenship nailed a 51-yard field goal, once again sending the fans on an emotional roller coaster. How could Tagovailoa save the game? Was it even possible? It didn’t seem so with him getting sacked right away, a freshman mistake that was about to be corrected in an immense way.
A freshman to freshman connection, Tagovailoa launched the 41-yard game winning pass to DeVonta Smith. The battle of the freshmen had come to an end. As Alabama celebrated an incredible comeback, Fromm and the Dawgs left the field with the heartbroken feeling of, “we were SO close”, as many of their fans did.
The true class shined through after the game. Hurts bragged about his freshman replacement saying how Tua just has the ‘it’ factor. Both of Alabama’s quarterbacks were humbled and honored to be a part of a team that refused to give up.
Alabama ends the season at the top of collegiate football, with a whole lot of promise on the horizon. Both the Dawgs and the Tide have a stellar three seasons ahead of them with these freshmen in their arsenals. It’s safe to say ‘Bama will come out ready to defend their title, and the Dawgs will be returning with a vengeance.