INDIANAPOLIS (WETM) – The bid for back-to-back championships was halted by the dogs.
Alabama, the defending College Football Playoff National Champions, fell to Georgia 33-18 Monday night in Indianapolis. It was the first national title in over 40 years for Georgia (14-1) who last won in 1980. The Crimson Tide (13-2) couldn’t overcome a strong second half by Georgia who took the lead for good in the fourth quarter and never let it go.
1980 Horseheads grad Gary Cramer, the life football coach for Alabama, has earned six national championships for The Crimson Tide in his career. But, earning a seventh will have to wait until next year.
Senior quarterback Stetson Bennett was the Offensive Player of The Game for Georgia. Bennett connected on two touchdowns including a 40-yard bomb to Adonai Mitchell in the fourth quarter at the 8:09 mark giving the Bulldogs the lead for good at 19-18. The senior quarterback threw for 224 yards for Georgia.
It was a first half of field goals between the two teams with Alabama leading Georgia 9-6 at the half. Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young threw for 369 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the losing effort for The Crimson Tide.
Even worse, Young and Alabama lost one of the most dynamic weapons on offense. Junior wide receiver Jameson Williams left the game in the second quarter after suffering a knee injury to his left leg. The full degree of Williams’ injury will not be known until an MRI is performed. Williams, a junior, had 75 catches and over 1,000 yards on the season.
Later in the game, Georgia connected on another touchdown in the fourth quarter by Brock Bowers on a 15-yard pass with just over three minutes left to go.
With time winding down in the game, Young’s final interception was the final blow for Alabama. Kelee Ringo picked off a Young pass and took it 79 yards to the house for Georgia with 54 seconds left in the game, giving Georgia the ultimate sendoff.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart earned his first national title win at his alma mater. Plus, the win for Smart was his first over Nick Saban. Smart was the defensive coordinator at Alabama from 2008-15. The win for the Bulldogs avenged the SEC Championship loss to Alabama just weeks ago.
Alabama won that game, 41-24, handing Georgia its only loss on the year back on December 4th.
As for Cramer, he tells 18 Sports the team will get right back to work for next season in Alabama. Cramer has been at Alabama in his current role as life coach since 2005. A position that enables him to help each player become better on and off of the field.