Talk about a battle between two heavyweights who stood in the middle of the ring and just kept delivering haymakers against each other, wondering who would be standing at the end saw a second half point spree that resulted in a 32-28 victory by the Crimson Tide.
With this victory, Alabama gets a chance to repeat as it will play the #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the BCS Championship January 7th in Miami.
A game that people thought neither team would score more than 20 points (I predicted 24-21victory for Bama) as both teams ranked defensively in the top 15 in points allowed, Alabama #1 (9.3 points/ game) and Georgia # 15 (17.7 points/game) and Top 25 in total defense, Alabama #1 (234 yards/game), Georgia #22 (338 yards/game) saw those numbers fly out the window as Alabama gained 512 total yards, 350 rushing, while Georgia piled up 394 total on their side, 281 passing yards in a second half contest that was 10-7 after a defensive first half.
Alabama was led running back Eddie Lacy with 181 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns and TJ Yeldon 25 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown. These two constantly ran behind their All –American line led by center Barrett Jones who opened up holes for both Lacy and Yeldon to get large gains through. Crimson Tide QB AJ McCarron chipped in with 162 passing yards including the critical go head 45 yard touchdown to Freshman WR Amari Cooper (8 receptions for 128 yards and a this touchdown) with 3:15 left to go in the game.
Georgia, who came up on the short end last year also to LSU, came to play creating scoring opportunities in various ways. In the passing game, QB Aaron Murray threw for 265 yards and a touchdown on 18 for 33 day, while the rushing game was led by Freshman Todd Gurley, who rushed for 122 yards on 25 carries and 2 touchdowns, but the surprise came from special teams.
On a fourth down play in the second quarter, special team blocking back and tight end Arthur Lynch saw an opportunity and threw a 16 yard pass to Sanders Commings to get a first down, which helped set up the first touchdown of the game and give Georgia a 7-0 lead but the big play happened in the third quarter putting them up 21-10.
Georgia dodge a bullet on what was originally called a pass interception penalty, was then ruled a tipped pass causing the Tide to attempt a long field goal on foruth down.
Lineman Cade Foster broke through the right side of the line and blocked the kick over the kicker Shelly Foster (his first missed kick all season) which was then scooped up by linebacker Alec Ogletree who returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs they ran out of time. After being unable to move the ball, they punted it away with about 2;35 minutes left in the game from inside their 20 yard line hoping to stop the Tide and get the ball back for one chance. They stopped the Tide on three plays, in which they had to burn up their last two timeouts and got the ball back with 1:05 minutes left. The goal now was to get to the 50 yard line for a desperation pass as they were down four points, but it had to catch a break in an overturned decision.
After fielding the punt and getting a first down, Murray threw a first down pass over the middle for Malcolm Mitchell but was broken up by defensive back Vinnie Sunseri and intercepted by All-American Dee Miliner. This would have been the final nail in the coffin, but the officials after the review determined that the ball hit the ground and gave the ball back to the Bulldogs.
With a second chance, Murray brought the Georgia team all the way inside the Tide’s 10 yard with 14 second left, but instead of clocking the ball, he tried to catch the Tide defense off guard, but Murray’s back shoulder pass to Mitchell was deflected by linebacker CJ Mousley and caught by WR Chris Conley but he slid and was down at the five yard line as time expired.
Both teams played a great time, but in the end the Bulldogs will watch the BCS Championship game from home as the Tide battle the Irish in Miami. Roll Tide!!