The college football champion for the 2021 season will be crowned in Indianapolis on Monday night as SEC rivals Alabama and Georgia meet in the playoff’s national title game.
The meeting is a rematch from last month when the Crimson Tide took down the then-No. 1 Bulldogs, 41-24, that earned them a place in the playoff and gave coach Nick Saban his fourth victory in four tries against former assistant Kirby Smart.
Saban is seeking his seventh national title at Alabama and his eighth overall, more than any coach in major college football history. It would also be the second repeat championship for the Crimson Tide under Saban after winning in 2011 and 2012.
Georgia will be trying to end a 41-year drought between titles that dates back to the freshman season of all-time great Herschel Walker in 1980. The Bulldogs also lost to Alabama in the 2017 title game, the other previous meeting of conference foes in the national championship.
There will be star power all around the field with Alabama’s offense boasting Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young at quarterback and Jameson Williams at receiver, along with All-America linebacker Will Anderson. Georgia will counter with several defensive stars, led by defensive lineman Jordan Davis and linebacker Naboke Dean.
Another touchdown extends Georgia lead
It took almost 40 minutes but the Bulldogs offense has woken up. Stetson Bennett hit Brock Bowers in the flat and Bowers sprinted 15 yards for the end zone untouched. That’s three touchdown drives for Georgia on its last four possession. Bulldogs lead 26-18 with 3:33 left.
Ball now in Bryce Young’s court. Alabama needs touchdown and two-point conversion to tie things.
And just like that Georgia is back in front
The Bulldogs and Stetson Bennett didn’t hang their heads after a miscue led to Alabama taking the lead in the fourth quarter. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken decided to live and die with his quarterback, calling for five consecutive pass plays.
A catch by Jemaine Burton and pass interference call moved them into Alabama territory before Bennett found Adonai Mitchell for a 40-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone. A two-point conversion attempt failed, making it 19-18 Georgia with 8:09 left.
Alabama gets benefit of controversial call
Georgia was trying to protect its 13-12 lead early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Stetson Bennett broke the pocket under pressure. Hit as he was in a throwing motion, the ball went forward and tumbled toward the sideline. Brian Branch recovered for the Crimson Tide, though it was unclear what the call was. Referees ruled after a long replay review that the ball went to Alabama at the Bulldogs 16.
Four plays later, Bryce Young hit Cameron Latu on third down for a touchdown to push the Crimson Tide ahead with 10:14 left. The lone bright spot for the Bulldogs is they stopped the ensuing two-point conversion and kept the score at 18-13. Just one score away from taking the lead. Now can their offense do enough to find the end zone?
At Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday night, top-ranked Alabama football will square off against the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Despite losing to the Crimson Tide back on Dec. 4 in the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs remain the favorite in tonight’s contest. As of three hours before kickoff, Georgia is favored by three points.
Throughout the over 150 years of college football history, a postseason rematch in a game with national title implications has only happened five times. Monday night’s game marks the sixth time. In those five rematches, the loser of the initial game came back to win the second matchup all five times.
The game is slated for an 7:15 p.m. CT kickoff and will be broadcast on ESPN.
For live stats and drive summaries, check out our live Fanalytix graphic on our message board.
Stay here at BamaCentral throughout tonight’s game for live updates, stats and analysis as the Crimson Tide battle the Bulldogs for the 2022 CFP title.
Live Updates: No. 1 Alabama vs No. 3 Georgia at the 2022 CFP Title Game
(most recent update at the top)
11 more receiving yards for Brooks. 1st and 10 at the UGA 46.
Young connects with Brooks for a 20-yard gain. 1st and 10 at the UA 43.
That 79-yard pick six by Ringo was the largest in national championship history.
Young’s pass to Robinson is complete, but he is tackled for a 2-yard loss. Timeout Alabama with 0:48 seconds left.
Alabama will start 1st and 10 at the 25-yard line. Crimson Tide fans have started exiting the building.
Pick Six: Young’s pass is intercepted by Kelee Ringo and returned 79 yards for the Georgia touchdown. The extra point is good. Georgia 33, Alabama 18 with 0:54 seconds left in the game.
There is 1:14 left to play.
Pass complete to Latu for a 12-yard gain. 1st and 10 from the UGA 44.
Young finds Robinson on 3rd and 4 for a gain of 12. 1st and 10 at the UA 43. There is 2:00 left to play.
Young’s pass to Ja’Corey Brooks is caught for a gain of 1.
Young connects with Holden for a gain of 5 yards. 2nd and 5 at the UA 30.
Georgia’s kickoff sails through the end zone for a touchback. 1st and 10 Alabama at its own 25-yard line.
Georgia Drive Summary: 7 plays, 62 yards, T.O.P. 3:37.
Touchdown Georgia: On 3rd and 1, Bennett connects with Bowers for a 15-yard touchdown. The extra point is good. Georgia 26, Alabama 18 with 3:33 remaining in the contest.
Timeout Georgia. That was its first timeout of the half. There is 4:05 remaining in the game. 2nd and 3 at the UA 17.
Another play, another 7-yard carry for White.
Alabama is called for pass interference. After the 15-yard penalty, it is 1st and 10 for Georgia at the UA 24.
A source has informed BamaCentral that Jameson Williams suffered a hyperextended knee, but no structural damage.
White rushes for another 7 yard gain. 1st and 10 at the UA 39. Alabama DT Phidarian Mathis was injured on the play and heads to the medical tent.
White rushes for 7 yards and a 1st down. 1st and 10 at the UGA 49.
Jackson calls a fair catch at the UGA 38. 1st and 10 Bulldogs.
Young’s pass is once again incomplete. Alabama is forced to punt.
Young’s pass falls incomplete. 3rd and 12 at the UA 23.
Robinson is cut down in the backfield for a loss of 2 yards. 2nd and 12.
Georgia’s kickoff sails through the end zone for a touchback. 1st and 10 Alabama at the UA 25.
Georgia Drive Summary: 4 plays, 75 yards, T.O.P. 2:05.
Touchdown Georgia: Bennett finds Mitchell in the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs attempt to go for 2, and fail. Georgia 19, Alabama 18 with 8:09 to go.
Turner sacks Bennett for the second time tonight. A loss of 8 yards makes it 2nd and 18 at the UA 40.
Khyree Jackson is called for pass interference. He wrapped up the receiver to avoid a touchdown. 1st and 10 Bulldogs at the UA 42.
Bennett connects with Burton for an 18-yard gain. 1st and 10 at the UGA 43.
Alabama’s kickoff is fielded for a touchback in the end zone. 1st and 10 Georgia at its own 25.
Alabama Drive Summary: 4 plays, 16 yards, T.O.P. 1:21.
Touchdown Alabama: On 3rd and goal at the 3, Young connected with Latu in the end zone. The Crimson Tide attempted to go for 2 points, and failed. Alabama 18, Georgia 13 with 10:14 to go in the game.
Robinson rushes forward for 3 yards. 2nd and goal at the 3.
On an incomplete pass by Young, Georgia is called for roughing the passer. 1st and goal Alabama at the UGA 6.
Turnover: The ruling on the field stands. Alabama football at the UGA 16-yard line. The call has caused some fans to begin throwing trash onto the field.
On 3rd and 8, Bennett appeared to throw the football to the edge of the field, where it was picked Brian Branch. The officials called the play a fumble, recovered by Branch. The play is under further review. However, even if the call is reversed, Bennett will be called with intentional grounding, which would make it 4th down and a decent big of yardage.
Alabama’s kickoff goes into the end zone for a touchback. 1st and 10 Georgia at its own 25-yard line.
Alabama Drive Summary: 10 plays, 72 yards, T.O.P. 3:21.
Field Goal Alabama: Reichard hits a 21-yard field goal to pull the Crimson Tide within 1. Georgia 13, Alabama 12 with 12:59 left to play in the game.
Young’s pass sails past an open Holden in the end zone. 4th down, and Alabama will send out the field goal unit.
On 2nd and goal at the 5, Robinson rushes forward for a gain of 2. It’ll be 3rd and goal at the 3.
Young finds Hall in open space for a 28-yard reception. 1st and goal for Alabama at the 5-yard line.
Georgia is called for an illegal hands to the face after a 3-yard rush by Robinson. The extra 15 yards makes it an 18-yard play. 1st and 10 at the UGA 33.