National Championship Football Recap
Dawgs On Top, Wins Another One for the State of Georgia
Georgia fans can finally say that they witnessed their Georgia Bulldogs win a National Championship. Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs proved all the doubters wrong, and they came into Indy and dominated the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 to win their first National Championship since 1980.
Smart, a defensive back for the University of Georgia in the mid-90s, returned to his alma mater in 2016 to help build a dynasty at Georgia. After years of dominant recruiting and coming up inches short, the Bulldogs have finally reached the promised land.
Stetson Bennett Finally Wins the Big One:
If you take a look at the remarkable career path of Stetson Bennett, you can understand the emotion he had after winning the National Championship. Georgia was clinging to a slim 13-9 lead in the second half when Bennett turned the ball over thanks to a strip-sack; Alabama would score a few plays later to put them up 18-13. The former walk-on QB followed that up by making some of the best throws of his career and led the Dawgs on two-straight scoring drives. Bennett finished 17 of 26 with 224 yards and two TDs.
To begin the 2020 season, Bennett came into that year as the third-string QB but got plenty of reps thanks to a few opt-outs. Following that season, he contemplated transferring, knowing that JT Daniels would start over him. However, after Daniels went down with an injury, Bennett took his place, and the rest is history. "You put as much time as we do in this thing, blood, sweat, tears," Bennett said, 'it means something."
Georgia's Defense Comes Up Big:
The story coming into this game was whether or not Georgia's defense would contain Bryce Young. They did just that, as the Bulldog defense led by Jalen Carter, Devonte Wyatt, Jordan Davis, and Defensive MVP, Lewis Cine, made the Heisman trophy winner uncomfortable and forced him into some challenging situations. After Georgia went on that run in the second half, Georgia's defense stepped up the intensity and didn't let Young find any options. With Young's top two targets offense out, Georgia's defense took advantage, and ultimately, they sealed the deal when Kelee Ringo intercepted an underthrown deep ball from Young and took it 79 yards to the house.
What Does This Championship Mean to the City of Atlanta?
I've mentioned this before, but I'm an Atlanta sports fan. However, I'm not a Georgia Bulldog fan as my college football allegiance lies with the Florida Gators (Scared Money Don't Make Money!). Despite my hatred for the Bulldogs, I understand how much this title means for the state of Georgia. A couple of months ago, we all witnessed the Atlanta Braves win their first Championship since 1995. Now, the Bulldogs have won their first title in 41 years. We still need about seven more titles to mend the heartbreak of the 2016 Super Bowl (I don't need to explain what happened because, frankly, I don't want to. Just thinking about it makes me depressed).
Alabama Crimson Tide:
The Loss of Williams Proved Detrimental to the Tide:
Coming into this game, the Tide already were without their best route runner in John Metchie. What they didn't expect to happen was for Jameson Williams, one of the top receivers in the county, to injure his knee in the first half. Midway into the second quarter, Bryce Young hit Jameson Williams in the middle of the field for a 40-yard game. After the play, Williams immediately grabbed his knee and would later be assisted to the locker. He would return to the sidelines to watch the rest of the game.
Young didn't have his two best wideouts on the field without their best receiver, and he had to work with some inexperienced talent. Losing Jameson Williams proved to be the difference for Alabama in this game. Young struggled for most of the day as the Freshman finished 35 of 57 with 369 yards and one TD and two INTs, including the pick-six.
What's Next for Nick Saban and the Alabama Dynasty?
Everyone asks the same question: What's next for Nick Saban? Well, if you look at the way-too-early predictions to win next year's CFP playoff, Alabama is the favorite to win. As for this year, Saban failed to capture his eighth title and seventh with the Tide. "We played a heck of a game against a heck of a team for the first three-quarters of the game," said Saban. "Nobody can take the SEC Championship away from this team, the Cotton Bowl Championship. We just didn't finish the way we needed to."
In the second, Alabama got outplayed by Georgia on both sides of the ball. Alabama's defense, led by Will Anderson, dominated the first half of the game, but the Tide had no answer once Georgia started running plays opposite Anderson. They were already without veteran CB Josh Jobe, which made things any easier. Moving forward, the Tide will look to build off their successful season, despite not winning the title. Both Anderson and Young are returning for another year, with Anderson (Sophomore) already playing like the top-ten draft pick and Young (Freshman) having just won the Heisman trophy. While the loss is disappointing for the Tide, I don't see a change yet.
I'm not sure the state of Georgia has let this victory sink in yet. With Braves and Georgia winning championships, who knows what's in store for the future of Atlanta sports. As for Georgia fans, in particular, enjoy your first title win in 41 years.
As a Gator fan, I've experienced a championship in my lifetime (actually, two championships), so to be able to experience once in your life finally has to feel good! Anyway, congrats on the win and finally getting past the mighty Crimson Tide. All is I have to say is that I'm proclaiming 2022 to be the year Billy Napier introduces himself to the nation.
Jake Klausner covers all things sports for ThePyrrhic.com. Keep your eyes peeled for NFL Analysis, World Series Recaps, and more from Jake.
Follow him on Twitter @jake_klausner
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