The tension was at a fever pitch this past Monday night, January 8th, for many people in LaGrange and Troup County. One thing that people take very seriously here in the community is their college football and the best two teams in the nation, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide, were all set for the head on match up for SEC dominance and a national title on the line.
Coach Nick Saban battled to tie the record of Bear Bryant for the most of national titles. Coach Kirby Smart sought to lead his second year team to their first national title in 37 years. The match up was heated and kicked off that night to much fanfare less than one hour down the road at the Mercedes-Bens Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
For the majority of the game, the bulldogs led through dominance, keeping the Tide from scoring at all in the first two quarters of the game. Jake Fromm, the true freshman quarterback had an outstanding night, despite some rookie mistakes. The first two series for the dogs had no run plays, as they took to passing the ball down the field. The first quarter ended at a tied game of 00. In the second quarter, things began to heat up, as Blankenship boots in two field goals and Hardman finds a way into the endzone. The game goes to half time with Georgia up 13-0 over Alabama.
In the third quarter, a different story began to unfold. The Tide’s quarterback, Jalen Hurts, was set to the side for another true freshman, Tua Tagovailoa to come in at quarterback. In their second drive, the rookie finds a way into the endzone on a pass. Georgia roars back in third as well, with Fromm finding Hardman for an 80 yard completion and score. Some interceptions put Alabama
back in the game as the third ends with a score of 20-10 Georgia. In the fourth, Alabama continued to roll, putting up a field goal and eventually another score to tie the game at 20. With a chance to win the game, the Tide’s Pappanastos misses a field goal to send the game into overtime. Georgia plays first, scoring a field goal. Despite Alabama then getting pushed back for a 2nd and 26, Tagovailoa connects deep for a Alabama win of 26-23. Heartbreak for Georgia fans everywhere.
The future of both programs looks extremely bright, with Georgia having the number one recruiting class next year, with Tide right behind them. Coach Smart and the Bulldogs will undoubtedly be back to the national title scene in the next years and Alabama does not seem to be losing any of their dominance in the near future as well. It looks like this SEC rivalry could continue for years to come.