No. 1 Alabama Wins SEC Championship Game
with 35-28 Comeback Win over No. 4 Georgia
December 1, 2018
ATLANTA – Down by 14 points at different points in the
second and third quarter, the No. 1 Alabama football
team stormed back to a 35-28 win over No. 4 Georgia in
the 2018 Southeastern Conference Championship Game
Saturday in Atlanta, Ga.
The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate after their 35-28
victory over Georgia to clinch their 27th SEC title.
Photo Credit - RollTide.com
Subbing for sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who
was sidelined early in the fourth quarter with an
injury, junior Jalen Hurts led a pair of
fourth-quarter scoring drives for the win.
Junior running back Josh Jacobs was named the game's
Most Valuable Player after accounting for the Tide's
first two touchdowns and leading Alabama's rushing
attack with 83 yards on eight carries. Freshman wide
receiver Jaylen Waddle led all receivers with 113
yards and a touchdown.
Tagovailoa was 10-for-25 passing with two
interceptions, 164 yards and a touchdown, while Hurts
finished 7-of-9 passing for 82 yards and a touchdown.
He also rushed for the deciding score, capping a
28-yard effort on the ground in five attempts.
After giving up 21 points in the first half, the
Crimson Tide defense clamped down in the second half,
holding the Bulldogs to a single touchdown early in
the third quarter. Junior defensive back Saivion Smith
led all tacklers with a career-best 11, including
eight solo stops. It was the second-most tackles by an
Alabama player in an SEC Championship Game. Junior
defensive back Deionte Thompson and redshirt sophomore
defensive lineman Quinnen Williams each had eight
tackles. Williams came up with a sack and two tackles
for loss as well.
Neither team scored on their opening two drives to
begin the game. The Bulldogs struck first with a
20-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter.
Alabama answered on its ensuing drive when Jacobs
rolled into the end zone from a yard out on the first
play of the second quarter, evening the score at 7-7
following the extra point from redshirt freshman
Joseph Bulovas with 14:50 left in the opening half.
The eight-play, 75-yard drive began with 3:08
remaining in the first quarter and was highlighted by
a 23-yard catch-and-run from Tagovailoa to sophomore
wide receiver Henry Ruggs III to move the ball into
Georgia scored twice in the second quarter. The first
came on a nine-yard rushing touchdown that capped a
13-play, 74-yard drive, while the second was an
11-yard touchdown reception that finished off a
six-play, 51-yard drive to put the score at 21-7 with
4:05 left in the half.
After rumbling 59-yards on the first play of the
ensuing Tide drive, Jacobs bulled his way toward to
the goal line two plays later from one yard out before
the ball came out and squirted into the end zone,
where Jacobs gathered it in for the touchdown.
Bulovas' extra point pulled the Tide within seven
points with 2:18 left in the half.
The Alabama defense closed the half by forcing a UGA
punt as time expired.
Following a three-and-out on the Tide's first
possession of the second half, Georgia extended its
lead, going 51 yards in three plays to go back up by
two touchdowns, 28-14, with 12:39 left in the third
After Georgia missed a 30-yard field goal, Tagovailoa
found freshman Jaylen Waddle for a 51-yard touchdown
pass to trim the lead to 28-21 after the Bulovas'
extra point. The play capped a four-play, 72-yard
drive that took just 1:29 off the clock.
Alabama then tied the game on a 16-play, 80-yard
touchdown drive. Hurts came in early in the drive
following Tagovailoa's as injury and proceeded to
drive the Tide down the field. The touchdown came on
a third-down-and-10 when Hurts scrambled out of the
pocket and hit sophomore wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in
the end zone for the score.
After a Georgia fake punt failed to gain the first
down, Hurts once again took the Tide down the field
starting on its own 48-yard line. After a pair of
completions of more than 15 yards moved the ball into
the red zone, Hurts raced 15 yards for the touchdown.
With 57 seconds left in the game, Alabama's defense
closed out the game by batting down a pair of shots
at the end zone, securing the victory.
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