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FutureStarrAlabama versus Georgia
There was never any doubt that Alabama and Georgia would play for the college football national championship. The real question was what would happen if the two teams found themselves in the game at the same time.For Georgia, which has not beaten Alabama since 2007, it was a bruising comeuppance and a blemish on a shining autumn for big teams in its state. After all, almost every savant, soothsayer or mildly observant Atlanta sports fan of the last quarter-century or so had figured the Braves would flame out before winning the World Series.
In 1963, The Saturday Evening Post magazine reported that Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and Georgia athletic director and former coach Wally Butts had conspired to fix the 1962 game, which Alabama won 35–0. After the story broke, Butts resigned as athletic director, though Butts and Bryant denied the allegations. The two sued the magazine's publisher for libel, and the case reached the United States Supreme Court as Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts (1967). The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Butts, with the publisher eventually being ordered to pay more than $3 million in damages. The lawsuit has been credited with leading to the end of the magazine.
When the SEC expanded to twelve teams and split into two divisions in 1992, Alabama was placed in the West Division, while Georgia was in the East. Each team in the league was matched with two "permanent" cross-division rivals. Because Alabama and Georgia were not paired as permanent rivals, they would play only on a rotating basis (twice in an eight-year cycle) or in the newly created SEC Championship Game. (Source:en.wikipedia.org)
Georgia and Alabama will meet again in Atlanta, Georgia, for the right to call themselves SEC Champion. The last time these two teams met in 2020 was during the regular season, where Georgia went on the road to Tuscaloosa and lost 42-24 to the Tide after another Georgia halftime lead (24-20). (Source:Alabama was by far the best team in the country a year ago; nothing proved it more at the time than the convincing second half versus Georgia that sealed another comeback victory for the Crimson Tide over the Bulldogs.
Georgia opened this week's betting line as a 6.5 point favorite over No. 3 ranked Alabama. It is the first time since 2015 that the Tide opened as the underdog in a game. The last game dated back to Alabama's game in Athens versus Georgia. That game did not go as many thought as the Tide rolled over the Bulldogs 38-10.That loss is just one of six that Georgia has had dating back to the laters of the Mark Richt era. Alabama is the proverbial "hump" that Georgia's never been able to vault over in the past. 15:00 (0-0): Kenny McIntosh returns the opening kickoff to their own 25. James Cook picks up the first down and gets hit late out of bounds, drawing a flag. Taking Georgia to the Alabama 46. (Source: www.si.com)
Back to the game, or what was left of it. Brock Bowers, the tremendous tight end, scored to bring the Bulldogs within 14. Saban opted not to go for it on fourth-and-1. Enough time remained for Georgia to score two touchdowns, but a false start turned fourth-and-10 into fourth-and-15, which prompted Smart to change his mind and punt. Bama took the ball with 7:08 remaining and began to move – slowly, for once. A field goal with 1:59 left removed all doubt.After forcing a quick three and out, Bryce Young took the field and put together arguably the best string of plays of his career. He lofted a phenomenal ball down the left sideline to John Metchie in a tight window, hit Jameson down the field again, and capped it off with a tremendous throw to the back corner of the endzone to Metchie again.
Disaster almost struck when Young scrambled for a first down. He juked a man and picked up 14 yards, but was hit from behind and fumbled. Against all odds, the diminutive Young reached out and corralled the ball one-handed as multiple defenders fell on top, and he managed to hang on to it.Young’s target of choice, wideout Jameson Williams, with 184 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns Saturday, was the big noise that set off the avalanche. Breaking free over the middle in the first minute of the second quarter, Williams collected the ball near midfield. One of the fastest players in the game – clocked at an elite 23 mph when he went for a 94-yard score against Miami to open the season within this same venue – Williams was primed for a sprint. Both Kelee Ringo and Christopher Smith gave chase, but neither DB possessed the goods to catch him. The 67-yard touchdown was the longest play given up by the Georgia defense this season. (Source: www.ajc.com)