Monday night saw four decades of bottled emotion explode when the Bulldogs ended a frustrating drought in national championships by defeating their nemesis.
Stetson Bennett made the most impressive throws in his storybook career, and Georgia's defense secured the sweetest victory ever recorded in program history. Georgia defeated Alabama 33-18 in College Football Playoff to claim its first title since 41 years.
Kirby Smart, Georgia coach, said that he's never seen a team of players who wanted it so badly and would not be denied. I told the players in the locker room to take a photo of it.
Smart, who was a Bulldogs defensive back during the mid-1990s returned to school in 2016, after helping Nick Saban create a dynasty at Alabama.
Smart has made Georgia an elite program, but it has not been able compete with the Southeastern Conference.
Defensive tackle Jordan Davis stated, "This was for all of the glory, and we took it."
They did it in the same way Alabama has broken their hearts many times over recent years: Starting from the bottom and ending with a flourish.
Bennett connected with Adonai Mitchel on a 40 yard touchdown to give No. With 8:09 remaining, 3 Georgia led 19-18. Bennett connected with Adonai Mitchell on a 40-yard touchdown. Then, Brock Bowers hooked up with Bennett for a 15 yard TD on a screen. This gave the Bulldogs a lead of eight with 3:33 remaining.
Georgia's dominant defense was the final opponent. Kelee Ringo intercepted a deep ball that was misplaced down the sideline of Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young.
"I saw the ball in his hand and that was all she wrote," stated safety Lewis Cine, who was the game's defensive MVP.
Ringo ran 79 yards behind a group of blockers with just over a minute remaining. Smart chased Ringo and shouted at him to stop so he wouldn’t lose a ball. The relief-stricken Georgia fans packed Lucas Oil Stadium in wild celebration of the touchdown.
Smart stated, paraphrasing Larry Munson, a Georgia play-by–play man: "There's going be some property torn down in Indianapolis tonight."
Since 1980, when Herschel Walker was their freshman coach, the Bulldogs (11-4) hadn't won a national championship. As if ending the drought was not enough, it was even more impressive to do it against No. It was even more amazing when it was done against No.
Bennett replied, "I cried so pretty good," when Bennett was asked how it felt.
Saban's Tide won seven consecutive games against the Bulldogs.
Two SEC championship games were lost by the Bulldogs, one of which was five weeks ago. The 2018 CFP title game was also lost to Alabama under Smart.
"I told them that we had burned the boats. Smart stated that the only way to get home was through them.
Bennett, a former walk-on who was made a starter after turning into a starter, went 17 for 26, for 224 yards, and had no interceptions.
The first CFP title game, which was a rematch from a regular-season match for most of the quarters, was an old-fashioned SEC defensive battle in the heartland of Big Ten country.
With 1:20 remaining in the third quarter, the first touchdown was scored. The Bulldogs reached the end zone after James Cook ran a 67 yard run to bring them in the red zone. Three more running plays and an Alabama facemask penalty got them there. Zamir White came in standing up from about a yard away with Jalen Carter (defensive tackle) and Davis (blockers). For the first time, the Bulldogs were leading 13-9.
The Tide got a rare break after Alabama added another field goal.
Bennett was being brought down deep into Georgia territory. He tried to throw it away. It bounced towards the sideline, appearing harmless, as it slipped. Drew Sanders, Alabama, casually caught the ball as he was running out of bounds.
Surprisingly, however, the ruling on field was a fumble. The Tide recovered it and replay confirmed it. This gave the Tide the ball in red zone. Young managed to escape the rush and find Cameron Latu, completing a 3-yard touchdown. Alabama was now up 18-13 with 10 minutes remaining.
It seemed that Georgia wouldn't be able break the "Bama curse" once again.
Bennett was 13-for-22 for 141 yards on the next drive. You could hear Georgia fans being skeptical about Smart's decision to not call J.T., his four-star backup quarterback. Daniels was the spark.
He has been successful many times in his career, which began on the scout teams and went through junior college in Mississippi. The small-town Georgia boy nicknamed The Mailman made it through.
Bennett completed all three passes for 68 yards. Mitchell also caught Bennett for a long touchdown pass with 8:09 remaining. This gave the Bulldogs a 1 point lead following a 2-point conversion.
Young was stopped by the Bulldogs defense, and Young was forced to go three-and-out. Georgia then began work on securing the long-awaited title.
Young stated, "It's a little difficult that I let them down today." "I have to be better about it."
The sophomore was 35 for 57 for 359 yard with two interceptions. He played without his top two receivers most of the game. All-American Jameson Williams was forced to leave the game early in the second quarter due to a knee injury. John Metchie III was also hurt in the SEC title match.
After Georgia failed to bring Young down in the first meeting, Young was fired three times.
Saban said, "We played a hell of a match against a hell of a team in the first three quarters." He was denied his eighth national title, which was tied with Alabama for seventh place over the past 13 years. "Nobody can take away the SEC championship from this team, and the Cotton Bowl championship.
"We didn't finish what we needed to finish."
It was Georgia's final day after more than 40 years.
Bennett stated, "You put as many time into this thing, blood sweat, and tears," meaning that it means something.