Georgia Defeats Alabama For First National Title Since 1980
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates with the National Championship trophy after the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

It took nearly three quarters, but Alabama and Georgia gave college football fans everywhere a phenomenal finish to the 2021 season. 

In a defensive slugfest turned classic, Georgia won its first championship since 1980, beating Nick Saban and Alabama 33-18. 

“How about this university? How about these fans? This is a special moment for the University of Georgia, a special moment for this team,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said in his postgame interview.

Late in the third quarter in Indianapolis, Georgia’s offense hadn’t done a thing. 188 yards and two field goals was all they had managed as Alabama held a 9-6 lead. As the Crimson Tide lined up for another field goal attempt, Georgia needed a spark, and it was the defense that carried them all year long that gave it to them. 

Jalen Carter blocked Will Reichard’s 48-yard field goal attempt, the third blocked field goal of the year for Georgia. On the very next play, Georgia running back James Cook broke free for a 67-yards, setting up the first touchdown of the game by either team. Zamir White punched it in from a yard out, giving Georgia their first lead of the game.  

Following a Crimson Tide field goal, it was Alabama’s turn to make a play defensively. 

On third-and-8 from the Georgia 27-yard line, Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett attempted to throw the ball away as he was being taken down for a sack. Referees ruled it a fumble on the field, with the ball recovered by Alabama at the Georgia 16-yard line. The play was reviewed, with the call on the field standing as called. 


Alabama quickly took back the lead, scoring their first touchdown of the game, a three-yard touchdown from Bryce Young to Cameron Latu.


But the fun was just getting started. 

Georgia’s offense responded immediately, taking a 19-18 lead on a 40-yard touchdown from Bennett to wide receiver Adonai Mitchell. 

A 15-yard touchdown pass to Brock Bowers put Georgia up 26-18, and then it was time for the best defense in the country to put their stamp on the season.

The Heisman trophy winner — without injured wide receivers Jameson Williams and John Metchie — finally made a mistake, culminating in a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown by Kelee Ringo.

It was sweet revenge for Georgia, bouncing back from a 41-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. The nation’s best defense was embarrassed in their first loss of the season, giving up 536 total yards while allowing Young to pick them apart. Young finished the SEC Championship Game 26-44 for 421 yards and three touchdowns, moving Saban to 4-0 against Kirby Smart. 

There were calls for Smart to start JT Daniels — Georgia’s starting quarterback to begin the season — as the College Football Playoff approached, but Smart stuck with Bennett, and his faith in the former walk-on paid off.

“I hope it gives someone a little hope,” Bennett said when asked what his story says to all the underdogs looking to accomplish what he did at Georgia. “Just keep fighting, keep your mouth shut, work hard. Life’s tough. You just have to fight through it.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Georgia Defeats Alabama For First National Title Since 1980