Bryce Young passed for 421 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 3 Alabama punched its ticket to the College Football Playoff in a 41-24 upset of No. 1 Georgia on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Atlanta.
A betting favorite in 93 straight games, the touchdown-underdog Crimson Tide (12-1) tallied on five straight series against the nation’s No. 1 overall defense — a Georgia unit that overpowered the opposition in allowing under 231 yards of total offense and 6.9 points per game.
A top Heisman Trophy candidate, Young finished 26-of-44 without an interception. He rushed three times for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Jameson Williams notched seven receptions for 184 yards and two scores, and John Metchie III caught six passes for 97 yards and a TD before getting injured late in the first half. He did not return.
Victorious for the seventh straight time against Georgia (12-1), Alabama claimed its 10th SEC championship in 15 tries in the title game, while the Bulldogs fell to 3-7.
Alabama coach Nick Saban improved to 7-1 against Georgia and 4-0 against Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart — a former Saban assistant.
Stetson Bennett was 29-of-48 for 340 yards with two interceptions. He tossed scores to Darnell Washington, Ladd McConkey and Brock Bowers (10 catches, 139 yards).
After the teams traded punts, Georgia broke the ice on Jack Podlesny’s 38-yard field goal.
Bennett ended an eight-play drive that covered 97 yards with a five-yard jump ball TD to the 6-foot-7 Washington matched up on a smaller linebacker.
Three scrimmage plays later, Young cut it to 10-7 with a quick strike on a short post to Williams, who raced away for a 67-yard score at 14:12 of the second.
On Alabama’s next possession, Young struck Metchie from 13 yards out for a 14-10 lead, and Will Reichard added three more on a 33-yard kick — the first of his two field goals.
After Bennett found McConkey for a 32-yard score, Young rounded out the scoring with an 11-yard sprint for a 24-17 halftime edge.
Scoring on its last four possessions of the half, Alabama produced 365 yards, including Young’s 286 passing — an SEC title game first-half record.
Williams added on right away in the second, hauling in a 55-yard score five plays into the second half, and DeMarcco Hellams intercepted Bennett at the Crimson Tide 9 on Georgia’s first series.
After Alabama forced a turnover on downs at its 19, Jordan Battle snared a pick-6 of Bennett — a 42-yarder — to put Alabama up 38-17 with 11:59 left.
–Field Level Media