Alabama defeats Georgia for College Football National Championship

Carina Sarracino, Reporter

Alabama claimed their 5th national title in 9 years in their close 26-23 win against Georgia on Monday, January 8, 2018.

The Georgia Bulldogs took the lead during the first half from a 0-0 first quarter and a 13-0 second. Thanks to impecable plays from Alabama’s relief quarterback, freshman Tua Tagovailoa, the Crimson Tide picked it up during the second half.

Devonta Smith, Alabama running back, runs a game-winning touchdown during the NCAA college football championship. Smith got the ball from a 41-yard pass by Tua Tagovailoa. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Tying the game 20-20, Alabama had a shot to win it at the end of regulation. But kicker Andy Pappanastos missed the 36-yard field goal, sending the game into overtime.

Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship then had to make a 51-yard field goal, due to a sack of freshman QB Jake Fromm. Blankenship made the kick, giving the Bulldogs a 23-20 lead.

During Alabama’s second play in overtime,Tagovailoa found wide-receiver DeVonta Smith sprinting down the field and hit him with a perfect 41-yard pass for the game-winning touchdown.

To qualify for the big game, Alabama crushed Clemson 24-6 during the Sugar Bowl. Georgia defeated Oklahoma 54-48 in an intense double overtime during the Rose Bowl, both on January 1.

Alabama, 4th ranked prior to the game, became the top ranked 2017 college team with an impressive 13-1 record, according to ESPN.

The win has set several records for the Crimson Tide; it is Alabama’s 17th national title and Coach Nick Saban’s sixth career national championship, giving him more national championships than all currently active coaches.