10 best plays of Alabama's championship victory
Alabama’s game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the national championship game was one that will forever be remembered.
The saying “it was a tale of two halves” could not have been more true on Monday for the Crimson Tide. They walked away with their fifth national championship in the past nine years — a run that is unprecedented in today’s college football world.
Here are the 10 best plays from the 26-23 overtime win.
10. Hurts provides Bama’s offense with a 31-yard run
Of course this play from Hurts is going to be included. As much as Tua Tagovailoa’s performance should be appreciated, we can’t forget how much the sophomore quarterback has meant to the Alabama program.
The 31-yard run is the perfect representation for Hurts as a player.
9. Pappanastos hits a 43-yard field goal
Monday night wasn’t exactly a good one for Andy Pappanastos. He had two atrocious misses in the game, including a 36-yard chip shot that would’ve won the game at the end of regulation.
That doesn’t mean his entire performance was terrible, however.
The Ole Miss transfer knocked through a 43-yarder midway through the third quarter to cut the lead to 10 points. Considering Alabama won by three, it’s pretty safe to say every point in this game played a role.
8. Brown’s INT creates early momentum
Tony Brown gets Bama started with an early INT.
— CollegeFB News (@CollegeFBNCAA) January 9, 2018
While the momentum was short-lived, Tony Brown stayed focused and managed to bring in a difficult interception on Georgia’s first drive of the game.
Overall, Brown didn’t have his best performance against the Bulldogs. This play will be remembered as one of the few positive first-half plays for the Tide, however.
7. Najee Harris provides late spark with 35-yard run
Najee Harris 31-yard run. Clutch performer in this game. pic.twitter.com/9HHj2SXcuI
— Clint Lamb (@ClintRLamb) January 9, 2018
The above 35-yard run from the former No. 1 running back in the 2017 recruiting class wasn’t his only clutch carry on the fourth-quarter drive.
On the first play of the series, Harris provided a 16-yard run to get things started — meaning he accounted for 51 of Alabama’s 71 yards in the drive on just those two plays. The drive ended in a crucial field goal from Pappanastos.
6. Davis destroys Georgia’s right guard to halt drive
Raekwon Davis showing up huge again. Disposes of the guard and claims an easy sack. The Tide are finding ways to stay in this game. pic.twitter.com/bVqQbzbxHf
— Cagen Cantrell (@CeeingTheDraft) January 9, 2018
Raekwon Davis was playing like a man possessed on Monday night. Overall, he finished with five tackles, a sack and an interception.
The interception was crucial. But Davis’ best play came on this third-and-5 play when he blew up Georgia right guard Ben Cleveland and sacked Jake Fromm early in the fourth quarter — forcing the Bulldogs to punt.
Alabama put up points (a field goal) on its next drive.
5. Tagovailoa tosses his first TD of the game
— Sports Degens (@TheSportsDegens) January 9, 2018
Tagovailoa’s first drive of the game was relatively vanilla. A designed quarterback run on first down. Then a short pass, followed by a sack.
The second drive was when things opened up. Despite barely missing Calvin Ridley downfield on first down, the freshman quarterback marched the Tide’s offense down the field — giving them their first points of the game.
The 6-yard strike to fellow freshman Henry Ruggs III was a big confidence booster for both of them.
4. Da’Shawn’s helmet lends a hand in crucial INT
— Sleeper Athletes (@SleeperAthletes) January 9, 2018
Da’Ron Payne should be given most of the credit for Fromm’s second interception of the game. He provided instant pressure, forcing the throw which bounced off Da’Shawn Hand’s helmet and into Davis’ hands.
Still, you could say it was a collective effort from Alabama’s entire defensive line.
3. Lewis provides key sack in OT
— Steve Frederick (@SportsGuyTweets) January 9, 2018
Anfernee Jennings was sorely missed in this game, but another edge rusher provided a key play late in the game.
Terrell Lewis, who was only playing in his third game back since Week 1, came up with a huge sack in overtime. The play forced Georgia to kick a field goal — setting the stage for Alabama’s winning touchdown.
2. Tagovailoa’s clutch TD pass on fourth and 4
— Richard Lee-Sam (@RLeesam) January 9, 2018
We still aren’t entirely sure if Tagovailoa was trying to throw it to Harris or Ridley on that clutch touchdown pass on fourth and 4 in the fourth quarter. It doesn’t really matter, though.
Tagovailoa was excellent on the play. He started off looking right but the offensive line bought him enough time to throw to his left. The freshman delivered the strike to Ridley with pressure in his face and Alabama tied the score at 20-20.
1. Two true freshman finish off the comeback in OT
Outstanding game winning 41-yard TD throw by #Alabama #CrimsonTide true freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa (@Tuaamann_) to true freshman WR Devonta Smith (@Smityyy03) #NationalChampionship #RollTide pic.twitter.com/fzDYxWq33k
— Sleeper Athletes (@SleeperAthletes) January 9, 2018
The ending to this game was like something out of a movie. Tagovailoa took an unnecessary sack on first down, making it second and 26. He then came back on the next play and had one of his best throws of the game.
He stepped up in the pocket and delivered the 41-yard, winning strike to fellow true freshman DeVonta Smith.