College football fans erupt over controversial Georgia fumble call, Alabama recovery
The College Football Playoff National Championship saw some massive controversy early in the 4th quarter with Georgia holding a slim 13-12 lead.
With Georgia facing a 3rd-and-8 from their own 27, Stetson Bennett was ruled to have fumbled the ball just before attempting a pass. The ball would then bounce toward the sideline, but before it went out of bounds near the 16 yard line, it was ruled to have been recovered by Alabama’s Brian Branch.
The play eventually went to replay review to determine whether the fumble would stand and if Branch had a foot inbounds before gaining possession. The call was confirmed, and you can see how close Branch was in the tweet below:
Truly a game of inches. pic.twitter.com/uwgdunCmQG
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 11, 2022
On the Crimson Tide’s ensuing possession, they eventually found the end zone for the first time all game to pull ahead 18-13 with 10 minutes, 14 seconds remaining as the ensuing 2-point conversion failed. But the call led to major reaction across social media over the call from the ACC officiating crew, as you can see below:
With every viewing I'm trying to figure how in the world this is a fumble if the ball goes forward.
Makes absolutely zero sense https://t.co/S0MgyzQ8Y7
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) January 11, 2022
That’s the kind of crazy you can’t even really make up.
He had NO IDEA he was recovering a fumble. And he was in bounds by a millimeter.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) January 11, 2022
An accidental fumble recovery is such a #Bama thing
— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) January 11, 2022
— KING (@Superultakoken) January 11, 2022
This is either a fumble, or an incomplete pass, or grounding. Considering this is an ACC crew this will likely be a touchdown for North Carolina.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 11, 2022
How in the world was that a fumble!!!!!? pic.twitter.com/fYWLVf4lSL
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 11, 2022
If that’s a fumble, then Bryce Young fumbled in the 1st quarter.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) January 11, 2022
If Georgia loses this game there are going to be people devoting their entire lives to breaking down that fumble like the Kennedy assassination. There's going to be a whole community, somebody's going to self-publish a book about it.
— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) January 11, 2022
I’m not a Georgia fan but these refs have been biased all night. If that throw by Bennett was a fumble then Young’s should have been as well. #NationalChampionship
— Zachary (@Zachry49) January 11, 2022
Crazy how they call the first quarter td an incompletion then they call the last incompletion a fumble #NationalChampionship
— Vikeszn (@FierSilas) January 11, 2022
Georgia eventually took the lead on an unreal Adonai Mitchell touchdown catch on its next possession to take a 19-18 lead before its own 2-point try failed. If the Crimson Tide end up winning this game, though, the Branch fumble recovery will loom large.