It certainly had “Game of the Year” moments, but Saturday’s meeting between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia — which pitted the Tide’s top-ranked offense against Georgia’s top-ranked defense — ended up in a predictable 41-24 win for the Crimson Tide.
The game could not have started worse for Alabama (4-0, 4-0 SEC) after Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari forced an interception on the first play from scrimmage by Mac Jones. Three plays later, a Justin Eboigbe interception of Stetson Bennett set the tone for what would be a wild first half. Bennett was efficient early, matching Jones’ stat line of two touchdowns and an interception in the first 30 minutes.
For a while, it seemed as if Alabama’s defense — which put up a historically bad effort against Ole Miss — would cost the Tide again: Georgia (3-1, 3-1 SEC) took a 24-17 lead with less than a minute remaining in the half on a 5-yard touchdown connection between Bennett and Jermaine Burton. But Alabama managed to sneak in a 52-yard field goal with a second remaining to make the score 24-20 at halftime. The kick, it seemed, completely turned the tide of the game.
Alabama’s defense responded in a big way in the second half, holding Georgia scoreless and forcing two punts, two interceptions and a missed field goal attempt. Meanwhile, Alabama scored on three consecutive drives, capped by a 90-yard Jaylen Waddle touchdown catch, a 2-yard Najee Harris touchdown run and a 13-yard DeVonta Smith touchdown catch, respectively.
Against that No. 1 Georgia defense, Jones completed 24 of 32 passes for 410 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Harris was equally impressive, rushing 31 times for 152 yards and a score. Receivers Smith (11 catches, 167 yards, two touchdowns), Waddle (six catches, 161 yards, one score) and John Metchie III (three catches, 50 yards, one touchdown) also had excellent games.
Bennett finished the game completing 18 of 40 passes for 269 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Running back Zamir White rushed 10 times for 57 yards, while running back James Cook led all Bulldogs in receiving yards: He had four receptions for 101 yards and a score. Burton had four catches for 58 yards along with his touchdown.
Below are the live updates, highlights and scores from Saturday’s top-five SEC matchup between Alabama and Georgia in Tuscaloosa.
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Alabama vs. Georgia score
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
Georgia 7 17 0 0 24
Alabama 7 13 14 7 41
Alabama vs. Georgia live updates, highlights
(All times Eastern)
Final: Alabama 41, Georgia 24