Crimson Tide Stages Stunning Comeback To Win Title

Jan 9, 2018

The Alabama Crimson Tide hoisted its seventeenth national championship trophy last night. APR’s Pat Duggins reports it was a come from behind win over the Georgia Bulldogs that took the last few minutes, and a touchdown in overtime, to clinch…

If fans of college football wanted a nail biter of a game, the Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t disappoint, Alabama defensive back Tony Brown tried to make a statement early with an interception just a minute and a half in the game. After that, it was all Georgia with two field goals and a touchdown that left the thirteen to nothing at half time. Coach Nick Saban tried to shake things up by replacing quarterback Jalen Hurts with his back up Tua Tagovailoa. The change gave Alabama some spark, but it took until just under four minutes left in regulation for the Tide to tie the score twenty to twenty. Once in overtime, Georgia struck first with a field goal. Alabama responded with a touchdown catch by wide receiver DeVonta Smith to nab the title.

For some observers of the Crimson Tide, the fact that Alabama was even in contention for the title was a come from behind victory in and of itself. Things looked back in November. Alabama fell out of playoff contention following its loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. That meant Alabama would sit and watch as Auburn played Georgia in the SEC Championship. Tide fans who tuned into TV coverage of the game between Auburn and Georgia heard what you might call an omen, or just a mistake any broadcaster might make. The announcer said that Auburn and "Alabama: were playing for the SEC Championship.

That blooper could have been taken as a sign that The Crimson Tide’s season might not be over just yet. The big break came the next day on ESPN as members of the College Football Playoff selection committee made their picks…

“We felt like we were on the outside looking in, you know," said Alabama tight end Hale Hentges and that it all felt weird… "Not knowing whether or not we’d be in the College Football Playoffs, or be fortunate enough to give these guys a run for their money.”

But, as Alabama and Clemson arrived at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the doubters were still there. Even the Crimson Tide’s hometown newspaper made a game day prediction that Clemson would beat Alabama by three points. Hale Hengtes was there when the Tide played Clemson the last time for the national championship a year ago. He says the end of that game still haunted him…

“I remember Clemson’s whole last drive. It felt like it was a ten minute drive, which it wasn’t. But, they were just making plays after plays, and everyone on that team was all bought it.” As the Sugar Bowl played out, it looked like Alabama was the one that was all bought it in.

“We earned a butt whipping tonight," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. That summed up the Tigers twenty four to six loss to the Crimson Tide… “And the lesson is, again, championship football is a few plays and a very small margin of error," said Swinney. "And you have to be able to run the ball effectively, and take care of the ball, and we didn’t do those things tonight. And you’re not going to beat a good team like Alabama when you don’t do that.”

Observers of the Tide say the team looked angry. Alabama Quarterback Jalen Hurts says the sting of the Iron Bowl loss followed the Tide to the Sugar Bowl…

“You don’t remember the wins, you remember the losses," he said. "And, I think we never forgot what happened. But, we wanted to take it in as a learning experience. We wanted to learn from it. And, we had the opportunity to do that today and display it, and we got em. We’re going to the national championship game.”