For the 2017 University of Alabama football season, TideSports intern Terrin Waack has provided select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to show how the Crimson Tide uses “The Process” against its opponents.
ATLANTA — No. 4 Alabama defeated No. 3 Georgia, 26-23, in overtime on Monday at the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game with 77,430 people watching inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Crimson Tide now boasts 17 national titles.
• The only other overtime title game was in 2002 – Ohio State beat Miami in double OT – during the Bowl Championship Series era.
• That’s five national championship titles in the last nine seasons for Alabama. No other team in the Football Bowl Subdivision has accomplished such a fast feat. The only other team that came close was, well, Alabama. The Crimson Tide won five in 16 seasons (1964-79).
• Alabama coach Nick Saban now has his sixth national championship (five at Alabama, one with LSU), tying him with late Paul W. “Bear” Bryant for most national titles since the poll era was established in 1936.
• The last time Alabama went into halftime scoreless was at LSU on Nov. 5, 2016. It was the fourth time this season that Georgia kept its opponent off the scoreboard through two quarters.
• Family first: Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s younger brother, Riley Ridley, plays for Georgia at the same position. Calvin had four receptions for 32 yards, while Riley caught a career-high six passes for 82 yards. After the game, the brothers swapped jerseys.
• Alabama never held a lead over Georgia, not until it truly mattered – the end.
• Only one rushing touchdown was scored (by Georgia, second quarter). In the first three CFP national championship games, there were 14.
• Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm threw two interceptions, a new high in CFP championship history.
• Sophomore Raekwon Davis, a 6-foot-7 and 306-pound defensive lineman for the Crimson Tide, had an interception and returned it for 19 yards. It was the first pick of his career.
• So, Saban pulled Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts from the game after halftime. Tua Tagovailoa took over. But, with six seconds left in the fourth quarter, Hurts reentered for a play. All he did was get a fourth down to set up the last-second 36-yard field that was ultimately missed.
Quoting Nick Saban
On his motions immediately after the game…
“Someone tried to give me a game ball. I don’t think you give anybody a game ball. It has to be a team ball, and that’s exactly what we’ll do with it.”
On trusting players, even freshmen…
“Da’Ron (Payne), he played when he was a freshman, too. He’s the most articulated nose guard in the country if you guys would ask him a question.”
Next reporter: “This question is for Tua (Tagovailoa).”
Quoting the Crimson Tide
Tagovailoa on being so far from Hawaii and being homesick…
“I don’t know how coach Saban found me all the way in Hawaii from Alabama. Thank God he found me and we’re here right now.
“I don’t know, the biggest difference from Hawaii and Alabama would probably be there’s no beaches.”
Quoting the opponent
Georgia coach Kirby Smart on UGA running back Nick Chubb…
“We’re running out of the tunnel (Monday night), and this guy over here next to me, 27, comes by me and says, ‘I’ll go anywhere with you, and I’ll follow you anywhere, and I’ll fight for you because I believe in you.’”
Name of the game
UGA: Rodrigo Blankenship
The redshirt sophomore is the Bulldogs’ kicker. He made all three of his field goals, including a 51-yarder in overtime. Blankenship’s 11 points by kicking is also a new CFP championship high. Meanwhile, Alabama’s Andy Pappanastos missed two of his four field-goal attempts, one being the last play in regulation.
Top 3 rushers
1. UGA: Sony Michel, 14 carries for 98 yards
2. UA: Najee Harris, six carries for 64 yards
3. UA: Jalen Hurts, six carries for 47 yards
Top 3 receivers
1. UGA: Riley Ridley, six receptions for 82 yards
2. UGA: Mecole Hardman, two receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown
3. UGA: Terry Godwin, four receptions for 48 yards
Top 3 passers
1. UGA: Jake Fromm, 16-32-2 for 232 yards and a touchdown (sacked four times)
2. UA: Tua Tagovailoa, 14-24-1 for 166 yards and three touchdowns (sacked twice)
3. UA: Jalen Hurts, 3-8-0 for 21 yards (sacked once)
Top 3 defenders
1. UGA: Roquan Smith, 13 total tackles (a sack)
2. UA: Mack Wilson, 12 total tackles
3. UA: Rashaan Evans, eight total tackles
That’s it for the 2017 season.
Alabama returns Sept. 1 against Louisville in Orlando, Fla. Let the countdown begin.