For the 2018 University of Alabama football season, TideSports’ Terrin Waack will provide 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.
No. 1 Alabama defeated then-No. 4 Georgia 35-28 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday in front of 77,141 people in the SEC Championship Game.
• Georgia has lost two championship titles — one national, one conference — to Alabama’s backup quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa helped lead the Crimson Tide to its national title last season, replacing starter Jalen Hurts. This time, Hurts replaced Tagovailoa when UA needed him most and brought the Crimson Tide back to win.
• Alabama’s Josh Jacobs, who tweeted he had flu-like symptoms before the game, was named the Most Valuable Player. He rushed for 86 yards on just eight carries and scored two touchdowns. He’s the third Crimson Tide running back to take home the honor and the sixth to have multiple rushing scores in the conference title game.
• This is Alabama’s sixth consecutive SEC championship win — 2009, 2012, 2014-16 and 2018.
• The Crimson Tide pulled off the largest comeback in SEC championship history, saving itself from a 14-point deficit.
• With 54 wins in their career, Alabama’s seniors have recorded the most wins by a senior class in NCAA history, surpassing last season’s graduates. And this group isn’t done yet.
• Georgia has an issue with Alabama true freshmen. Look at the national championship last season, when the game-winning touchdown was from two UA rookies (Tagovailoa pass to DeVonta Smith). This season, freshman wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was an issue, finishing with 113 receiving yards, which is the 15th-highest total in SEC championship history.
• Hurts and Tagovailoa are tied for second on the UA career touchdown passes list at 48. Both threw one against UGA, and together passed John Parker Wilson’s mark of 47.
• It’s the first time Alabama has won an SEC championship game when trailing at halftime. It’s 1-4.
• Between this game and last season’s national title game, Alabama and Georgia have played 120 minutes of regulation football in which UGA has led or tied UA for 118 minutes and 56 seconds. Yet, the Bulldogs lost both games.
• Placekicker Joseph Bulovas is one extra point away from matching Alabama’s single-season PAT record of 69 set by Jeremy Shelley in 2012.
OddSharks.com had Alabama as a 12-point favorite over Georgia. The Crimson Tide did not cover. It won by seven.
Quoting Nick Saban
On how proud he is of quarterback Jalen Hurts …
“Jalen is going to be a more successful person in his life because of what he went through, not winning 26 games but what he went through this year trying to be the kind of person who had to support other people after he was a star player.”
Quoting the Crimson Tide
Alabama running back Josh Jacobs on being named MVP …
“It’s crazy because all y’all think about the plays that I made, and all I can think about is the plays that I didn’t and the assignments that I missed.”
Quoting the opponent
Georgia coach Kirby Smart on preparation leading up to this game …
“We told our kids that for a week they would hear nothing but how good Alabama was, and that’s what they heard. Everybody said they were unbeatable, and everybody talked about it.”
Top 3 rushers
1. UA: Josh Jacobs, eight carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns
2. UGA: D’Andre Swift, 16 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown
3. UGA: Elijah Holyfield, 14 carries for 60 yards
Top 3 receivers
1. UA: Jaylen Waddle, four receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown
2. UGA: Isaac Nauta, four receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown
3. UGA: D’Andre Swift, six receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown
Top 3 passers
1. UGA: Jake Fromm, 25-39-0 for 301 yards and three touchdowns (sacked twice)
2. UA: Tua Tagovailoa, 10-25-2 and a touchdown (sacked twice)
3. UA: Jalen Hurts, 7-9-0 for 82 yards and a touchdown
Top 3 defenders
1. UA: Saivion Smith, 11 total tackles
2. UA: Quinnen Williams, eight total tackles (a sack)
3. UA: Deionte Thompson, eight total tackles (a force fumble)
The Crimson Tide (13-0) is playoff bound. As the No. 1 seed in the final College Football Playoff rankings, Alabama will play No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 in Miami. No. 2 Clemson is set to play No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.