Facing a Georgia defense that was unrelenting for much of the game, Alabama was forced to punt five times for a total of 201 yards. It was the second most yards Alabama has punted for in a game this season. The most came against Texas A&M, when UA punted it six times for 216 yards. Walk-on Mike Bernier, who took over the starting role in week eight against Tennessee, averaged 40.2 yards per punt.
While Alabama punted the ball effectively, its punt coverage team cost the Crimson Tide in the first half. With a little over two minutes before the break, Keaton Anderson was called for running into Georgia’s punter. The penalty gave Georgia a first down and allowed the Bulldogs to run the clock out and take a 21-14 lead into the locker room. Alabama stopped Georgia on a fake punt near midfield with 3:04 remaining in the game to set up the game-winning drive.
Bulovas missed five extra-points during the regular season, but the sophomore nailed all five of his attempts against Georgia.
Freshman Jaylen Waddle returned one punt for 36 yards.
Game captains were senior tight end Hale Hentges, senior center Ross Pierschbacher and junior outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings. … Former running back Shaun Alexander (1996-99) was honored as Alabama’s SEC legend. He finished his career with school records for rushes, rushing yards and touchdowns. He had 727 carries for 3,591 yards with 42 touchdowns in his career. Derrick Henry now owns Alabama’s all-time rushing record. … Alabama won the toss and elected to defer. Alabama is 7-6 in coin tosses this season. The Crimson Tide has elected to receive on four of the occasions on which it won the toss. … Attendance was announced 77,141. … Nick Saban moved to 16-0 against his former assistants with the win. He beat four former assistants this season: Jimbo Fisher, Billy Napier, Jeremy Pruitt and Kirby Smart. … Saturday was the eighth SEC championship game win for Alabama, breaking a tie with Florida to become the most of any SEC school. Alabama is now 8-4 in SEC championship games.