INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Stetson Bennett delivered the biggest throws of his storybook career and Georgia’s defense sealed the sweetest victory in program history, vanquishing rival Alabama 33-18 in the College Football Playoff title Monday for its first national title in 41 years.
Bennett connected with Adonai Mitchell on a 40-yard touchdown to give No. 3 Georgia a 19-18 lead with 8:09 left and then hooked up with Brock Bowers for a 15-yard TD on a screen to put the Bulldogs up with with 3:33 left.
The final blow came from the defense. Kelee Ringo intercepted an underthrown deep ball down the sideline by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. Instead of going down with a little over a minute left, Ringo took off and behind a convoy of blockers went 79 yards for a touchdown that set off a wild celebration by the Georgia fans who packed Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Bulldogs hadn’t won a national title since freshman Herschel Walker led them there in 1980. If simply snapping the drought wasn’t good enough, doing against No. 1 Alabama (13-12) had to make it feel even better.
Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide had won seven straight against the Bulldogs, including the last four against Georgia coach Kirby Smart, Saban’s longtime assistant.