Can Alabama Rise to the Challenge?



Can Alabama Rise to the Challenge?
The College Football Championship Plays Out in the Bulldogs Home State

by Amy Lignor

Even though they have dealt with freezing cold temperatures and a heavy duty winter hit delivered by one, Storm Grayson, Georgians are still happy as can be, waiting as patiently as possible to see their beloved Georgia Bulldogs play in the College Football Championship in their very own home state.

Georgia got to this point by working overtime during the Rose Bowl and winning against Oklahoma in overtime, 54-48. This was a hard-fought win but they were definitely due. After all, Georgia hasn’t advanced to the title game since 1980. It was Sony Michel, with a 181-yard night, who scored a 27-yard touchdown on the second play of the series. Michel and fellow Georgia running back Nick Chubb dominated the game at the end in order for the Bulldogs to overcome a depressing 31-17 halftime deficit.


Georgia was up against Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield who was most definitely impressive, even after suffering flu-like symptoms leading up to the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, the Sooners decided to take the game out of his hands and instead go for three running plays in order to score a field goal to begin overtime.


The records broken during this shootout that looked a lot like the Cowboy westerns of old, were numerous. Not only that, but this was the first Rose Bowl game ever to be played that reached overtime.


Facing those Bulldogs who are riding high will be the Alabama “Crimson Tide.” This is another team that’s riding the “wave” of happiness; however, this is not anything new to them. What made them more excited than getting to go back to the title game, which they won in 2016, was the fact that they got to do it by obtaining their revenge against the Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl. The game was not nearly as interesting, of course, considering Clemson only put six points on the board in comparison to Alabama’s 24. But because of this, the National Championship will be an all-Southeastern Conference game.


Georgia wants this; after all, they haven’t been here in almost forty years. But, for Alabama, they are headed to what will be their sixth championship game appearance during Coach Nick Saban’s eleven years with the team: the man who has won five of those national championships without breaking a sweat. And he certainly didn’t look like he was sweating when the Sugar Bowl began inside the Superdome of New Orleans.


Jumping to a quick lead, the Crimson Tide scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to Calvin Ridley. By the time the first quarter came to an end, Alabama led 10-0, and Clemson had built up a whopping -7 in total yards.


Was there a bright light at all for Clemson? Slightly. Alex Spence hit a 44-yard field goal at the end of the first half so when they headed into the locker room, the score was 10-3. But that was about as exciting as it got.


Experts, professionals and fans (except for Alabama fans, of course) are all picking this to be the year that the Georgia Bulldogs finally get that Championship. And it seems like the whole state of Georgia wants to see that win up close and personal. In fact, ticket buyers for the game caused a site to actually crash for twenty minutes as they scrambled to get their seat inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It was just last week that the cheapest ticket for the Championship was going for approximately $1,900 (on TicketCity), with the sites StubHub and TicketIQ clocking in at over two thousand dollars in order to get your seat for that college title game that is sure to be a memorable one.


If things go the way they are being predicted, that Bulldogs home crowd noise will be far louder than any wind gust that Winter Storm Grayson delivered during his stay in Georgia.






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