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Alabama Sweeps Last-Minute Victory Against Georgia in SEC Championship Game: An Analysis Based on Past History

 Georgia Bulldogs fans were understandably disappointed that they once again lost the SEC Championship Game to the Alabama Crimson Tide. This marks the third occasion in the last 10 years that Georgia has lost against Alabama despite a promising lead early on in the game. (Photo credit: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2807815-sec-championship-2018-alabama-vs-georgia-breakdown-predictions.)

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Georgia Bulldogs fans were understandably disappointed that they once again lost the SEC Championship Game to the Alabama Crimson Tide. This marks the third occasion in the last 10 years that Georgia has lost against Alabama despite a promising lead early on in the game. (Photo credit: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2807815-sec-championship-2018-alabama-vs-georgia-breakdown-predictions.)

Emily Stocksdale, Editor-in-Chief

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On Saturday, Dec. 1, the University of Alabama’s football team turned the tide to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in this football season’s SEC Championship Game. Georgia appeared to have the upper hand at the end of the first half, but with a change of players and some impressive plays, the Alabama Crimson Tide managed to pull ahead to win the game, scoring 35 points against Georgia’s 28.

The game was held in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta; SEC Championship Games have been held in Atlanta since 1994, though they were originally held in the Georgia Dome. Alabama, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA, started with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but he was injured with 11 minutes remaining in the game by a player on his own team. Backup quarterback Jalen Hurts then took over for Alabama. Georgia, ranked No. 4 before the game, was led by quarterback Jake Fromm. They dropped to No. 5 following the game.

In the first quarter, Georgia appeared to be doing fairly well. They scored a touchdown, the only points scored that quarter, with 3 minutes and 8 seconds remaining. In the second quarter, both teams scored two touchdowns each, keeping Georgia in the lead by 7. Georgia scored another touchdown early in the third quarter, but this was the last time that they were able to score, whereas Alabama managed to get in three more touchdowns before the end of the game.

And this is not the first time that Alabama has managed to upset a game in the second half. In 2012, when the two teams last faced off in an SEC Championship, it was anybody’s game until the very end. Georgia and Alabama traded touchdowns in the second quarter, but by the end of the third quarter it appeared as if Georgia was pulling ahead, though not by much. However, with just four minutes to spare until the end of the game, Alabama scored a touchdown, putting them ahead 32-28.

Even more similar was the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between these two teams which took place Jan. 8 of this year. Georgia led the game 13-0 in the first half, but by the end of the fourth quarter, Alabama had tied up the game. In overtime, Georgia scored a 51-yard field goal but still lost to Alabama, who then scored a touchdown to win the game.

Overall, if there is one thing which college football fans can take away from these games, it is this: comfort zones are a dangerous thing. Even though Georgia appeared to have the upper hand in the first half of the 2018 SEC Championship Game, the lead that they managed to gain was not enough to carry them through to the end of the game. Leads should not lull fans into a false sense of security, especially when going against a team such as Alabama, who, since the first SEC Championship Game in 1992, has played in the game 12 times and has won eight times. In comparison, Georgia has played in the SEC Championship Game seven times and has won only three of those games.

As a result of this game, Alabama will be moving on to play in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma on Dec. 29. Winning that game will put them in the CFP National Championship game, which will be on Jan. 7, 2019, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The winner of the Orange Bowl will be playing against the other semi-final winner, the winner of the Cotton Bowl. Georgia will be playing in the Sugar Bowl against the Texas Longhorns. The Sugar Bowl game takes place on Jan. 1, 2019, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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Alabama Sweeps Last-Minute Victory Against Georgia in SEC Championship Game: An Analysis Based on Past History