TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A optimistic COVID-19 take a look at couldn’t hold Nick Saban from the sideline, and Georgia’s heralded protection had scant hope of retaining Alabama’s playmakers out of the tip zone.
Jones handed for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns and the Crimson Tide picked aside No. Three Georgia’s heralded protection within the second half of a 41-24 victory Saturday evening. It ended up being a decisive ‘Bama victory in a collision of the Southeastern Convention’s final remaining unbeaten groups.
The Crimson Tide (Four-Zero), with Saban stalking the sideline in any case, rallied with three touchdowns in a 10-minute span beginning late within the third quarter.
The nation’s high scoring offense finally obtained the emphatic higher hand in a battle with the Bulldogs (Three-1) and one of many nation’s greatest defenses.
“This was an apparent nice win in opposition to a really, excellent soccer workforce,” mentioned Saban, who was cleared early within the day after a false COVID optimistic. “I used to be very happy with the way in which our guys fought within the recreation.
“I form of knew it was going to be a 15-round combat and we wouldn’t be successful till the late rounds.”
Georgia had no reply for Jones and star receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, particularly with Alabama’s personal beleaguered protection grabbing two second-half interceptions and three total. Freshman Malachi Moore had one on the aim line and returned it 42 yards.
Smith caught 11 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, together with one within the fourth quarter that successfully put it out of attain.
Waddle caught a 90-yard landing go and gained 161 yards on six catches. Jones accomplished 24 of 32 passes and was robust after an interception on the opening play.
“The aim was simply to win the sport,” Jones mentioned. “You’ll be able to have a look at their protection. They’ve good gamers within the secondary, they’ve good linebackers, they’ve good defensive linemen however so can we.”
Then there was some old-school floor and pound too. Najee Harris gained 152 yards on 31 carries carries with a landing throughout that game-clinching span. He did it in opposition to the nation’s high run protection, which got here in permitting 38 speeding yards and 12.Three factors per recreation.
Stetson Bennett accomplished 18 of 40 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns, together with an 82-yarder to James Cook dinner. However he threw three interceptions.
Bennett was offended with himself over his errors, particularly that ultimate interception throwing throughout his physique, calling it “simply silly.”
“I used to be pissed off with myself,” the previous walk-on mentioned.
Alabama obtained a lift about seven hours earlier than the sport when the SEC cleared coach Saban to return to enterprise of common, figuring out a Wednesday COVID take a look at was a false optimistic. He examined damaging Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“That was very emotional,” he mentioned.
“It was very loopy,” Jones mentioned. “We have been in our little quarterback assembly and he simply confirmed up.”
A maskless Saban was yelling at a referee after an intentional grounding name within the second quarter.
The Tide has gained the final six conferences with Georgia, together with a Three-Zero report in opposition to Saban’s former defensive coordinator, Kirby Good. The primary two got here within the January 2018 nationwide championship recreation and the SEC championship recreation the next season.
This was the primary one which didn’t go all the way down to the wire. Georgia’s protection allowed 564 yards.
“Simply pissed off we couldn’t get something going within the second half, particularly that opening drive,” Good mentioned. “I believed we have been going to have the ability to run the ball and we stalled out and misplaced momentum after that time, particularly after they hit the massive lengthy bomb to Waddle.”