ATLANTA — It’s over. Alabama defeated Georgia at the Georgia Dome for the 2012 SEC Championship and is expected to face Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game.
Final: Alabama 32, Georgia 28
Georgia needed a completion. It got it — it just wasn’t far enough.
Needing a touchdown while at the Alabama 8, Georgia saw the time ticking away and hurried. Aaron Murray found Chris Conley, but there was no score, no late heroics. The Bulldogs were instead five yards short.
In a wild ending, Georgia could only walk off dejectedly after Alabama rallied from a 21-10 deficit.
Alabama’s offensive line was often a bully during a 22-7 run that ended the game. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon both rushed for more than 150 yards as the Tide finished with 350 rushing yards as a team.
Georgia’s Todd Gurley did his part, as he had 122 yards and two touchdowns, but Alabama took the lead when A.J. McCarron hit Amari Cooper for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 3:15 to go.
Georgia 21, Alabama 18
Make that two Augusta-area players having an impact, though Alabama is one yard away from taking the lead.
After Westside’s Sanders Commings starred in the first half, Burke County grad Cornelius Washington blocked a long field goal and teammate Alec Ogletree picked it up and raced home for a touchdown that made it 21-10.
The special teams stunner followed Todd Gurley’s great drive that started the third quarter. Gurley, who had only 46 yards at the half, picked up 44 on one drive.
However, Alabama didn’t take much time in answering the special teams touchdown. Aided by a couple penalties, Alabama marched down the field before T.J. Yeldon got the touchdown. Yeldon followed that with a two-point conversion.
The Crimson Tide then powered its way down the field trying to take the lead. Alabama has 295 rushing yards in the game.
BIG PLAY: Easy pick. With Alabama attempting a long field goal, Washington got through and blocked the kick, allowing teammate Ogletree to take the ball and return it for the touchdown.
Alabama 10, Georgia 7
Westside grad Sanders Commings has given the title game an Augusta feel even with a 10-7 halftime lead for Alabama.
He announced his presence when he caught a pass on a fake punt for a first down. The first down led to a touchdown shortly after, when Aaron Murray found Jay Rome for the 19-yard score to make it 7-0 Georgia.
Then, with Alabama looking to tie the game, Commings easily predicted A.J. McCarron’s intended direction, intercepting a pass in the end zone to end the drive. Commings also smartly went out of bounds for the touchback instead of trying to take it out.
However, the Crimson Tide offensive line started to push, creating space for both Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Lacy had the biggest run, bursting into the open for a 41-yard touchdown.
A bad throw by Murray then gifted Alabama with a chance to take the lead. A couple of McCarron runs moved the Tide closer for a short field goal.
BIG PLAY: Each side had a collection of huge plays, but HaHa Clinton-Dix’s interception of a Murray pass and 35-yard return helped Alabama take a halftime lead.
Georgia 0, Alabama 0
Not too surprisingly, it’s still scoreless, but both teams had chances to score. Mistakes and clutch defensive plays have kept it 0-0.
Georgia’s Jarvis Jones forced a fumble while getting to Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, but Georgia got no points despite starting at the Crimson Tide 40. The Bulldogs did get a first down, but a huge sack on third down forced a 50-yard field goal attempt. Marshall Morgan missed.
As for Alabama, its best chance for points ended with a penalty. On fourth and short, a fake-punt run looked promising, but a delay of game squashed any Crimson Tide hopes.
BIG PLAY: Jones applied pressure by getting to McCarron from behind, knocking the ball lose for a Georgia recovery.