Bulldogs run out of time with SEC and BCS on line

Alabama 32, Georgia 28

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ATLANTA — The play, “Speed out,” was supposed to be a pass from Aaron Murray to Malcolm Mitchell in the back of the end zone.

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Alabama's Eddie Lacy is tackled by Damian Swann (below) as Bacarri Rambo assists during the first quarter. Lacy was named the SEC Championship Game's MVP after amassing 181 yards on 20 carries with two TDs.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Alabama's Eddie Lacy is tackled by Damian Swann (below) as Bacarri Rambo assists during the first quarter. Lacy was named the SEC Championship Game's MVP after amassing 181 yards on 20 carries with two TDs.

The ball never got there.

Murray’s final pass of the night got tipped at the line, Chris Conley caught the deflection at the 5 and the clock ran out on the Bulldogs in a 32-28 defeat to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game at the Georgia Dome.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide (12-1), the defending national champion, advance to play No. 1 Notre Dame in the BCS title game, Jan. 7, in Miami. Third-ranked Georgia (11-2), bidding to play in its first national championship contest in 30 years, now has to wait on its bowl fate. Florida is expected by bowl observers to leapfrog the Bulldogs and make the Sugar Bowl, while Georgia likely will go to a lesser contest.

“They should get to go to a BCS bowl game. They played a tremendous game,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the Georgia players, coaches and institution if they don’t go to a BCS bowl game.”

Georgia, which lost its second SEC Championship in a row, almost punched its ticket to the national title game. Alec Ogletree returned a blocked field goal – Cornelius Washington burst up the middle to knock down Jeremy Shelley’s attempt – 55 yards to stake the Bulldogs to a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

Alabama, with its dominating offensive line, responded with consecutive scoring drives and posted 14 unanswered points. Eddie Lacy rushed for 181 yards and two
touchdowns, while T.J. Yeldon added 153 yards and a score as the Crimson Tide rolled up an SEC Championship record 350 rushing yards on 51 carries. Lacy’s 1-yard run three seconds into the fourth quarter gave the lead back to Alabama at 25-21.

“The offensive line,” Lacy said, “did a great job blocking and creating holes for T.J. and I.”

“They just lined up and played inside drill for awhile,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “They just lined up and knocked us off the ball.”

Bulldogs freshman running back Todd Gurley gained 122 yards on 23 carries to become the SEC’s leading rusher with 1,260 yards. Gurley’s 10-yard touchdown, his second of the game, with 12:54 remaining staked Georgia to a 28-25 lead.

Alabama responded by pounding the ball and finally caught Georgia off guard. With the Bulldogs playing eight men in the box to stop the run, AJ McCarron tossed a deep pass over the Georgia secondary, a 45-yard touchdown to Amari Cooper with 3:15 remaining. The Crimson Tide took the lead back at 32-28.

After both teams traded the ball, Georgia started its final drive on the 15 with 1:08 left in the game. Quarterback Aaron Murray, who went 18 for 33 passing for 265 yards with a touchdown and an interception, threw five completions on the final drive. His 26-yard strike to Arthur Lynch over the middle moved the Bulldogs to the 8 with 15 seconds remaining.

With Georgia out of timeouts, Murray elected not to spike the ball. Instead, he tried to throw a fade pass to Mitchell in the back right corner of the end zone. Murray’s pass got tipped at the line and Conley caught the deflection at the 5 and slipped to the turf. The unfortunate completion for Georgia ended the game, along with the team’s hopes for a trip to Miami.

“We were taking a shot at the end zone,” Richt said. “The ball just got batted.

“We just ran out of time. It’s one of those games.”

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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 12/02/12 - 01:26 pm
As far as the reporter in the

As far as the reporter in the video, he is a huge Auburn fan who is part of an Atlanta radio sports show. His question was obviously veiled in that he pretended to be asking for others, when, in fact, his comment was an intentional dig at Richt and Georgia. Richt simply called him out, in a very nice way I would add, and let it be known that he was frustrated by the comment and not by the team's effort. Oh, well. Cudos to Alabama! I'll always remember what the then-defensive coordinator for Georgia, Joe Kines said after a Georgia loss "You know, out of all the football teams that played games today, half of them lost.". Well..that was true then and it'll be true tomorrow.

GuyGene 12/02/12 - 02:34 pm
Great job, Dogs!!

To me, no one on the GA team, including coach, has anything at all to be ashamed (can't think of better word now...) of for this game! Even though we lost, it was one of the BEST games I have ever seen. About the only thing I got upset about was when Aaron got blasted after the interception by (who was it, #90?) the Alabama player. I really think that guy should be suspended...

curly123053 12/02/12 - 03:22 pm
Dawgs Have Nothing To Be Ashamed Of!!

As a Carolina fan I will have to say the game last night was one of the BEST games I have seen in a long time. I think any one of those 2 teams can put ND's lights out in the generic national championship game. As far as I am concerned the national title game was last night between Bama and Ga.

rmwhitley 12/02/12 - 04:42 pm
I'm a diehard Gamecocks fan

but for Georgia to have to "settle" for anything less than a BCS ( bull crap stickup ) bowl shows the ineptness of the NCAA. mark emmert and the entire ncaa staff are jerks!

DanK 12/02/12 - 07:05 pm

It was a fun game to watch. But not the battle of giants everyone seems to be making it out to be.

UGA was very overrated this year. UGA played the softest schedule in the SEC. UGA played only 3 ranked teams this year (USC, UF, and Bama) and lost to 2 of them. Yet UGA still ended up 5th in the USA Today coaches poll. UGA will most likely lose its 3rd game of the year in its bowl game, just as UGA lost its bowl game last year. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

This Bama team is not as good as the previous 3 years. Notre Dame beat 2 top 10 teams already this year and matches up well against Bama. ND will be the underdog, but will be very competititive with Bama with a good chance of winning.

KSL 12/02/12 - 07:34 pm
DanK, you are right about

DanK, you are right about UGA's weak schedule. They all schedule weak teams. And UGA is no exception. It just so happens that 2 generally stronger teams they played were weaker than usual.

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