(AFP) — Stetson Bennett carried the offense as the University of Georgia captured its first US college football national title in 41 years with a 33-18 win over Alabama in front of a crowd of 68,300.
Quarterback Bennett threw for 224 yards, completing 17 of 26 passes and had no interceptions as the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half to beat the No. 1 ranked University of Alabama.
“People said we weren’t conditioned enough and that pissed a lot of people off,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “Before the game today we burned the boats and we came up fighting. This is a special moment for this team.”
It was Georgia’s first college championship since 1980, when they were led by freshman Herschel Walker.
Bennett connected with Adonai Mitchell on a 40-yard touchdown with just over eight minutes left and with Brock Bowers with 3:33 to go for a 15-yard score to make it 26-18 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana.
Kelee Ringo intercepted a pass by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and returned it 79 yards for the touchdown with a minute left in the fourth.
The showdown was a rematch from last month when Alabama took down the then-No.1 Bulldogs 41-24.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban was seeking his seventh national title at Alabama and eighth overall.
“They deserved it. We were the only team to beat them (last month) but we just couldn’t finish it tonight,” said Saban.
© Agence France-Presse
The Bulldogs lost to Alabama in the 2017 title game.