By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
January 8, 2018
ATLANTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Tonight, a champion will be crowned in Atlanta as the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide play in the College Football Playoffs title game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
This is the first meeting between the two schools since October 3, 2015 when Alabama defeated UGA, 38-10, in Athens.
In the brief history of the CFP, Alabama has made every playoff, and tonight marks their third CFP title game appearance. Georgia, on the other hand, is in their first playoff, and are playing in their first championship game ever.
While the Dawgs and Tide have never met for a national championship before, they have met for an SEC title once previously in 2012, when Alabama won 32-28.
Here's what's at stake tonight for both teams.
For Alabama, a win would
For Georgia, a win would
The Tide and Dawgs will get underway tonight at 8 p.m. Keep this story handy, as we'll be updating it with scores and analysis throughout the evening.
For up-to-the-minute updates tonight, be sure you're following the WCTV Sports Twitter page.
Game. Set. Match
Holy cow. Tua Tagovailoa finds DeVonta Smith for a 41-yard touchdown on an absolute dime and Alabama is your national champion.
Nick Chubb is called upon twice for the Dawgs but Fromm takes a bad sack for a 51-yard field goal attempt.
UGA leads 23-20, with Bama to get the ball next.
Who is ready for free football? Alabama misses a 36-yard field goal, the second missed FG of the game, and we are going to overtime tied at 20-20.
We. Are Tied
Tua had all. day. in the pocket and zipped a ball into a crowd of five players and Calvin Ridley caught it.
It's a 20-20 game and this fourth quarter has been all Alabama.
15 minutes left
That's it, really. 15 minutes left, and UGA leads 20-10.
On the first play after UGA's big takeaway, Fromm tries to throw the ball away but it goes off the helmet of a Bama lineman and Raekwon Davis of the Tide picks it off to set the Tide up in UGA territory.
He's a freshman, after all
In a game that features, currently, two freshman QB's, one looks a little more freshman than the other as Tagovailoa can't put enough air under a lob pass and it's picked off by Deandre Baker.
UGA is set up nicely at the Bama 39.
Jake Fromm shows off his arm strength and Mecole Hardman shows off his balance as he stays in bounds and takes it to the house to give UGA an answer and make it 20-7.
Tua Tagovailoa is the TRUTH. He just took the Tide 56 yards down the field on seven plays in 1:59 to put the Tide on the board.
He already has more passing yards (46) this quarter than Hurts (21) had in the first half.
Back to action. Well, for most
Bama gets the ball but goes three-and-out in the opening drive in the game, and is led by true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
UGA caps off the defensive series with a sack and things could get ugly in a hurry if the Dawgs put up six.
It took Georgia nine plays to march 69 yards in 1:12 to score the first touchdown of the day on a one-yard touchdown run by Mecole Hardman.
The Dawgs were on fire that drive, and have been on fire really all second quarter.
I'm not sure if you'd call this up-tempo offense for Georgia, but they seem to be going very fast as they're driving with 90-ish seconds left before halftime.
Right as I say how seasoned Fromm looks, he throws behind his receiver inside the red zone and the Dawgs are forced to kick a field goal.
Blankenship nails the 27-yarder, and it's a 6-0 UGA lead.
Dawgs are rolling
Jake Fromm looks like a seasoned veteran tonight. Over the last couple of drives, when he lets go of the ball, he's firing it accurately and is putting his receivers in a spot to make the play.
Also, what a catch by Javon Wims. It looked like he got both feet in bounds before he went out of bounds.
Another play that'll be reviewed, but it'll stand.
Once it does, the Dawgs will be set up at the Bama 10.
We have our first points of the night after a 41-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship.
The Dawgs put together a 14 play, 55 yard drive in 7:40.
Lets see how the UGA defense and Bama offense each respond.
That's really it. Sony Michel.
He gets the handoff on 3rd and 20, looks like he's gonna head straight into the line of scrimmage, changes direction and picks up 26 yards for the first down.
Ground and pound
The Dawgs have gone to the ground game, and it's working.
Outside of one blown assignment on the offensive line that allowed Anthony Averett to sack Jake Fromm for a loss of 10 yards, everything seems to be going right for the Dawgs.
Tyler Clark, have yourself a series my friend.
Bama is forced three-and-out by the Dawgs defense as Clark logs two tackles on Bo Scarbrough and sacks Jalen Hurts on third down to force the Tide to punt.
A much better defensive series than the first one for Georgia.
All out aerial assault
In their first five plays tonight, Georgia has run all passing plays.
The Dawgs ran a screen to Chubb to oepn the game, but aside from that, it's been all Fromm and the air attack
Don' just enough
The UGA defense looked good in stretches, containing Jalen Hurts just enough to keep him out of the endzone, and the Tide miss a 40-yard attempt.
Still scoreless with 9:54 left to play in the first quarter.
So a little bit of everything happened there.
Jake Fromm unleashed a deep ball that looked like it was a good pass, but Tony Brown for Bama was in coverage and flat ripped it from the receivers hands.
Bama ball at their own 36 yardline.
Alabama wins the coin toss, and defers to the second half. It'll be Georgia's football to begin things.
Let's get this going already.
POTUS in the house
President Donald Trump walked out onto the field prior to the national anthem, and was met with a large ovation.
Welcome to our official National Title live blog. This should be an awesome football game. These two teams are so even in so many categories and it'll come down to the wire.
It's fun to think Alabama is starting and ending their season in Atlanta, and it'll be fun to see how loud that stadium gets with the hometown Dawgs playing tonight.